One day when David was young, we hopped in our purple minivan to run an errand. When we came to a stop, he asked for some hand sanitizer. I turned around to squirt a few lavender-scented drops into his palm and realized his hands were filthy. Sanitizer wasn’t going to be enough to do the job. “Hand sanitizer is really just for cleaning hands that are already fairly clean, except for germs,” I said.
This week God reminded me of that story. He also showed me how I used to use Jesus like hand sanitizer. I had convinced myself my hands were basically clean because I hadn’t killed anyone, hadn’t hit another, or stolen anything. My hands only needed a squirt or two of Jesus. Right? … Wrong.
Years ago, I only read my Bible on Sundays. I attended church once a week and thought that was good enough. Kind of like the hand sanitizer, I administered a squirt or two of religion and believed I was protected. I lived under the delusion I was clean. But, I wasn’t.
Now when I read Matthew 23:28, I see what Jesus meant when He said: “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Earlier in that same passage, He spoke of the uselessness of cleaning the outside of the cup and leaving the inside filled with greed and self-indulgence.
No matter how many squirts of Scripture I read, I was never sanitized, never truly clean. I could scrub myself daily with Ivory soap and then soak in Purell sanitizer, which claims to kill 99.9% of all germs, and still, my hands were like filthy rags to God. Same thing as when I indicated to David his hands were going take a deeper cleaning than a drop or two of hand sanitizer.
What I needed and what you need, is to be clean from the inside out. For that, you need the ultimate sanitizer–Jesus Christ. As the old hymn says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
If you want clean hands, you need Jesus. If you desire righteous motives behind your actions, you need Jesus. A squirt or two of religion won’t cut it. All you’ll be doing is cleaning the outside of the cup, yet leaving the inside dirty.
Friend, don’t go another day without Him.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe you are the son of God. Forgive me for all my sins because I want to be clean. I accept you as my Lord and Savior and give you control of my life. I love you and I need you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.