You Should Really Do Your Laundry Today

ImageI remember it like it was yesterday.  I was serving on the Chapel Design Team at Asbury Theological Seminary.  Our fearless leader, J.D. Walt, decided that we would all get up super early…travel to the field where the Icthus Music Festival was held and have a sunrise prayer meeting of sorts.  I remember it well for two reasons. 1.  I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a morning person.  The gas station was not even open yet for crying out loud! (Wilmore Kentucky only had one) 2. We took a few moments to share a Bible verse that we had been thinking about.  Mine still sticks with me today.

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  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.  Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.  “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:12-16)
I remember reciting this passage that morning as the sun rose.  I had it memorized because I had read it so many times.  And that one line that sticks out for me is:  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.
For the longest time, this passage always made me think of our acceptance of Jesus.  You know…that time when you surrendered your life to Christ.  Your salvation moment.  But…the more I read this passage and the more I thought about it…the more I understood that that is not what this passage is talking about.
The washing of our “robes” (or our identification with Christ) is not a one time thing.  Could you imagine not washing your clothes more than once?  Eventually…especially having kids around…they get soiled and need a new washing. The same is true when it comes to our lives…our souls…our hearts.
Surrender to Christ is not a one time thing.  It is an every day thing.  You gave your life to Christ yesterday?  That is great!  Praise God!  Now…do it again today.  And…when you wake up tomorrow…do it again.  Keep it up every day of your life.  Because truthfully…we need it.  Day in and day out we find ways to soil our “robes”…to allow sin and temptation to cause our “garments” to get a little dingy…and they need to be washed.  But…these are special garments and they need a special cleaner.  That cleaner is the blood of the Lamb.  The sacrificial love of Christ.  The atoning sacrifice on a cross.  Then…and only then…will you receive the right to the tree of life.
The author says it best:
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.  ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.  The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.  For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:14-17)
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