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But those who do right will continue to do right, and those whose hands are not dirty with sin will grow stronger. Job 17:9

It was one of the first lessons we learned as we were growing up. On a daily basis we’d hear something like, “Dinner is ready, wash your hands!” or, “Yes Johnny that is a nice puppy. Now be sure to wash your hands.”; at a local aquarium, right next to the pools of water teeming with fish is a small basin with soap and paper towels so you can wash your hands after petting the various forms of sea life.

No one would dispute the importance of hand washing.  A cartoon I saw once showed an unsuspecting man coming out of the restroom at a restaurant. Immediately a sign above the door blinks in big bold letters, “DIDN’T WASH HANDS!”

But the reality is, many of us think of washing hands as a relatively minor issue. Admit it now. The last time you grabbed a snack or sat down at the table (when the kids weren’t looking of course) did you wash your hands? “Well, maybe on occasion…” you may say, “but it’s not a big deal!”

Or is it? Would you want your dentist to stick his hands in your mouth without washing his hands first? How about your surgeon? Would you feel comfortable going under the knife when the guy holding that knife had dried blood on his knuckles from yesterday’s surgery?

‘Of course NOT!” you say with disgust!’

Hands don’t have to look dirty to be harmful. Reality is, even clean hands have germs on them and some of those germs can be harmful to our health. In the same way, sin affects our relationship with our God. We may think this sin or that sin is too small to worry about. They don’t show up. Others can’t see them. They are just little things that don’t really matter.

Even the smallest sin in our lives can affect God’s ability show his power in our lives. Others may not see the things you harbor in your life but God does and he is more likely to give big things to those who take care of the little things in life.

Having clean hands is really a pretty simple thing. All you have to do is apply a little soap and water and you are good to go. Sin is the same way. Soap and water won’t get rid of sin, but the blood of Jesus will! That’s what grace is all about. You don’t wash your hands before you wash your hands. That’s silly. And you can’t clean up the sin in your life before you come to Jesus. That’s what grace is about. Grace says Jesus will clean up what I can’t. Get rid of the guilt of sin in your life. It’s as simple as washing your hands.

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many ‘little things’ in my life that are keeping me from all you have for me. I’ve fooled myself long enough thinking those things won’t matter but they will. Forgive me for the little things. Cleanse me through the blood of Jesus. Amen.

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September 2011
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