"Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you." --Jesus (John 15:3)

Do you ever just feel dirty?  My daughter and son come in from playing in the yard, usually in the sandbox and almost always in their Crocs.  Although they're great for air flow, Crocs excel as repositories of grime.  When they come off, the kids' feet are pretty well caked in crud, earning them an immediate trip to the tub (on our good days).  Otherwise, they'll be tracking that junk all over the floors that I walk on, and then I'm all grimy, and that just ain't right!

Or how about the times when I get back from a long bike ride or a game of basketball and I'm drenched with sweat.  I walk through the door and my wife runs to me, throws her arms around my neck and gives me a big hug and smooch, right?  In my dreams!  I'm nasty and I need to go clean up before entering her presence, let alone getting up close and personal.

It's kind of like that with God.  There's no denying that we're sinful people.  We wallow in the grime of sin, even delighting in it at times, like pigs in a mud sty.  God lays out His blueprint for the truly blessed, joy-filled, God-glorifying life, and we smear black paint all over it--on purpose.  God says, "I love you. I desire your best. Trust me and love me by following my commands."  Then we give Him the finger and turn and do the opposite.  That's humankind.  That's me at times.

We spurn God's grace and muck up His image in us.  We become impure in the presence of Purity.  We are unworthy in the presence of the Divine Majesty, and destined for the judgment we've earned.  But this God is compassionate and merciful.  He desires to make us clean again so that we can experience a relationship with Him.  So He sent Jesus to die for our sins and make us clean, for "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" (Heb. 9:22).

This is what Jesus was pointing forward to when He washed the feet of His disciples (John 13) and pronounced them "completely clean" (v. 10).  Because Jesus is God, He can do that.  All He has to do is say the word.  And yet He showed us the full extent of His love by giving His life for ours on the cross.

If you have trusted in Christ to forgive your sins and reconcile you to God, this word is for you: "You are clean."  Even when you feel dirty.  Even when you screw up and fall back into sin.  You're clean.  Not because you're awesome or super righteous by your own merits.  But because Christ has made and pronounced you clean.  Let that truth free you forever from a life of shame.

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