Isaiah 1:18-19 (NLT) “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.”
I own one pair of white pants. Just one. Why? Wearing white pants is a huge responsibility. To put on a white shirt causes a consciousness of every activity for the coming day. White shows every mark and blemish without any grace whatsoever. When something spills on white, it is undeniable like a glaring siren that calls it to everyone’s immediate attention. White clothing stains easily. It shows even the slightest imperfection. See my dilemma. I love the look of solid white, but seldom take on the responsibility of wearing it. White goes with every other color but immediately becomes worthless when marred by stains.
What if we took our salvation as seriously as we do wearing white clothing? What if we were conscious of the purity Jesus has given us through His Blood and by His Grace enough to make our righteousness a priority to maintain it at all costs? To live our life according to His Word and by His Spirit is to live a holy life. Yet, we are quite unsettled. Considering most of the time worthless things and meaningless things such as our physical appearance, presentation to people, influence in the workplace and even position in the church more than we consider the foundation of our faith which is repentance that keeps us righteous. The Lord invites us to “come now…let’s settle this.” Our sins were as scarlet and Jesus wants to make them white as snow. Perhaps you are thinking today, but I am saved. I love the Lord. I am serving God. This all may be quite true. However, if we do not live a life of righteousness through daily repentance…we have missed it altogether.
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT) I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
On the day our daughter chose her bridal gown, she was behind the curtain in the dressing room with the attendant trying it on. When she zipped her into the dress, I heard my daughter say, “I don’t care what anyone thinks…this is my dress.” That was the moment, I pulled out my checkbook because I knew that she was saying, “Yes, to the dress!” She felt complete in it. It made her feel like a beautiful princess bride which indeed she was. It was pristine and white. When we picked up her gown, they warned us not to touch it too much as the oil of our fingers could leave marks that would not show up right away but to keep it safely tucked away until her big day. I wonder if this is how we should feel about the clothing of salvation and robe of righteousness given to us by the Lord. So overwhelmed and captivated by its beauty that we cannot take our eyes off of it and are determined to preserve that beauty at all costs.
After the wedding, our daughter left it hanging in her bedroom for months. It was too beautiful to put away so she basked in the glory of it every day. I have her dress with me. When she moved it was tucked in our guest room as it was too precious to risk a ride in the rental truck or vehicles piled high with ordinary things. Yet, when she came home not too long ago, she took a prom gown which was expensive and beautiful in its own right and stuffed in her carry on as I tried to breathe looking on. It was not the same thing. What if we valued our purity and holiness in Jesus as a bride does her gown?
The Lord is looking for a bride dressed in white. He paid the price for her clothing of salvation and robe of righteousness. Does the bride value His Sacrifice? Once given these precious garments do we strive to maintain their integrity, beauty and perfection? Do you own a nice white shirt? Do you have a pair of white pants? Do you try to keep your daily clothing clean without stains? Why wouldn’t we do so with our heart more so? Lord, today I ask you to wash me white again.
Revelation 22:17 (NLT) The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
The Spirit says, “Come.” He is ready. The bride says, “Come.” Are we ready? Really ready to see Jesus. The cry of the church today is for the return of Christ. Could he be waiting for us to clean our garments and ready ourselves to be wed to Him? Can you imagine if my daughter had not cared for her wedding dress but chose to wear it to work cutting hair, followed by her favorite Mexican restaurant afterwards, and maybe even a round of Frisbee golf before heading home? On her big day, her dress would have been covered with the soils of everyday life rather than the pristine white that it was. Too many times, the Grace of God given to us by Jesus is taken for granted. Churches do not teach repentance but religion to keep the doors open. We know what to say and what to do but few are aware of the heart condition that will the most faithful preacher, teacher, elder, deacon, leader and servant in our churches far from the wedding supper that will be the second coming of Christ. Are we crying out prematurely? Is Jesus waiting patiently for His Bride to plan, prepare and get serious about the wedding? I remember during the preparation for our daughter’s wedding having nightmares about details missed on her big day. Waking up in a cold sweat because I was panicked that something was not done. I should be so conscious of my life in Christ even more so…if I want Him to come.
