Dirt Cannot Remove Dirt

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Have you ever gone to the laundry mat? You are able to get your own clothes clean with your own detergent.

With Jesus, you don’t bring your own detergent. He cleans you.

We are not redeemed by our own efforts, but by the precious blood of Christ (1 Cor. 6:11). I know its odd to think of being cleansed with blood, but that’s exactly how it is (1 Peter 1:18-19).

We are filthy in our own sins. Christ comes in and washes us.

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. – Isa. 1:18

Whiter than snow? (Psa. 51:7) I’m not sure of any laundry detergent that claims to do that!

Trying to maintain your own goodness through works, deeds, or rituals is like bringing your own detergent to Jesus. It would be like going to the laundry mat and trying to wash your clothes with dirt (Isa. 64:6).

Dirt cannot remove dirt. Dirt makes things more dirty. Only Living Water can remove stains.

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Like Kids Playing in the Street

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The road in front of our house was nothing but ice, so of course Charlotte wanted to go ice skating on it. We were crossing the street & she stopped to play around. I let her do that for a little while, but then I told her to come in. Like any other kid, I had to tell her multiple times before it got through that I was actually serious. Eventually, I had to go get her. For some reason this was all a great surprise to her & she appropriately made a big fuss.

Here’s what WAS going through my head:

  • She’s going to fall on that ice & get hurt.
  • She’s little, so any car coming might not see her.
  • Its icy, so any car coming may have a hard time stopping.
  • It’s cold out here & warm in the house.
  • I have hot chocolate inside ready for her.

Here’s what was NOT going through my head:

  • I don’t want her to have fun.

Someone who has not accepted Jesus, is like that kid playing in the street. There are cars coming. There is ice everywhere. The sun is going down & it is getting dark.

Love isn’t sitting complicit as they are play. Love is warning them to get out!

Of course, we can’t physically go get people out of the street like I did with Charlotte. We lovingly tell them the truth (Eph. 4:15). We tell them how warm the house is & what a wonderful feast there is inside (Isa. 25:6). We tell them how we also used to play in the street until our Father beckoned us safely away (Luke 15:32). We pray that message pierces their hearts as it did ours (Acts 2:37). But then, it is up to them to turn away from the street & to the Father (Deut. 30:19).

You know what? I did go over there & ice skate with Lovey. Sorta. I held her hands as she scooted across the ice. I walked along beside her & held her up. She slipped a few times, but I never let her fall. I just reassured her, “I got you. I got you. Don’t worry.”

Then after a bit, I carried her inside & we had hot chocolate. God will meet you where you are & if you let Him, He will walk along beside you & hold you up. When you slip, He will never let you fall.

He has you (Isa. 49:16). He has you (Heb. 13:5). Don’t worry (Phil. 4:6).

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A Man Named Philip

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There was a man named Philip… not the Apostle Philip, but another Philip,… who treated an audience of thousands and an audience of one with the same zeal. A man who did not discriminate between race and class. A man who was miraculously transported across the land. He was a man who, no doubt, inspired countless missionaries with his wisdom and compassion.

Let’s take a second and remember Philip.

In Acts 6, the early church has just gotten started. Now, you would assume that it was perfect, right? However, it had problems just like today’s churches do. The conflict in this instance was that certain widows were being overlooked with the food distribution.

So they appointed seven men to handle the food. The qualifications for these deacons were: they had to be full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. Philip was one of the seven chosen. Therefore, we know that Philip was respected as being full of the Spirit and wisdom.

The next time Philip is mentioned is in Acts 8:5-40.

Here is where it gets really interesting!

The early leaders were commissioned with spreading the Gospel outside of Jerusalem. Philip is spreading it in Samaria. Why is that significant? Well, the Jewish people held the Samaritans as “half-breeds” and therefore hated them. Philip’s example demonstrates that the Good News is for everyone, regardless of class or color. Hatred, bigotry, and ignorance have no place in spreading the Good News of our Savior!

Now, skip down to verse 26.

Philip is approached by an angel and told to go to Ethiopia. On that road he runs into an Ethiopian eunuch who is reading the Book of Isaiah. The eunuch was having a hard time deciphering it. Starting there, Philip begins preaching the about Jesus.

Philip baptizes him and is “taken away.” He then “appears” many miles away. Did he fly? Was he teleported? Who knows, but anything is possible! There’s nothing that the Spirit of the Lord cannot accomplish!

So what can we glean from the life of Philip? What can’t we?!

• He was full of the Spirit and wisdom.

• He did not discriminate who could and could not hear the Gospel.

• He also could share his witness with a whole nation or a single person because both are equally important.

What a great example. Take some time to meditate on Philip and his admirable characteristics. How can you apply these to your walk?

God bless!