Friday, November 21, 2008

#17 White Out

"Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they
are red like crimson, They will be like wool." Isaiah 1:18 NASB

Just the other day before our skies were filled with varying degrees of
frozen precipitation, I was having a discussion with someone about the
soon-to-come snow. Ever since we have talked to people about coming to
Michigan they have tried to warn us about the winters. Our family is from
North Carolina where it gets really cold, but seldom does it snow. We
usually get freezing rain or something along those lines. Ice storms are
always bad news. Not only because of the obvious road hazard that they
pose, but the weight of the ice is very hard on trees and power lines and
such. While I was talking the other day about the snow to my friend he
asked me if I had ever been in a "white out". I told him that I had not and
that I was not completely clear about what the phrase entailed. He then
asked me if I had ever driven in dense fog and I told him I had. He said
being in a "white out" is very similar to dense fog. He told me that the
snow blows so thick and fast that you cannot see except for short distances.
I remember thinking to myself when he told me all of this that surely we
would not see a "white out" any time soon. Was I ever wrong about that one.

It wasn't three days later that the first snow of the season came. At first
it was just sleet. The sleet then turned to small flakes that morphed into
even larger ones. In fact, the snowy mix begin to fall so thick that I go
to see my first "white out". It was really neat to see. As I looked out
the east window of my study I could see what looked like a wall of white
moving toward our house. It was fascinating for us to see. I know, some of
you are thinking, "Pastor, you've not seen anything yet" and you are
probably right. However, it was neat to experience it for the first time.

As the snow came and went and came and went this week, my mind was drawn to
the thought of Jesus performing a "white out" on each of us in the spiritual
sense. My mind was drawn back to past sins that the Lord has given me
victory over. I remember how elated I was to experience the freedom that
comes from surrendering your life fully to Christ. I became so encouraged
as I thought about the victories that Christ has given me. I can recall
when I was not a Christian. I was not a criminal or anything like that, but
I had one of the worst attitudes that anyone could have. I was not very
pleasant to be around at all. But little by little as Jesus took control of
my heart I experienced Jesus' "white out". I have bumped into people that I
went to high school with and they hardly recognize me. Yes, I have gained
weight since I left high school but because of Jesus working in my life, I
am not the same on the inside as I was in the early nineties. The change
is not because of anything that I did, it only because Jesus found me and
invited me to follow Him. When I gave my heart to Him He performed a
spiritual "white out" and washed away my sins. What's so neat about this
concept is that, just like the snowy "white out", when Jesus takes over a
person's life it becomes more and more difficult to see the old person.
Because Jesus comes into our heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and lives
within us, He begins to redecorate the throne room of our hearts. Jesus
pushes all the other stuff in our lives that we do not need out of the way
and establishes Himself as not only Savoir but Lord of our lives.

Another thing that I love about the gospel of Jesus is that there are no
ethnic, cultural, sexual, or gender boundaries. Jesus loves us each one the
same regardless of our differences that make us unique in the eyes of God.
We are told in 1 Samuel 16:7 that man looks on the outside while God looks
on the inside. Before we come to Jesus we all look same; we are covered
with the scarlet stain of sin. When we accept Christ the scarlet color of
bondage and death is changed into the life-giving color of pure snow. It is
my prayer this evening that each time you see the snow fall this winter that
it would remind you of the promise that the Lord has given us. He has
promised to take away our sins of scarlet and when He does, He will place
His pure white robe of righteousness upon us. May each of us decide just
now to let Jesus perform a spiritual "white out" wash away our sins.

Dear Father God,
As we come to You just now, we have a desperate need for You to take total
control of our lives. We have proven over and over again that we cannot do
it right without You. Left to our own devices we will no doubt slip back
into our old sinful ways. Please draw so close to us Jesus that the lines
blur between where we end and You begin. We are told in Acts 4:13 Lord that
it was said of the disciples that they were recognized as having been with
Jesus. May the same be said of our lives from here forward. We need You to
"white out" our sins Lord and we accept that free gift of salvation yet
again tonight. May we never leave Your side Lord Jesus, Amen.

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