Cleanse Us

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

The old garage door near the church was surrounded by smooth, nicely painted walls.

Looking at the photograph I took of it, I wonder—why hadn’t the door been painted nicely and repaired?

It looked tattered and worn out—like many desperate people in this world.

They feel dirty and guilty, used up and torn up, stripped and faded, hopeless and lost.

With an outlook tinted with shame, they see what looks like a clean, smooth surface on others’ lives.

No one could accept them in their broken condition, they think.

Family couldn’t.

Friends couldn’t.

Certainly God couldn’t.

After all, they’ve messed things up.

There’s nowhere left to go to escape the mirror of accusation that hangs on every wall they encounter…

In the last two weeks, I have learned of two people I know—both in very different walks of life—who have taken their own lives.

They lived hundreds of miles from one another, but they both shared hopelessness.

For a crucial moment, they failed to look at God’s unlimited power and grace and instead, looked at their own lack of ability to repair and restore.

God can accept anyone in any condition.

Broken.

Dirty.

Guilty.

Used up.

Torn up.

Stripped.

Faded.

Hopeless.

Lost.

Friends may not accept us.

Family may not.

But, God?

He is ALWAYS ready to heal and to forgive!

To CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness!

If we cry out to God from our brokenness, confessing our sin and our mistakes, we will be forgiven.

We can start over.

We can begin again.

It’s not too late for any of us, ever.

 

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Brokenhearted

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Sometimes when I’m driving, the songs on the radio just “play” and my mind is on so many things that I don’t really take in the message of the lyrics.

At other times, I am totally focused on the words and I connect with the song.

Today, I was connected when I heard a song titled, “The Broken Beautiful.”

Here are part of the lyrics:

I’m better off when I begin to remember
How You have met me in my deepest pain
So give me glimpses now of how You have covered
All of my heart ache, oh with all Your grace
Remind me now that You can make a way

That Your love will never change,
that there’s healing in your name
That You can take broken things,
and make them beautiful
You took my shame
And You walked out of the grave
So Your love can take broken things
and make them beautiful *

Contemplating the meaning, I remembered a movie I once watched about Jesus.

In one of the scenes, someone took a glass creation–perhaps a sculpture–and threw it on the floor in anger and pain.

It broke into many pieces.

Later in another scene, Jesus had restored the sculpture, but not in the way you might expect.

It did not look like it did before.

The broken pieces were put together as a collage of broken parts.

Beautiful, but different.

The same sculpture, yet changed.

I also remembered that, recently, something I cared about was broken.

A dear friend had purchased an expensive ceramic pottery piece for me.

Displayed in my living room, our cat somehow knocked it onto the floor, breaking it into several parts.

I haven’t thrown it all away yet.

Perhaps I can glue it together or make it into something else.

When Jesus takes our broken hearts, broken lives and broken hopes and dreams, He restores us.

But what is that restoration like?

If we have suffered loss and pain, we still remember that.

If we have made big mistakes, the consequences may still be evident.

Like the glass sculpture in the movie, Jesus can make something beautiful out of our broken lives.

With forgiveness, acceptance and love, He gently puts us back together in a new way.

With our new form and likeness, we give honor to our Savior who has given us new life.

Are you broken today?

Jesus can take broken things and make them beautiful.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

—Psalm 43:18

*Broken Beautiful by Ellie Holcomb

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crushed

Through Jesus

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Does the weight of guilt sit on you with a heaviness you can’t get rid of?

Does the hope of ever being forgiven seem impossible to even consider?

Does the helplessness you feel when you remember your mistakes grip you with regret?

I want you to know that through Jesus, you can be forgiven of every sin.

The weight can be lifted.

The heaviness can go away.

The helpless feeling can be replaced with gratitude.

Regret can be replaced with thankfulness.

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

–Acts 13:38

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