Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fresh and Clean

Picture at one of my stops along the trail 
           I like to ride my bike in the early morning just as the sun is coming up and the earth is beginning to awaken. The air is filled with freshness, a sweet, freshness that only the dawn brings. The sun coming up over the hills and trees brings newness of life and it fills my lungs with hope. There is something special to me about that moment in time, it is like God is pouring out a fresh dose of grace and mercy upon His creation and I get to be a part of it. I get to experience and see it as it drinks in the newness of another day. I am reminded every morning of His mercy, and how blessed I am to be given such a beautiful gift such as life. But, then, as the day wears on, that freshness wears off, little by little different smells begin to pollute the
air.
                While I was walking one of the dogs we care for, I was reminded of the smells I had just enjoyed that morning. I pass her house every day on the trail that I ride and then later in the afternoon I go and I walk her on that same trail. But there is something different about it in the afternoon; there is something stale in the air. This reminded me of my life, and my walk before the Lord. Every morning I get up and there is a fresh dose of mercy, and new dose of grace being poured out on my life. Every day is a new day with my God. But then, as the day wears on, sin and my flesh pollute my air and I begin to smell stale, I begin to smell different, I begin to smell like the world.
                How do I get that newness back? How do I maintain that freshness? This question came into my mind as we walked on our trail. I thought about how many times throughout the day I get dirty, I get stale with the pollution of the world. How do I remain fresh in the midst of a stale world? Do I have to wait a whole day to get a new dose of grace, or can I have it right now? Can I have a fresh dose of grace to this life of mine in the middle of my day?
                The Word of God is what washes us. It is what makes us new. It is what brings us grace and mercy and newness every single day. It is through a continual relationship, a constant abiding in Him that we obtain that fresh dose of grace in the middle of the day. When I am not walking right, when my heart is tossed in sin, or my thoughts are leading me down paths opposite of love, I need Him. I need His word and His washing to get me clean again. I pollute the fresh new day with my choices and my decisions to sin. I am the one who chooses to ride through the mud puddles instead of taking the detour He have given me. I choose to get dirty, but thank goodness He provides the soap!
                If we are not in the word of God, if we are not reading His word, and studying His word for ourselves then we will never be able to get clean. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:25-27 that Christ loves us so much that He cleans us with the washing of water by the word. (The verses also speak to husbands, but let’s not miss the important truth that Christ washes us, His Church, first.) Christ, through His word washes off the dirt and grime that our rides through life pollute us with. Our words that were unkind and uncalled for, our thoughts that wanted less than good for our co-worker, our hearts that get clogged up and filled with sin need to be washed in the water of the word of God.
           
My other favorite place to stop and breathe
     Just like an afternoon rain brings that newness and freshness to the earth, so does God word bring newness and freshness back into our lives. If we are feeling stale, if we are feeling dirty, then we need to go to His word and let Him pour out upon us a fresh dose of His grace. It is only through Him that we can become clean. It is only through His word that we can be washed of the dirt our sins bring. But we can only be clean if we let Him wash us, if we let Him renew us and pour out on us the greatness of His faithfulness, and the glory of His mercy, which is new every morning.
                “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

                We don’t have to wait until tomorrow, tomorrow may never come. Don’t let the dirt from today be on you tonight. Go and wash in the water of His word and let His mercy, His goodness, His grace and His faithfulness pour out on you and give you newness and freshness that not only fills your lungs but satisfies your soul. To Him alone be the glory, now and forever, Amen and Amen.