Day 27 (Friday) -“Coffee Stains…”

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”  Matthew 23:25-26

Jesus had some harsh words for the religious leaders of his day…but first let me share with you a story.  I love coffee…a lot!  I also have my favorite cups that I like to use every day. cup It’s the daily routine.  Every morning I wake up my children and get them ready for school.  Then I shuffle to the kitchen and brew myself a nice hot cup of coffee.  Most days my cup is clean but then there are days when my favorite cup was left in the car or in the sink…and it’s dirty.  There is a dilemma that happens, do I wash it or just rinse it out.  If I rinse it out I will know that the inside wasn’t clean…and I will be thinking about how it will affect the taste of my coffee as well as how it could affect my health to ingest bacteria from a dirty cup.  I could drink from it, but I won’t.

I would imagine that you would do the same – wash the cup.
If you’re anything like me, you care about your health and you want to ensure you take care of yourself…and cleaning is one way to help prevent illness and all-round health issues.

createJesus addressed a very real spiritual health issue with these religious leaders.
He was harsh, but straight with them.  They looked the part, but on the inside they were unclean.  Instead of dealing with their spiritual dirt, they pretended everything was okay.  They pretended to have it all together, but in their personal lives it was all falling apart.  Have you been there?  Have you at times pretended everything was okay, but deep inside you knew that there was dirt that needed removing?  That’s the conviction of the Holy Spirit!  He longs to cleanse us completely.  Without this continual cleansing – a full surrender is impossible.  We cannot run from this heart issue.  We have to confront the dirt.  Without confronting it, we will have this barrier between us and God.  The cleansing which comes from getting rid of the dirt is freeing as well!  Jesus went on to call these Pharisees “white washed tombs” – they looked good on the outside but on the inside they were dead inside.  This is a scary commentary by Jesus.  I hope and pray none of us receives this kind of appraisal of our spiritual lives.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be dead inside.  I don’t want to pretend everything is “holy” on the outside but inside it is anything but holy.

Are you prepared to clean the inside of your cup?
Are there areas that still need cleansing in your life today?
It can be a barrier and without that cleansing a detriment to our faith journey.
So let’s confess to the Lord today and allow Him access (perhaps once again) to our hearts and hidden spaces of our lives that no one else sees.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, cleanse me from the inside out.  I want to be yours completely.  Show me the places that require your cleansing.  Cleanse my mind from all malice and unhealthy thought.  Wash me clean and make me whiter than snow so that I can move past any barriers that keep me from full surrender.  Lead me today Lord and show me your glory!  In Your name I pray all of these things.  Amen.


Are Your Robes Clean Or Is It Laundry Day?


Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.  Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves the practices of falsehood.” Revelation 22: 14-15

There’s a blessing and a curse within this passage.  

Blessing: to those who have been cleaned they are blessed with entrance into the city (the new Jerusalem).  
Curse: to those who have not been cleaned and have embraced the practices of falsehood they are cursed with being an “outsider” and are barred from entrance into the city.  

These are the words of an post-ascended Jesus spoken to John in his vision of what is to come.  Recently I taught the book of Revelation in our bible study class and we went through each chapter together.  This wasn’t some sort of theological teaching of eschatological theories and dispensationalism.  This was a study of what is written within this book.  This was a look into what we understand and what we do not understand.  It was also understood that it is okay to acknowledge that we don’t have to comprehend everything in the text to understand what Christ is and will be doing at the end of all things…and at the restart/beginning of all things. Salvation and justice will be handed to out to us all.  Reward and punishment, blessings and curses.  His reign will be absolute in that there will be no question of who He is and will be for all time.  His city will shine because God will be at the center providing light and love.  The vision of John is both glorious and too majestic to fathom.  We cannot grasp it all.  Yet His wonder and might will be all consuming and powerful.  

“Behold I am coming soon!” (Revelation 22:7)
 This isn’t some billboard or poster board written by a street preacher who is screaming through a bullhorn and attempting to scare the hell out of people (Sorry if I offend you with that, but isn’t that their purpose?).  These words of Jesus aren’t supposed to be interpreted as horrifying and foreboding, yet many times that is exactly how people use them.  This isn’t some catch phrase to a horror movie.  These words should be read and interpreted with loving expectation and with a heart of preparation.  Jesus doesn’t say these words to scare us but rather prepare us.  In the Apostle John’s day these words would have evoked in the listener (the early Church) a sense of longing and hope in a world of fear, evil and Roman oppression.  To us, we should see Jesus’ words as not just a warning of His return but of a time to prepare our hearts, souls and minds for Him.  

Direct Questions: 



How is your heart today?  Is there peace in your heart and life because you have a relationship with Jesus?  Are you in a good place spiritually?  What things still need to be surrendered to Him today?  The Holy Spirit still works within us to prepare us and to “cleanse our robes”.  Are you willing to surrender every nook and cranny of your soul?  Jesus doesn’t want to rent a room in your heart, He wants you all to Himself.  He longs for this right relationship with us, and we must decide how full our surrender to Him will be. 

