August 7, 2011
NOTE: This is a written version of the message I delivered to a group of residents at Kings Daughters Community Health & Rehabilitation Center on August 7, 2011.
I was power-washing the house the other month. The house didn't look that bad to me before I started, but
my wife made the request. So, what's a good husband to do? I power washed the house. As I washed, I
noticed that our house really was dirty. I could compare what I had washed to what had not been washed and
see the difference despite having thought it looked fine before. I put in a lot of effort to get the house
washed including paying for it with a sunburn and 4 hours of time (and it was well worth it). However, I
noticed something else. Even in my effort, I couldn't make it clean perfectly. Some places were too high for
me to reach and for the sake of completion and time, I couldn't get every dime-sized spot off the siding.
This is like us. How so? We feel like we are doing pretty well until we see ourselves next to someone
doing better or remembering someone who did better. Often we make the mistake there and compare ourselves to
that other person. Do you ever do that? What does the Bible say?
Galatians 6:4-5, NASB: "But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting
in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load."
Comparing ourselves to others is not our benchmark. What is our benchmark or, better stated, Who is our
benchmark? God is our benchmark. Ephesians 5:1, NASB, states, "[B]e imitators of God, as beloved children."
How many of us imitate God exactly?
None of us is perfect. No one does good. We may think we are good people or that we know good people.
However, we are like the house that I power washed. There are still spots that we just cannot remove.
Maybe we should examine ourselves:
How many of us have taken something that doesn't belong to us? That's stealing. We are thieves. Exodus 20:15 says, "You shall not steal."
How many of us have been unrightfully angry at another? Did you know that the Bible says this is like murder?
Matthew 5:20-22, NASB, states, "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever
commits murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother
shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty
before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.'"
How many of us have told a fib? We are liars. 1 John 1:8, NASB, states, "If we say that we have no sin, we are
deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us."
And we could continue down the list.
Romans 14:23b, NASB, states "whatever is not from faith is sin." Are we always faithful?
Romans 3:23, NASB states, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Psalm 53:2-3, NASB, states:
"God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God.
Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one."
This is a hard truth, but it gets better.
Question: If we are all wearing white robes and one person rolls in the mud and the other one just has a
few splatters on it, then which robe is dirty? Both of them are. We all need to be washed.
How? The answer is Jesus. We need Him. We must be washed in His blood. He can save you.
Some may say, "But you don't know what I've done." Likewise, you don't know what I have done, either,
but God is big enough to handle it. How does He see you?
Let me ask another question: Did Christ die on the cross? Of course! This is a proven historical fact.
Then what happened? He was buried and He rose again!
Doesn't this suggest that God is satisfied with His sacrifice? Yes!
Do you trust what He has done for you?
What's John 3:16 say?
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish, but have eternal life" (NASB).
Remember earlier when I mentioned lying? Let me review 1 John 1:8 and this time continue through
verse 9: "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
Don't miss the encouragement in the verse: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful
and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
How much unrighteousness will Jesus cleanse us from? ALL unrighteousness.
What about if we are faithless at times? 2 Timothy 2:13, NASB, states, "If we are faithless, He remains
faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."
I remember when I was a counselor, I had a client who struggled with a particular sin. I remember telling
him that even if he was walking through the door to give in to temptation, that it still was not too late to
walk out of the door.
1 Corinthians 10:13, NASB, states, "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and
God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will
provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it."
We will struggle and we will fail. We will approach doors we should not and go in some, but with God's help,
we will be able to turn the other way. We can ask Him for help. Did you know that?
Hebrews 4:16, NASB, states, "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we
may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Does it say we approach Him when we have it all together? No, it says, "in time of need."
When you trust Him, you can approach Him confidently.
Romans 10:9, NASB, states, "...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that
God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
It's not too late. 2 Corinthians 6:2, NASB, states, "for He says, 'AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.' Behold, now is 'THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,' behold, now is 'THE DAY OF
So, should you wait until tomorrow?
When I power washed the house, it was the first time since the house was built 5 years ago. Dirt accumulated
for 5 years! If I power washed it more often instead of waiting 5 years, I might have an easier time of it
and more success cleaning it, don't you think? I still may not get all the spots, however. Spiritually,
though, Jesus continually washes those who are His.
The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
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