“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.
“I will scatter you among the nations and I will disperse you through the lands, and I will consume your uncleanness from you.
and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.
“They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.
From: Our Daily Bread
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Ezekiel 36:25
When I opened our dishwasher, I wondered what went wrong. Instead of seeing sparkling clean dishes, I removed plates and glasses that were covered in a chalky dust. I wondered if the hard water in our area was wreaking havoc, or if the machine was broken.
God’s cleansing, unlike that faulty dishwasher, washes away all of our impurities. We see in the book of Ezekiel that God is calling His people back to Himself as Ezekiel shared God’s message of love and forgiveness. The Israelites had sinned as they proclaimed their allegiance to other gods and other nations. The Lord, however, was merciful in welcoming them back to Himself. He promised to cleanse them “from all [their] impurities and all [their] idols” (36:25). As He put His Spirit in them (v. 27), He would bring them to a place of fruitfulness, not famine (v. 30).
As in the days of the prophet Ezekiel, today the Lord welcomes us back to Him if we go astray. When we submit ourselves to His will and His ways, He transforms us as He washes us clean from our sins. With His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, He helps us to follow Him day by day.
Lord God, the feeling of being cleansed and forgiven is like no other. Thank You for transforming me into a new person. Teach me to submit to You daily that I might grow more and more closely into the likeness of Jesus.
The Lord makes us clean.
From: Our Daily journey
When we were planning our wedding, my husband and I decided we wanted our wedding party to wear traditional clothes from their home countries. But I also wanted the colors to match. Since the outfits were being prepared by my mom and my future mother-in-law in separate countries, Romania and Thailand, color coordination was nearly impossible. What’s worse, some of our friends wouldn’t be able to try on their clothing until the wedding day! I finally stopped worrying and simply prayed that the clothes would fit everyone and the colors wouldn’t clash. When the long-awaited day finally came, everyone looked spectacular!
Our wedding story reminds me of Paul’s words about the beautiful “wardrobe” believers find through Jesus. Through our life in Him, we have a “new nature.” When we live out or “put on” this new nature, we are “renewed as [we] learn to know [our] Creator and become like him” (Colossians 3:10). The inspiring outfits of believers are made with delicate material such as “tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
And if such clothing didn’t catch their eye, Paul reminded the Colossians why they should want to wear these attributes. He said, “God chose you to be the holy people he loves” (Colossians 3:12). They had been given the privilege of being loved by God and set apart for a higher purpose than “anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language” (Colossians 3:8).
We can find encouragement in the truth that we don’t need to make our own spiritual “clothes”—Jesus is the One who provides all that’s needed. “Christ is all that matters, and he lives in . . . us” (Colossians 3:11). May we wear the beautiful clothing He provides today!
Usefulness or Relationship?
Jesus Christ is saying here, “Don’t rejoice in your successful service for Me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with Me.” The trap you may fall into in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service— rejoicing in the fact that God has used you. Yet you will never be able to measure fully what God will do through you if you do not have a right-standing relationship with Jesus Christ. If you keep your relationship right with Him, then regardless of your circumstances or whoever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour “rivers of living water” through you (John 7:38). And it is actually by His mercy that He does not let you know it. Once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, remember that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill His purpose, as long as you continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7).
Our tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make their request for help on the basis of someone’s usefulness. If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived. For the saint, direction and guidance come from God Himself, not some measure of that saint’s usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that our Lord gives His attention to in a person’s life is that person’s relationship with God— something of great value to His Father. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory…” (Hebrews 2:10).