Jesus and the Stain
There it is again! That stain you just can’t seem to make disappear!
You love this white shirt, but that spot on the corner just never seems to go away no matter how many tide-to-go’s you put on it. It’s not that big of a deal when you consider the reality that the rest of the shirt is white. Also, the stain is in a place no one realy looks. Besides, you can always make the rest of you look amazing to make sure attention is directed away from the blemish. But still… that stain.
How many times do we look at the stains in our life like the stains we find on our clothing? We know in our heart of hearts that we would really prefer not to have any stains, but we are also willing to bear with it in the hopes we will forget it’s there or no one will notice. In all honesty, sometimes we just have no idea even what to do about it.
When it comes to the stains of our past, present, and future Jesus wants to deal with them. He does not want us to hide them, deny them, blame others for them, live in guilt of them, or rationalize them. Jesus wants us to be set free from them. He wants to bring his deep cleaning power of the cross to our lives. Jesus wants to set us free, but also so we can be freed up to help others be free. Satan holds you captive, while Jesus offers to set you free.
“It is for freedom we have been set free” - Galatians 5:1
We all carry stains from mistakes and choices we have made in the past. If we never deal with these stains, Satan uses them as leverage against us and holds us back from moving forward. Satan deceives us to believe there is no other option. It can be hard to follow Jesus when we only see ourselves through the lens of our shortcomings. Do you have some stains of your own that make it hard to say “yes” to following Jesus even now?
You and the stain: Are you done scrubbing and hiding?
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." – Ephesians 2:8-9
Alone you can’t deal with the stain. It’s actually impossible. You will find yourself always back to the same place of discouragement and trying to be satisfied with an incomplete work. Self-help books and seeking extra help are great. They help us move forward and find greater healing and understanding on issues. However, we need the work of the cross to do a deep clean in our hearts and lives. If apart from Jesus we could get clean, it would mean that the cross was incomplete and Jesus’ death was not needed.
Jesus and the stain: Ready to bring your stain to the cross?
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” - Ephesians 2:4-6
Through the work of the cross we are washed white as snow. We are being brought back to Gods ideal for our lives. He desires to restore our broken self as a result of the fall (Adam) to the completed restored work (Jesus). Rather than wearing stained clothing, he will make an exchange. In exchange for our dirty clothing, he will give us new clothing.
A garment of praise: Let the praises ring!
“Provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty, instead of ashes. The oil of joy, instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” - Isaiah 61:3
There is nothing like experiencing the reality of Jesus truly setting us free and giving us a new song. Ever see the commercials for laundry detergent? After a tough stain is washed out, we find the person actively and confidently stepping out into the world with a new tune. Jesus will give you a new song in your heart and a new confidence of your new standing with him.
Challenge: Spend time meditating and reading Ephesians 2:1-10.
How does the Father see you and your stains? God had created you in advance for good works. He purposed you and your days here on earth. What purposes has Jesus been speaking to you about? It’s time to break free and be set free to follow Jesus. You can’t remain in the past, it’s time to move on. What new life is Jesus sparking in your heart?
Wait, listen, and pray!
Don’t settle for covering up and hiding.
Make a final exchange.