Psalm 51:5-7 (NLT) For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
God desires honesty from the start. He would rather you have integrity than to live a lie. That’s just who He is – the Living God who does not lie or change His Mind. He wants us to come and settle this right now – today. To decide if He is the One we desire and prepare for the return of His Son, Jesus. It doesn’t matter what you “do” for the Lord, if you do not live a life of daily repentance. Sin will always keep us from Jesus until His Grace covers it. Life is black and white. Gray areas of compromise fall into one of these two categories as the Lord does not accept compromise or substitutions but calls them “lukewarm” and “vomit”. We must to live in the purity of holiness offered by Jesus. It must become our passion. Like donning a pristine and perfect white shirt daily determined to maintain it at all costs. What if we approached each day with the one purpose not to sin or rebel against the Lord in any way, shape or form, what might happen? His Glory would fill our life. We would not lack any good thing. We would walk on the Highway of Holiness far above insufficiency complete in Christ.
Matthew 23:26-28 (NLT) You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
The Lord is not looking for good people. He is searching for godly people. Those who are fully surrendered to holiness and purity in Christ from the inside out. How many times do we hear about famous preachers with horrible hidden lives? Last night, our youngest poured a glass of apple juice to have with her dinner. As she walked to the table, drinking from the glass, she stopped abruptly and said, “Eww!” She was using one of her favorite Mason jar glasses. It was filled with one of her favorite beverages. But when she went to drink from the cup, it was dirty. Have you ever found a hair in your food and completely grossed out couldn’t eat it anymore? That is how God feels about the hidden and harbored sin in our life. He loves us. He hates the sin in us. It doesn’t matter what we look like, how we live, or what we say if we love sin. We will not entertain things we do not like and love. We must strive to live godly lives apart from sin if our greatest desire is to live with Christ forever. We must love the Light more than darkness. Whitewashed hearts have no room for Jesus. Clean cups cannot be filled with His Spirit if inside they are crusted by sin. We must sacrifice our sin to live in love with our Savior.
Titus 3:4-8 (NLT) But—when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.
To know the Love of God through Jesus Christ should motivate us to live in His Presence. But too many times, we make excuses for sin rather than eradicating if from our life. If I approach my life in Christ with the same consideration I do in maintaining white clothing, it would make a difference. However, it is human nature to be like a “dog returns to its vomit” or a “pig returns to the mud.” It says in 2 Peter 2:21-22, it would have been better to never know the way of righteousness than to know it and reject the command we are given to live a holy life.
In Revelation 3, the Church of Sardis is called out for hypocrisy. They had a reputation of life but they are called dead. They are instructed to go back to what they first believed and repent. He tells them to remove their soiled clothes and “walk with me in white.” The “me” is Jesus. “All who are victorious will be clothed in white.” Further along in Revelation 3, the Church of Laodicea is addressed for its “lukewarm” condition. They are warned to “buy white garments from me so you will be ashamed at your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.” We must stop turning a blind eye to sin and ignoring the “stains” in our life. We would change out of a soiled white shirt or stained paints but live in filthy rags rather than robes of righteousness given by the Grace of God through the Blood of Jesus Christ when we truly repent.
Hebrews 10:21-23 (NLT) And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Christ is the Husband of the church. He loves us. He gave up his life for us to make us holy and clean. We have been given the precious privilege of going right into the Presence of God. He takes our guilty consciences sprinkling them with Christ’s Blood so we can be clean washing even our bodies in the Word. To hold tightly to the hope we have of His Return and retrieval of His Bride means that we trust the Lord enough to maintain our robe of righteousness. To keep it clean through repentance. To strive to live a holy life just a bride before her wedding day keeps safe, clean and protected her gown of choice. We must be sincere in our devotion to Christ and honest with ourselves. If Jesus is who we want, desire and need, I must live a life of repentance and righteousness with a heart of integrity that says, “Wash me white, Lord! Keep me clean!”
Ephesians 5:25-27 (NLT) For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.