I was painting some bedroom furniture recently in a pure white chalk paint. A day or so afterwards, I found the paint had gone yellow, with streaks of light brown showing through, and dark patches where there were knots in the wood. The tannins in the wood were staining the finish. So I had to buy a shellac-based stain sealer and begin to repaint the furniture.
As I progressed a song began to play on the radio: ‘What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus’.
I was overcome with thanksgiving and praise for our God. There I was painting to cover stains on furniture and I remembered how, in the past, I’d strived so desperately to cover my sin with good works; to keep it all hidden from those around me. I remembered how I struggled to believe that God would forgive me, and set me free from the guilt and shame I felt.
Many people I meet seem to struggle in similar ways. They believe they’ve gone too far, that they’ve returned to sinful behaviour once too often, or they’ve committed an unforgivable sin.
When I used to feel like that I would turn to Psalm 51 and speak it out as a prayer. I understand now that I was praying a prayer, but I was still continuing to live in darkness and secrecy. In God’s abundant mercy I was finally able to bring my pain, guilt, confusion and sin into the light. In God’s grace I could confess all and allow His steadfast love to wash me clean.
As I painted the furniture pure white I kept singing the song I’d heard(By Robert Lowry, 1876): ‘Oh! precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus’.
No matter how hard you work at it, you can’t cover the stains of sin. But God is faithful and He does forgive us all of our sins and wash us clean.
‘For my cleansing this I see - nothing but the blood of Jesus! For my pardon this my plea - nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Nothing can my sin erase nothing but the blood of Jesus! Naught of works, 'tis all of grace - nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my hope and peace - nothing but the blood of Jesus! This is all my righteousness - nothing but the blood of Jesus!’
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your mercy and Your steadfast love. Thank You that according to Your abundant mercy You’ve washed away all my sin with the blood of Jesus. Amen.
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