It’s December 30, 2021, and I’ve finished the Life Journal Reading Plan for the year! If you’ve never read through the entire Bible, or you’re looking for a plan that will take you through it, then this is the one I recommend. This plan takes the reader through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in 365 days. Since last year was a leap year, I finished and then started the 2021 plan a day early. However, I’m not going to start my new plan until January 1, 2022. I invite you to follow along with me as I read through the Bible and share what the Lord has brought to me. Here’s a link to the plan on YouVersion.

I want to thank all of you that have stopped by Four Calendar Café this year. I appreciate your participation in what the Lord is doing here, and I hope I’ve been able to be a blessing to you in some way.

As I was finishing up Revelation today, this verse stood out.

“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.”

Revelation 22:14 (NIV)

Washing Day

I think most of us have a day or two set aside for us to wash our clothes. If you’re single, like me, then you only have your own clothes to wash. I know some of you are in family units and do the clothing for the entire family. What a load of work to do (pun intended)! Dirty clothes are interesting because they tell a story. They show us where we’ve been and what we’ve gotten into.

Here in Sacramento, I’ve got some mud to wash out, since the Lord’s been giving us the rain we need. Whether it’s grass stains on your knees or mud on your socks, our clothes can get very dirty and hold onto stains. If you’re like me, then you might forget to empty your pockets out once in a while. These things we leave in our pockets also tell a story of sorts. Where we’ve been and what we’ve gotten into.

Something I’ve noticed about doing the laundry is how I feel about the clothes after they’re clean. All the clothes get put into their respective places until I next need them. Some are folded, and others hung up. I take care when putting them away to make sure they don’t get wrinkled or fall on the floor. After all, I don’t want them to get dirty right after I’ve washed them. It’s interesting how we have ideas in our minds of when our clothes should get dirty and how they get dirty. I’ve put a clean shirt on, and then almost immediately, something falls on it, and I exclaim, “Oh no, I just washed that!” However, I can go through the entire day with the same shirt and not be as concerned when something falls onto it at the end of the day.

Even if I’m planning to go somewhere and get dirty, I don’t want to be dirty on the way.

We are so mindful of wearing clean clothes and having clean bodies in the Western World (many people bathe every day), but we don’t consider the cleanliness of our souls. The same person who wouldn’t be caught dead with a stain on their shirt has no problem walking around and spewing profanity like a summer sprinkler. I know because I used to be that person.

When I came to know Jesus, that behavior stopped. Scripture gives us this assurance about what happens to us when we accept Christ into our lives.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

I have clothes with stains that will never come out. For whatever mystical reason, these stains have resisted all of my efforts to remove them. Since most of them are jeans, and we accept jeans with holes in them, I wear them, but they aren’t my “nice jeans.” I’ve met people, however, who can’t wash their clothes, so they’re covered in dirt and filth. Their clothes are dirty, and some of them can’t bathe either, and so they’re filthy too. Around here we call them “homeless people.”

Most people do everything they can to avoid homeless people because they’re not clean, and they probably don’t smell very nice. Some of these are the same people who commit adultery, lie, steal, cheat, and do nothing but commit sin from the time they awake to the time they go to sleep. Christians call these people “unbelievers” or “lost” because they don’t know Jesus and the pardon of their sins. If we could see their inward condition, we’d steer clear of them too, like we do homeless people.

We were all like those people until we accepted Christ into our lives. When we become new creatures in Christ, we’re forgiven of all our sins, and we’re saved. Hallelujah! However, we’re still stained with our past and the things we’ve walked through.

As new creatures, we have the option to continually wash in the blood of Jesus to wipe away those stains and be clean. Our stains are all different. From cursing to lying, cheating, etc. Although our slates are wiped clean when we become saved, we have to be willing to let the Lord continue to work the change in us to stay clean. We’re not working for our salvation. We aren’t saved by works. We’re doing what should come naturally to someone who is saved. We’re turning away from the old ways and embracing the new way of Christ.

In the same way, we might feel disgusted about wearing something that’s been worn over and over again without being washed, we ought to feel this way when we neglect fellowship with God. However, many of us don’t read the Bible, go to church, or do anything to fellowship with Christ. Some of us go to church once a week, or Easter and Christmas, and expect to be clean.

Can you imagine washing your clothes and taking a bath once a week? Or twice a year?

When we walk through the filth of this world, it sticks to us. Even the Apostles needed their feet washed.

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”

John 13:10 (NIV)

Paul tells us to be mindful of God’s mercy to us and offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1 (NIV)

Paul goes on to tell us how to do this.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

This practice of being a living sacrifice is something we need to do every day. Again, Paul tells us in Romans 13.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Romans 13:12 (NIV)

We consistently see righteousness as something we need to put on. If we need to put it on then, doesn’t it stand to reason we can take it off?! Why then do we bathe ourselves every day and wear clean clothes while neglecting the condition of our souls?

If we’re not making the effort daily to walk with the Lord, then we’re choosing to not walk with Him. If we are saved, then this should bother us! What did Joshua tell the Israelites about following the Lord each day?

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

“This day!” Joshua didn’t say tomorrow or next week, but today.

We can’t lose our salvation, but we also can’t lose what we never had. If you call yourself a Christian and profess to follow Christ, yet you aren’t in fellowship with God, and you’re okay with that… Well, let me share with you what Jesus said about those who never wash their robes.

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Revelation 22;15 (NIV)

They’re outside the city. They’re outside of Heaven, in the darkness, where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.