I have a confession to make. The above picture is of the inside of the mug I drink from when I am in the office!
Disgusting isn’t it?
I really enjoy a good cup of tea.
Not for me the foul dishwater taste of Earl Grey or anemic fruit tea. I like proper tea, builder’s tea, without milk. The problem with my beverage of choice is that it tends to stain the inside of the mug.
Sometimes, when I remember, (or somebody less than gently suggests that I am posing a health hazard) I take my mug home with me and put it through the dishwasher to clean it up.
When I return it to the office, it’s ends up in exactly the same state in a matter of days!
The other morning, I had a bit of a nasty shock.
I went to my mug and was about to make my early morning office brew. The mug looked fine on the outside but, as I looked into the murky depth I discovered, in the warm weather, I had invented a “make your own penicillin” kit. I am allergic to penicillin, and so the mug had to have a deep clean.
In the book of 1 Samuel is the story of the people of Israel needing a new king. The prophet Samuel is sent to the home of Jesse in Bethlehem. Jesse parades his sons before Samuel, and Samuel hears these words from God;
“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16 vs. 7)
The outside of the mug looked fine but, inside, was a different story.
Outside I may look fine but, inside, it is often a different story. Sometimes, what is on the inside, is not something I like very much and, like the mug, I need a deep clean. The writer of Psalm 51 echoed that thought when he says;
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51 vs. 10)
That is what Jesus came to do. Through His life, death and resurrection we can know God’s forgiveness and cleansing. The Apostle John explains this in his first letter when he says ;
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1 vs. 9)
Also, like the mug, this is something that I need to do on a regular basis. I come to God, I need to be honest with Him and, as I do, I experience His deep cleaning within.