"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
There are some things that just make me happy. Though others may find it odd, one of those things is a new toothbrush. When it is time to replace an old one, I get a sense of excitement at the cleanliness that I will feel in my mouth after I brush. I'm sure it is just a perception tied to the fact that the brush is new, but, for whatever reason, I relish it.
It is the same with a good shower or bath. After the soap and water have done their job, I feel better physically, but also emotionally and mentally. I'm sure you feel that way too. When we are nice and clean we feel more acceptable. More secure.
I have always been entranced by the picture of the blood of Jesus washing away the sin from our lives. I recently was listening to a street preacher who was asking a young man if he believed that people needed God in their lives. When the answer unsure, the preacher asked the young man if he had ever done wrong things. Had he ever told a lie? Had he ever lusted after women? Had he ever stolen anything? The listener said yes. The preacher confessed that he himself had done some of these things as well. Because of the sins each of them committed they would be found dirty and unacceptable to God.
But then the good news. Because of His great love, God sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment for the sins each of us commit. When Jesus died on the cross, the blood that was shed had the power to wash all the sin from our lives and to make us clean and pure.
He didn't ask the young man if he had ever read the Bible, he simply shared the Gospel with him. When the young man left, he took with him a Bible and, with tears in his eyes, he said he wanted to know more.
We don't have to know everything there is about Jesus to accept what He did for us. We will spend all of eternity learning at His feet. Likewise, we don't have to know everything in the Bible to share the Gospel. While we need to be spending time in the Word, we know the Gospel story. We know why Jesus came, what He did, where He is now and why we need Him. And we know that those around us may never hear about Him unless we tell them.
I have no idea how much longer it will be before Jesus returns. No one does. But we need to live as if His return is imminent. There are people in our lives who have not experienced His saving grace. Maybe some in our own families. If He were to return tonight or tomorrow, would any of us regret not taking the opportunity to summon up the courage to share Him with those folks?
For all who are struggling or hurting right now, I want you to know that I love you, but more importantly that our Father in Heaven loves you and sees what you are going through and hears your cries. My prayer is that He will enfold you in His holy arms and hold you so close that you will physically feel Him. May His mercy and grace be with us all.