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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Sunday Scriptures — The Opportunity to Repent

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent Sunday School class discussion on Exodus 32 where the Israelites convinced Aaron to build them a golden calf to worship, while Moses tarried on Mount Sinai receiving the handwritten commandments from God, we wondered why in the world Aaron gave in to the people’s request. What was he thinking? Or not thinking?

One person said she was glad all our misdeeds aren’t written down for generations to look at and critique. Yep. So am I.

Because we know all Scripture is God-breathed and given for our instruction, after class I pondered what we’d discussed, and what God wanted me to learn from this very familiar lesson.

I’d like us to consider one lesson I came up with. The second lesson on peer pressure will wait for another time. 🙂

Although Aaron sinned by giving in to the people, forming an idol to worship, and honoring it instead of worshipping and honoring the One True Jehovah God, God gave Aaron, and everyone else who participated in the idol worship, an opportunity to repent, follow God’s command, and avenge his honor.

Aaron and some of the others did repent, and they did follow God’s command to avenge God’s honor by killing those who chose not to repent.

Harsh to our way of thinking, yes, but the point I want us to consider in this part of Aaron’s story is the fact it is in the Bible for a reason.

I don’t believe the sole purpose of Aaron’s story is for us to scratch our heads and question how in the world he could do such a thing. Although we will do that. No. I believe Aaron’s story is there for us to prick our hearts and realize if our story was recorded for the whole world to read, we’d be the one others scratched their heads at and wondered how we could do such a thing.

I believe Aaron’s story is yet one more example God uses to display his amazing grace. Just as God allowed anyone who would accept it, the opportunity to turn from their idol worship, repent, and follow him and him alone, he gives each of us the same opportunity to turn from the things in our lives we’ve made into idols, repent, and follow him and him alone.

Have you ever consider Aaron’s story this way before?

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Finally, he (Moses) turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?”

 “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” Exodus 32:21-24 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scripture — Be the Light

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

As I sat outside in the quiet pre-dawn morning with Baxter, my attention went to the small solar lights spaced throughout our yard.

Against the darkness of early morning their glow was welcomed. The intensity of each light varied according to the amount of sunlight it received during the day, depending on where it sat in the yard. Even the dimmest light was comforting.

While I sat in the stillness, I pondered what God might have for me to learn from those lights, and here’s what I considered.

Those of us who have been called by God to be his light in a world of darkness don’t all shine with the same brightness, the same illumination, but we all shine nonetheless. Sometimes our absorption of God’s light may not be as pronounced as those around us because we each absorb God’s light in our own way. Even the dimmest light shines in the darkness.

How about we quit comparing ourselves to others, and shine as bright as we can wherever we are placed; understanding we’re all important and created to shine in our own special way.

How do you shine in your world?

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No man lights a lamp and then hides it under a pail. He puts the light on a lamp-stand so those who come in can see it. The eye is the light of the body. When your eye is good, your whole body is full of light. When your eye is sinful, your whole body is full of darkness. Be careful that the light in you is not dark. Luke 11:33-35 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When the Rough Time Comes

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

One of my sweet friends is going through a very rough time right now. She is dealing with multiple problems and situations that threaten to undo her. Her faith is strong, but like Job, she doesn’t understand why God hasn’t intervened and solved the problems before now.

She knows her faith is being tested, and she is confident she’ll come through the refiner’s fire stronger, but that doesn’t make it easy to endure.

She has dreams and hopes like each of us do, and it pains her deeply not to see those dreams and hopes materialized.

Her situation is complicated, and she knows only God can resolve the issues. She also knows while God is the One with the ultimate answer, she must do her part while she waits for his plan to unfold.

I believe each of us can relate to having dreams dashed and hopes destroyed. We each carry things inside we desire to accomplish. Good things. Things we believe are God’s will. We shake our heads and wonder what happened when there is a disconnect between what we feel God has called us to, and the actuality of life without those things.

As Yul Brynner said in “The King and I”, tis a puzzlement.

We quote scripture. We read the Bible stories. We say the right words. Still our hearts break at the unfulfilled dreams.

When the rough time comes, we know God is able. We know he can. We also know he might not. Though we might be crushed, we are never forsaken.

What do you do when your dreams and hopes come crashing down around you?

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Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be ruined. Job 41:1-2 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — 20-20

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

It’s been months since I had cataract surgery on both eyes, yet my sight never seemed quite in focus despite the fact my eyeglass prescription is correct, my vision is 20-20, and my optometrist patiently insists everything is fine. I think he’s about as frustrated with this as I am.

