Made Clean Through Jesus

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

As I put the dirty clothes into the washer, added detergent, and selected the correct water temperature and cycle, I knew I would go through these exact same steps again before the week ended. Just as I had done for countless years before.

Clothes are worn. Clothes get dirty. Clothes are washed. Clothes become clean. Clothes are washed. Clothes get dirty … An endless cycle of washing away dirt to make presentable, usable, and clean again.

Once we claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior and commit our lives to him, we are washed clean by the power of his sacrificial blood which he freely spilt on the cross of Calvary to save us from our sins. Mercy. Grace. Love. Forgiveness.

We become whole in his eyes. Presentable to his Father. Usable. Clean.

There is no stain too deep or spot too dirty that Jesus can’t clean. Let me repeat that. There is NOTHING Jesus’ blood can’t make clean.

Are we perfect, never to get the dirt of sin on us again? Certainly not. But when we recognize our sin for what it is, and don’t brush it aside; when we repent, and turn back to God; though our sins be like scarlet, we are washed whiter than snow.

My clothes don’t miraculously get clean by themselves. They don’t jump into the washer and add the detergent. I have to make the effort to clean them. I have to choose not to walk around in dirty clothes. I have to do my part to make those clothes usable again.

I mentioned before we humans have a tendency to find mud holes to wallow in. It’s up to us to choose whether we’ll step into that mud, or walk around it. We choose whether we’ll walk around with the dirt of sin in our life, or turn it over to Jesus, the only power able to clean us. Our choice.

Unlike needing to wash our clothes over and over, once we’re washed by the blood of the Lamb of God we’re clean.

And aren’t we glad? Amen?

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Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Christmas…It’s About the Cross

I’m not fond of secrets.

Christmastime makes it really difficult for me to keep secrets. When I was a child, the suspense of not knowing what was in the packages with my name on them was torturous. Because of that torture, more times than not I surreptitiously lifted the cellophane tape off one end of my brightly colored presents and peeked inside.

After years of practice, I became an expert at unwrapping the package without damaging the paper, sneaking a peek, replacing the tape, and acting surprised on Christmas morning.

When I clandestinely unwrapped my Christmas presents, if there was a toy inside, whoopee! If there was a necessary sweater, or more knee socks, well…

As an adult, I have the same problem. Only in reverse. I get so excited about what I’ve bought Pilot. I can’t wait for him to open it. To help him figure out the gift, I give him hints. Sometimes, he won’t play along.

When I think about it, I wonder if God felt the same excitement and anticipation I feel at Christmas when he prepared to send his gift of love to our broken world. All through the Bible God gives us hints as to what was to come. Sometimes we ignore his clues and won’t play along, but that doesn’t take away the gift.

God’s prophets spoke of a Messiah. Shepherd. Cornerstone. One from the house of Jesse. One from the line of David whose kingdom would never end. A savior. Immanuel. God with us. Those words hold joy and excitement.

Unlike the words in Isaiah 53:5. Words like pierced, crushed, punishment, wounds. That’s when I understand the joyful gift of a baby in the manger became the necessary gift of a sacrifice for our salvation.

And I cry.

Next to the manger scene I set up each December hangs a cross and a crown of thorns. Lest I get caught up in the presents, the baking, the decorations, and the carols, I need a reminder in front of me. Christmas is about much more than a baby, gifts, and family. Christmas is about the cross. It’s about the sacrifice, the suffering, and the Savior who died and rose again so we might live.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get excited about the gifts under the tree. But it’s the gift that hung on a tree, that really matters.

What do you believe?

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (GNT)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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One of my devotions will be posted on Christian Devotions December 30, 2013. Please stop by and check out the site.

New Name

Do you have a nickname? Do you give others nicknames?

Growing up, I wanted a nickname. My dad called me Little Bit, and that was good, but that was a name my dad gave me.

Sissy called me Brat, alternating with Pest. She still does, but those names don’t count, either.

In junior high, I finally received my first real nickname when the star of our basketball team asked me a question. Bill dropped the y off my last name and added an s. He called me Kirbs, and the name stuck.

