Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Total Cleansing

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Tonight at sunset, the Jewish New Year came to an end. Rosh Ha Shannah, Yom Teruah, or the Feast of Trumpets is over for 2015. Don’t think of trumpet here like a horn you see in a band today. In biblical times, it was a ram’s horn, or shofar. It makes a unique sound. It’s unmistakable. And at the celebration of Trumpets, the sound of the shofar was a call of warning for the celebrants to repent from their sins and be clean. It was a wake up call to all who heard it. 

I took my ram’s horn and set it by my computer as I wrote this eDevotion. It’s interesting to look at - but I’m going to wait for a while to blow it; I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate a shofar blast at 5:30 in the morning!

As interesting as a shofar looks, if it has not been cleaned properly, it has, by far, one of the most putrid, revolting, rancid smells you can imagine. I have purchased several of them on my trips to the Holy Land, and I made absolutely sure that they were thoroughly clean before I took them out of the shop. By the way, it’s not the outside that smells, it’s the inside. Remember, the horn was taken from an animal, and if it has not been completely cleansed, it may still have decaying sinew, muscle, or bone left inside of it. Total cleansing is vital. 

Total cleansing is what we need too. The stench of sin reeks inside us. It’s putrid and revolting. It is an offense to God. Many Christ followers spend a lot of time trying to improve and beautify their outward appearance. There is nothing wrong with that at all. But the shofar blast reminds us to seek inward beauty — cleansing from our ignorance and rebellion against God and His ways.

There is much kingdom work to be done. It won’t be accomplished by mere outward beauty. We need inward beauty; hearts that are pure, totally cleansed from sin. Let this eDevotion serve as a shofar blast, a wake up call. Let’s pray as the Psalmist did and ask God to search our hearts for anything that needs cleansing [Psalm 139:23].

Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

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