(I'm sorry I haven't finished "Truth, part 3". I took a Spring Break) Here are some spilling thoughts of hope...
My much needed Spring Break with the girls ended today when I dropped them off to school. We had a great week of time with family, friends, and SPRING CLEANING. The girls, not as thrilled as I, endured cleaning their closets and rooms. One project led to another, including tearing out old carpet to have new carpet in the girls' rooms.
I. Why new carpet?
We moved into our current house 3 1/2 years ago. The former owners replaced the carpet with the cheapest they could find to avoid giving us a carpet allowance. We let the girls wear the carpet out! When I had the carpets cleaned the week before last, the carpet cleaner asked if we had dogs. "No, but our previous owners did." Come to find out, in one of the rooms, they only replaced the carpet, not the pad. Gross! It only became evident when they wet the cheap carpet to clean it. Needless to say, we are getting new carpet today!
II. How to get new carpet?
This reminded me of my how I used to take care of my stains (sin; choosing my way, not God's way). My life, like the carpet, had stains from "accidents" (sin) that left a nasty look and atrocious smell that God could not accept. He only accepts perfection, because He is perfect. Instead of getting rid of the stains, I tried to cover it with carpet of good deeds (cleaning my room when told, letting go of my sister when told, trying my best in 2nd grade) church going (every time the doors were open). I thought the more I went to church the better the carpet, right? However, the Bible says we cannot get rid of sin by DOING more. (CEV) Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about." So how could I get rid of the stains? Only forgiveness gets rid of the stains. So how can I have forgiveness? (CEV) 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 says, "God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world." We can only have forgiveness through Jesus, who died on the cross to take the penalty for our sin, death. He died to offer us forgiveness. When we trust in Him, God tears out the old carpet and pad (sin) and gives us new carpet, Jesus carpet (crimson red, from His blood).
III. How to keep clean carpet?
God only accepts Jesus carpet in our lives to go to heaven. Jesus carpet, the perfection God demands, is stain resistant. Does that mean I will never sin again? No. But, every time I have an accident on the carpet (sin), the sin is already covered, and easily cleaned. I noticed the day after I had my carpet cleaned, how protective I became to keep it clean. That is how God wants us to be with our lives. (CEV) Romans 6:1-4 says, "Should we keep on sinning, so that God's wonderful kindness will show up even better? No, we should not! If we are dead to sin, how can we go on sinning? Don't you know that all who share in Christ Jesus by being baptized also share in his death? When we were baptized, we died and were buried with Christ. We were baptized, so that we would live a new life, as Christ was raised to life by the glory of God the Father." God says, don't keep sinning carelessly because you have Jesus. When I have another accident, I need to tell God about it, so the carpet (my life) remains clean and useful. (CEV) 1 John 1:9 says, "But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away."
So, what kind of carpet do you have in your life? Carpet you choose stained from sin? Carpet you try to keep clean with your own efforts, never removing the stains? Or crimson red carpet God provides through the blood of Jesus? If you already have Jesus carpet, are there areas of your life you need to tell God about? You only have to ask God for new carpet (forgiveness) and he will do the rest.
Verses taken from the CEV (Contemporary English Version).