I want blessings not curses.
I want His presence, not the “outsiders” view of the city.
I want to be completely His, not an ‘on again, off again’ relationship.
Is this your desire?  

Chorus and Prayer: 


If on my soul a trace of sin remaineth,
If on my hands a stain may yet be seen,
If one dark spot a weary soul retaineth,
O wash me, Lord, that every part be clean;
For I would live that men may see thyself in me,
I would in faith ascend thy holy hill
And, with my thoughts in tune with thy divinity,
Would learn how best to do thy holy will.

Be Blessed today, not cursed!

-Just something more to ponder.-

Burdens, Purfume & a Woman


Luke 7:44-48 (NIV)
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”


Jesus had been invited to a dinner party of sorts by a Pharisee name Simon.   The dinner was just underway when a woman enters the room.  She moves quickly because she understands the customs and knows if she doesn’t find Jesus first she will be met with stiff protest and quick eviction from the premises.  Kneeling behind Jesus she begins to weep, it’s an odd sight, embarrassing for the host but Jesus, the dinner guest is unfazed.  Her momentary gasps for breath amidst her tears breaks the awkward silence in the room.   Soon, her tears are flowing rapidly like a swelling river during flood season.  Her gasps increase and she is weeping openly at His feet.  As each tear falls like salty raindrops she purposely positions herself over Jesus’ feet and allows each drop to fall onto them.  His feet are still dusty from the gravely, chalky road and as the moisture from her tears gathers in the crease lines of His feet mud begins to form.   The woman bends closer allowing her long hair to touch his feet.  Reaching up she uses her hair like a cloth and proceeds to wipe the muddied feet.  Then, from her pocket in her cloak she retrieves a small jar of perfume.  The smells of food are suddenly replaced with an expensive aroma of perfume.  She pours it onto Jesus’ feet and continues to wipe away the remnants of the dust and dirt.  Her sobs are now the only sounds within the dining room. 


The host; Simon is shocked as the rest of those gathered guests look on in bewildered amazement.   This woman, known by the community for her tarnish reputation is at a Teacher’s feet…such things should not be, and yet Jesus does nothing to stop her.   Instead Jesus looks at Simon and tells Him a short story.   “There were two people who both owed a debt to a moneylender.  One owed five hundred silver pieces, while the other owed fifty.”  Jesus pauses as he glances from the woman back to Simon again, the light of the room reflecting in his eyes dances to the light of the flame.  “Neither one of the debtors had the resources to pay back the debt to the moneylender.” Jesus continues to say, “but a remarkable thing happens, when the moneylender realizes neither one of them could repay the debt back, he cancels the debt.”  Again Jesus glances up from the woman and looks Simon directly in the eyes again as he ask most important question Simon will hear all night, “Which of the two people owning the moneylender money will be the most thankful for the debt cancelation?”  Simon doesn’t waste any time as he responds with confidence, “I imagine the person who owed the most would be the most thankful!”  Jesus nods in agreement and looks down at the distraught woman still wiping his feet with her hair and say to Simon, “You see this woman who has disrupted your dinner party?  She comes with much to forgive, you, Simon didn’t wash my feet when I enter and here she is washing my feet now.”  Simon sits pensively as he listens.  Jesus continues, “When I entered your home you did not greet me with a kiss which is customary, yet this woman has not stopped kissing my feet since she entered the room.”  Silence falls on the room again as all who hear Jesus’ words chews on them like a piece of fatty grizzle.  “Isn’t it remarkable?” Jesus asks, “She has been forgiven for a many sins today!  She has found love and is reciprocating this great love to me even now!”  Then Jesus speaks directly to the woman for the first time with kindness and more respect than anyone in the town had ever given her and her less than perfect reputation; “Woman, your sins are forgiven…” how could such a thing be the others wonder to themselves?   “She was a sinful woman was she not?  Who was this man that can forgive sin?”  The other dinner guests and Simon, the host, murmur and grumble together.  Yet Jesus ignores them and continues to speak to the woman at His feet with love and care; He tells her, “Your faith has saved you this day, now go in peace!” 


What a moment for that woman!  She came seeking forgiveness, she came with such a debt that she couldn’t possibly repay, and Jesus canceled the debt and gave her life again!  Imagine the heavy burden that must have been lifted as soon as she got up from His feet?  Can’t you envision her moving a little lighter as she makes her way home?  Perhaps she sleeps heavier than she has slept in a very long time that night!  Those in her household and those that know her well would have seen a drastic change her attitude and lifestyle!  It all came about because Jesus allowed her to weep at His feet and to find forgiveness in this humbling act.  Oh that we too may kneel at His feet and find such sweet deliverance!  Whether you have much to be forgiven for or very little, seek Jesus, kneel before Him with a penitent heart and find your debts of sin canceled! 



Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary, Calvary

  Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very Near!



Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”



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