So what’s the deal?

In the back of my mind I kept thinking the progressive lens weren’t lined up correctly since I could wiggle the glasses a little, and things would briefly pop into focus, only to go back to not being perfect seconds later.

Well this morning I took matters into my own hands, literally. I noticed the frame wasn’t exactly straight and applied a little pressure on one side and straightened it. That seems to have remedied the problem of blurry vision.

If only the way we look at the things of life were so easy to get into focus and straighten out. Amen?

Back in July I wrote a post about allowing Jesus to remove the cataracts of our clouded vision, but as I think about my crooked glasses frame, I realize just because Jesus removed the cataracts of our clouded vision, being able to see clearly is ongoing, often requiring frame adjustments, or a new prescription.

Believe me, after my surgery I had extremely high expectations of what my world post-surgery would look like. I truly did. These past few months have not lived up to those expectations. But with the frame adjustment, I’m hopeful again.

When new Christians come to Christ, I believe they come with high expectations much like I did with the removal of my cataracts. They expect things to be different certainly, but they also expect things to be much better. Don’t you think?

As we grow in our understanding of what God tells us in the Bible, we may need a new prescription before our vision becomes clearer. We may need to change our frame of mind so it aligns with the mind of Jesus. We may need some adjustments to the way we look at others in order to see 20-20 through the eyes of our Savior, and love as he loves. We may even need to allow God to take us into his hands, apply pressure, and straighten us out. Yikes.

If our goal is to be God’s hands and feet on this earth to advance his kingdom, then don’t you think we should keep our eyes focused on him, and allow him to make the adjustments necessary for us to see clearly?

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Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) 

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scripture–God’s Timetable

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In a recent email exchange with a fellow writer friend I mentioned I have a problem with waiting on God’s timetable in my writing … and everything else if I was honest … even when I see evidence of God’s favor on what I’m doing.

For example: God gave me first place wins in all three of the stories I entered in the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in May 2017. In August 2017 he gave me a 9th place win in the Writers Digest Annual Competition, which truly is rather huge.

In between those events several writing pieces were accepted, and a compilation book with eleven of my devotions published.

With all the accolades and publishing credits God has blessed me with throughout the years I’ve been writing for him, you’d think I’d sit back and wait for God’s timetable in the elusive book contract I press on toward.

If you think that, you’d be incorrect. What is wrong with me?

So for this post, I’m going to reorient myself. Recalibrate, and look at several people God used in the Bible to accomplish his purpose according to his timetable, not theirs. Perhaps you’re in a place in your life where you need to push pause and consider the lives of the Israelites, David, Jesus, and Paul right along with me. Hopefully we’ll each be a little more willing to wait on God’s timetable as he choses to unfold it in our lives.

Instead of taking the Israelites the short way from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan through the land of the Philistines, God took them along the southern route. Even if they hadn’t rebelled and added years to their journey, this route was longer. Why did God do that? Because he knew the Israelites weren’t prepared to face the Philistine army. They weren’t strong enough. They knew nothing of war. In time they would, but not right then. They had to wait on God’s timetable, God’s plan, and God’s will.

David waited over a decade between the day Samuel anointed David as God’s chosen king to the day David claimed the throne. Why the long wait? Because God knew David wasn’t ready for the job. Sure. David had victories over Goliath and the bear and lion. Major victories in anyone’s book. But there was more he needed to learn to be God’s effective tool in conquering the land and establishing God’s people as his own. I’m thinking if David hadn’t spent so much time out there with his sheep, the world would not have the blessings of his psalms. God’s timetable. God’s plan. God’s will.

Jesus lacked nothing, yet he waited 33 years from birth to resurrection before God’s plan of salvation became reality. Why? I think maybe because humanity needed those years to understand the fulfillment of the prophesies about the Messiah. We needed those years to understand the reason Christ came to this earth, lived a perfect life, offered his life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, defeated hell, sin, Satan, and death, rose from the grave, and ascended into heaven where he sits at his Father’s right hand waiting for the day God says, “Go get your Bride”. God’s timetable. God’s plan. God’s will.

After Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, he did not receive his sight immediately, nor did he set out on a missionary journey as soon as he regained his vision. Even when Paul began his ministry to the Gentiles, there were times the Holy Spirit blocked his way and kept him from doing what Paul felt he needed to do, or accomplish. Like most of us, Paul needed to be humbled in order to be receptive to what God’s plan was for his life.

God’s timetable. God’s plan. God’s will.

How are you doing waiting for God’s timetable in your life? Do you find it easy or difficult?

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But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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