First Things First

To the ladies, do you just add a layer of makeup to the one you wore the day before...and the day before that? To the guys, do you just find clean clothes to put on without taking a shower after a long day of sweaty, outdoor work...and then go back to work like that the next day? It is typical practice to get cleaned up before re-doing life again.

So, may I suggest something to you concerning your heart: there has to be a consistent time of washing in the Word. We are human, and we have all fallen short of the glory of God. I don't want to try and clothe myself in garments of righteousness and the armor of God without allowing the Word to wash me! If there is something placing a barrier between me and close fellowship with my Lord, it is my responsibility to lay it down and shake it off - to repent.

We love to quote the book of Joel the prophet who proclaimed that the Lord would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, that He would repay for the years that the locusts had eaten, that He would send the former and latter rain. I wonder if we casually just jump over the big section of verses that precede this section - the big part about repentance. The Lord had said for them to rend their hearts, to return to Him with fasting, weeping and mourning. That part is not as often quoted.

I think of the Lord Jesus kneeling to wash His disciples' feet. He let Peter know that his body was clean, but that to have part with Him his feet must be washed. "Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean." There are times when we know that the Lord is dealing with us to deeply rend our hearts, needing a cleansing from head to toe. But we at least need to constantly keep our feet clean.

We walk in this world day to day, and the dust of life can stick to us. I challenge you to just read the Word everyday...and allow the Lord to cleanse You from the inside out.

Father, I don't want to pretend that I can stay clean on my own. I need You, Your Word, Your Spirit. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Scripture:

Joel 2:12-32

John 13:1-17

Psalm 51

Ephesians 5:26

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