(Jesus said) "... First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." Matthew 23:26b
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
We don't have a dishwasher in our house, so we must wash all the dishes by hand. As any dish washer knows, this is a time-consuming, tedious task that ends up drying out your hands.
For me, the worst part of washing the dishes is the cups. Some of them are really hard to clean.
They have openings so small a hand won't fit. To clean these cups, you need the right kind of dish brush, one with a long handle and small head that can fit into the openings.
Cleaning the cups is made even worse when they have dried-on liquid, such as milk or orange juice. It takes extra time and patience to make sure they come clean. Sometimes, I don't want to go through the trouble. I just want to do a quick job and move on.
Then I remember I have to drink out of these things!
I want them to be clean and so does everyone else.
You may be wondering what this has to do with you, but I have a point. When I read Matthew 23:25, I see us as cups or dishes. We hold things inside, some good, some bad. We need to be cleaned but, too often, we settle for cleaning the outside and ignoring the inside.
We change our outward appearance and the way we act in public, but on the inside we haven't changed at all. We remain filthy and dirty.
Yes, even Christians can be this way.
We say one thing but do something else. We praise God and claim to serve Christ, then we go out and sin and never think of asking forgiveness.
Truly, we all sin and we all need to be forgiven of the filth of our iniquity. But sin is like dried-on sour milk; it doesn't come off easily. It takes time and a special tool.
That tool is the gift of salvation that comes to us from God through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we want to be clean both inside and out, it will only happen when the Holy Spirit-given gift of faith is applied.
So today, I encourage you to give thanks to the Lord for what He has done in your heart. Repent of your sins, ask for His forgiveness, and rejoice that in Jesus you have received and will continue to get a blessed, spiritual cleaning.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, my actions and my thoughts show I am a sinner both inside and out. It is a condition from which I could never cleanse myself. Today I rejoice that You have -- in Your love -- sent Your Son to take away that filth, forgive my sins, and make it so I am able to stand before You free from condemnation. For Jesus, My Savior, I give thanks. Amen.
Biography of Author: This international devotion was written by a Lutheran Hour Ministries' volunteer who works in Egypt.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries