Certain inevitable truths apply to a young boy's growing up in West Virginia. One of those truths is that boys, regardless of time, place, or opportunity, will find a way to get dirty! I gave my mother an abundance of opportunities to display her conviction in how well her detergent of choice would work at removing the "tough, ground in" dirt on my clothing: opportunities such as my coming home from school with more green than blue on my jeans. After all, grass stains come out as easily as they go in, right? When she prepared me to go somewhere and lovingly explained, "Do not get your good clothes dirty," did she really expect me to back away from a challenge like that? Ha! It would have been easier for her to go ahead and tell me to climb the tree or ride my bike through the mud puddles. She would have saved herself a lot of stern talking and me a lot of sheepish looks! Of course, Mom was forced to declare war during summer break. Given fifteen hours of daylight, a bike, friends, and an open field, even the washing machine was calling for backup. There was simply no easy way to remove the grease, tree sap, dirt, oil, blood, asphalt, and grass I would grind into my clothes during that uninterrupted play time. During my elementary school years, the washing machine was my nemesis, and I was determined to defeat it. I figured Mom would surrender and just burn my clothes at the end of summer break. However, she persevered, and, no matter how badly I would stain them, she was always able to make the whites white and the colors bright!
Twenty years later, I now laugh at how filthy I could, and would, become in a day's time. Now, I do not worry much about how I stain my clothes but how I may be staining my soul. The Bible states in Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Today's society is saturated with ungodliness. Our homes have sin pumped into them daily through television, the Internet, radio, magazines, and numerous other avenues of invasion. Christians go to work or school and are surrounded by others who are flagrant with sin. As Christians, we must be ever vigilant against Satan's covert and overt tactics at gaining our souls. We must consistently evaluate and determine if what we are watching, doing, or reading is appropriate. In 1 John 1:8 the apostle states, "If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." We all sin, whether by commission or omission, and must recognize and repent of those sins. By seeking God's will and remaining alert to Satan's constant attempts to make us falter, we, as Christians, will be better prepared to stand strong against the world around us.
"Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18) As Christians, we already enjoy the hope of heaven given to us through the cleansing power of Christ's blood (1 John 1:7). What if one is not a Christian? For those who have yet to turn to Christ, the process of having your sins washed away is an easy one, but the journey to your reward is a difficult one (Matthew 7:13-14). To be saved, one must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17), believe the word of God (Mark 16:15-16), repent of his sins (Acts 2:38), confess Jesus as the Son of God (1 John 4:15), submit to the Lord in baptism (Romans 6:3-5), and remain faithful all of his days (Revelation 2:10).
As a child, I was blessed with parents who loved, encouraged, and protected me. As an adult, God has blessed me with a loving wife, a career I enjoy, and the ability to accomplish all that I endeavor to do. His continued blessings are evidence of His great desire for not only my soul but also all souls to be saved. Just as mothers are able to remove the stains from their children's clothing, God will remove the sins from our souls if we are faithful and obedient to His will. 132 Carlton Dr., Inwood, WV 25428.
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