My sister-in-law did sort of the same thing when she dropped the y, and added an s to my first name, and came up with Sands.

When I attended Space Camp for Educators at the Huntsville, Alabama U.S. Space &

SQ CAPCOM Space Camp

Rocket Center, we were told to come up with nicknames for the name tags on our flight suits. I  came up with a name. But, giving yourself a nickname really isn’t the same as having a friend give one to you.

I have TONS of nicknames for Pilot — all good. 🙂 I didn’t realize just how many different names I had for my husband until a Space Camp alum visited. Ole 49 asked, “How many names do you have for the guy?” Lots. Among the many names I have for Pilot, my favorite is Handsome.

Thinking about nicknames led me to consider the many, many names there are for Jesus. I’ve listed a few that came to mind.

Master. Redeemer. King of kings. Messiah. LORD of lords. Lamb of God. Bread of Life. Alpha and Omega. Risen Savior.

Whether they believe, or not, the fact is ALL shall bow before Christ as King of kings and LORD of lords. As I look forward to that day, I also look forward to the new name I will be given by my Father in Heaven. (Revelation 2:17) I don’t know what that name will be, but I know it won’t be Brat.

Do you have a nickname? I’d love to hear what it is, plus, any additional names for Jesus you’d like to add to the list.

That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11  (NKJV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Abolish Slavery

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

 Walk up the 56 granite steps (one step for each year of Lincoln's life) to the Memorial Building housing the symbolic cabin on the location where Abraham Lincoln was born.

Walk up the 56 granite steps (one step for each year of Lincoln’s life) to the Memorial Building housing the symbolic cabin on the location where Abraham Lincoln was born.
Photo SQuandt

President Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky. He began his political career with his election to the Illinois state legislature in 1834. Mr. Lincoln earned his law degree in 1837, and moved to Springfield, Illinois, where he practiced in the John T. Stuart law firm.

Lincoln's Springfield homePhoto SQuandt

Lincoln’s Springfield home
Photo SQuandt

Abraham Lincoln served a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847-1849, before he became the President of the United States in 1860.

Before his inauguration in March 1861, seven Southern states seceded from the Union. By April, the U.S. military installation, Fort Sumter, was under siege in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. In the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began.

On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This order proclaimed all those enslaved in Confederate territory to be forever free. It ordered the Army to treat as free, all those enslaved in ten states that were still in rebellion. The Proclamation could not be enforced in areas still under rebellion, but as the army took control of Confederate regions, the slaves in those regions were emancipated, rather than returned to their masters.

From 20,000 to 50,000 former slaves in regions where rebellion had already been subdued were immediately emancipated and over 3 million more were freed as the Union army advanced.

After the Civil War ended, President Lincoln won a second term as president. On April 14, 1865 he was assassinated.  A well-known actor, and Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth shot a bullet into the president’s head, as the Lincolns watched a play held at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

President Abraham Lincoln’s grave is in Springfield, Illinois.

Fast forward one hundred fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Human trafficking and slavery still exists.

Information gathered from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center states that Wikimediahuman trafficking victims can be men or women, adults or children, and foreign nationals or U.S. citizens. Trafficking is a crime that cuts across race, nationality, gender, age, and socioeconomic background. However, human traffickers typically prey on individuals who are vulnerable in some way. Some examples of high risk populations include undocumented migrants, runaways and at-risk youth, and oppressed or marginalized groups.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. The factors that each of these situations have in common are elements of force, fraud, or coercion that are used to control people.

Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.

You may think trafficking is a problem “somewhere else”. Certainly, not where I live.

Well, according to the local news station, here in my part of Texas, it is a major concern. The news station reported that of the hundreds of thousands of trafficking victims across the country, the Department of Justice estimates one in four of them will travel through our city at some point. If you live near a large metropolitan city, the statistics for your city may be comparable.

Various agencies are involved with stopping human trafficking and slavery through educating, eradicating, rescuing, and transitioning. A few of those are Abolition International, Rapha House, and Free the Captives.

At the very least, we should pray.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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