For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. —John 3:16
We got a new, larger mop bucket the other day, so I decided to clean up the old one and give it to someone who could use it. As I scrubbed away the lime stains with dish soap and baking soda, a realization hit me: Before I gave my life to the Lord, I had a similar attitude toward myself. I believed I needed to clean myself up then give my life to God. That's what I said to a colleague who was encouraging me one day. “No,” she said emphatically but gently. “That's the very opposite of how salvation works.”
God describes sin as a stain that mankind is incapable of removing ourselves. In Jeremiah 2: 22, He says to the rebellious Israelites, “Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me.” In other words, no amount of burnt offerings or other religious observations (Isaiah 1:11-13) can cleanse us from our sins. It is only through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross and our faith in Him that our sins are washed away. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God invites sinners–both unsaved and backslidden–to come to Him just as we are. Then He cleans us up. Because of our fallen state, from Adam right down to us, an epic scrubbing was, indeed, needed, but not of our own doing. We are cleansed and made new by “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
Reflection: Which event or person encouraged you to seek Christ’s salvation? Who can you encourage today?
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you endured a horrible death on a cross to free me from my sins.
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