Cleansing

        This is my dog, Boudreaux. Of course, this picture is from when he was just a pup – he’s a little over a year old now. He’s a good dog… I like him a lot – Vanessa isn’t really an “animal lover,” but she likes him too (even if she won’t admit it).

        I think he’s a “good dog” mostly because he doesn’t use the bathroom on the floor. Nothing quite like getting your kids all potty-trained, and then taking in a dog who isn’t. No, no… Boudreaux only potties outside. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

        He’s an inside dog, but sometimes, like when we have company, or when we’re cleaning house, he stays outside. He FREAKS OUT when we vacuum. He’ll go nuts barking and biting the wheels. Quite funny, actually.

        I remember not too long after we got him, we were having a tough time keeping him in the fence. He was a “digger.” Most of you know what I’m talking about. One particular day, it was rainy, wet, and muddy, and you guessed it… he dug out. You can see his beautiful bright white coat in the picture. Well, when I spotted him from my truck, he was black – not brown – black. I could barely even recognize him! Funny thing (and I might lose my “man-card” here), I love to work with my hands, and I enjoy working on my truck, small engines, and stuff like that – but I can’t stand dirt or anything sticky on my hands or under my fingernails. I hate it!

        So here I am, giving him a bath and I’m just disgusted. I don’t like being dirty – and Boudreaux is covered in filth. As I poured the cup full of water on his back, I was overwhelmed by how dirty the water was flowing off of his underside, and into the drain in the bathtub. And you know, all the while, it’s getting on my arms and under my fingernails… I wanted to throw up. But, I kept filling up the cup, pouring it over his back, and marveling at the grossly tainted water flowing off of him. Eventually, I could make out the little white dog I knew was under all that filth. And with every cup full of water, I could recognize him more and more.

        I imagine that to be a lot like when we come to God for forgiveness. I bet if He didn’t know all of the hairs on our head, He probably wouldn’t even be able to recognize us underneath all the filth, grime, and muck. I bet He’s disgusted. But when we come back to Him in confession, He’s got to clean us up.

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

      

        Can you imagine??? The holy God of the ages, perfect in righteousness and sanctity, getting His hands dirty washing the filth off of us? Cleansing us from all unrighteousness? Maybe even wanting to throw up in the presence of such sin and impurity? The holiness he pours over us perfectly clear in His cup, but stained with filthy unrighteousness as it runs down the drain? What a disgusting, embarrassing picture.

        Earlier in verse 7, we see that it is the blood of Jesus that “cleanses us from all sin.” It’s more than a water bill that God had to pay for our cleansing. It was the blood of His own Son – it was God’s own blood! And yet, we rebelliously dig out, thinking there’s something better on the other side of the fence, and come to find out that apart from our home in Christ, there’s only danger, dirt, and discontentment.

        The beauty in this picture can only be seen in the graciousness of our loving God. He is glorious. We are filthy… that is, until His precious blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

        You know, when I first saw Boudreaux all filthy, I wanted to kill him (not literally, PETA). But then I realized how glad I was that he hadn’t gotten hurt, stolen, or lost. I don’t think God wants to kill us – I think He is overwhelmed with joy when we are once again safe in His arms. I think it is His pleasure to graciously “cleanse us” when we rebel against Him. What love is this. What a wonderful God we serve.

Grace and Peace,
Tony