Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Clean a Sippy Cup...and Never Be the Same Again!

The other day I rather mindlessly asked Darrah Kate to put her sippy cup into the dishwasher.

I thought nothing of it, didn't check to see if she would do it. (Life moves fast around here!) And I did not remember this small request.

Fast forward 20 hours.

It was after the morning rush to get the children on the bus...I had returned with the two littles and was beginning to put away the "fall out" from the morning.

There it sat. That same sippy cup. Sealed. Along with the other items that our "I'm-too-short-to-put-it-away-properly" child had stacked along the counter for me to put away into the cupboard. The very sippy cup I'd asked DQ to take to the dishwasher.

It was clean.

On the outside.


...on the inside it had yesterday's milk.

(Are you "ewwwwing" yet???)

And as I opened up that sippy cup, I thought about our lives.

How often are we like that cup?

Do we wash our outside, making sure we appear clean but truly, inwardly we are carrying around sour milk?

How careful are we to keep up appearances? To clean our house for company? To only put make-up on for the days we have somewhere to go? To name drop around people who "matter?" To talk in ways that show off our intelligence, or hide our emotions from the outside world?


But what about the INSIDE OF OUR CUPS???

What about the person who thinks that because they attend church or read the Bible that they are "clean?"

What REALLY makes us clean on the inside, anyway?

Can we know for SURE?
Can we possibly DO ENOUGH to be truly clean?

Good news! The answers are YES and NO, respectively.

Yes, we CAN know for certain that we are clean on the inside!
No, we cannot possibly do enough to be truly clean.


It's the message that changed my life.

I am a dirty sippy cup with rotten milk inside. I have done all I can to try and clean up, but no matter how many times I go through the dishwasher cycle, I still reek of my rottenness. It's called "sin."

I am helpless. Oh, I can put on a pretty good show, for sure. But I know deep down that my insides are rotten. They are NOT clean. And I cannot seem to purify myself for the life of me!

But there is one who CAN. His name? You've heard it before: Jesus. He has come to earth, lived a sinless life, died for me on the cross (my very sins/rotten milk are the reason He died!) and then absolutely conquered death by rising from the dead! That act: His death and resurrection bought my freedom! You see, it was my rightful place--that death. My rotten milk/sin's punishment is death and total separation from God forever.

But the beauty is this: He didn't wait for me to run my life through the dishwasher before He died for me. He did it while I still was covered in the sticky fingerprints on the outside too!

"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners." (Romans 5:6)

You see, if I were a glorious looking and sweet smelling sippy cup, someone might dare to die for me. But read this:

"God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8)

Wow! Serious GOOD NEWS!!!!

There is no good you can do to earn God's favor. He sees right through the walls and insulation of your sippy cup.


                                ...AND HE LOVES YOU!!!

See, He doesn't love because of WHAT you have inside (or how pretty/clean you are on the outside!)

He loves you because He made you. That alone gives you VALUE. Plus, He sees the potential you have. The potential to reach your BEST for Him.

You matter.


He wants you. He loves you. He wants to clean you once and for all. No more dishwasher cycles, no more attempts to earn "points" for your good behavior.

He wants to overwhelm you with His love. He longs to set you free from keeping up appearances.

What does it cost?

It's free.

That's hard to take in, isn't it?

But do not be fooled, following Jesus is free, but it will cost you everything.


That's right.

It is a free gift, but one which will so change you that it will cost you what you used to be. That free  LOVE will overwhelm you and clean and will begin to work inside of you.

You will no longer want the things you used to want.

You will begin to want what HE wants.

Your friends may not understand, your priorities will change and you will begin to live each of your days with great purpose, meaning and joy.

You will give up things that have recently mattered. But you will discover that these are not truly sacrifices at all...they are a joy to lay down to know this new, deep, pure love!


My prayer is that this day will not pass before you allow Christ to wash you clean and make you HIS VERY OWN.


*Understand that you are a sinner. That ugly, stinky, rotten milk is yours. Own it. Then confess it. That's just a fancy word for "tell God about it." But don't worry, He already knows. You won't pull any big surprises.

*Understand that the death of Jesus was for YOU. For your stinkin' sippy cup. It was indeed for other people's as well, but this is personal. Jesus loves YOU. And His sacrifice was made with YOU YOU YOU in mind.

*Tell Him that you want that sacrifice to be for you. Ask Him to come and clean you out. Sit quietly. Wait for it. He will come with His Spirit and do that very work. It's a tummy-flipping amazing experience for some people! It's a quiet new belief for others.

*Tell someone important in your life what you've just done. You could say, "Dude! My sippy cup is CLEAN!" (well, that may not translate very well, but if you tell that to ME, I'll get ya!) ;) Be sure to tell a trusted friend or someone who also walks with Jesus about your experience. Don't keep it to yourself. You need to share your happy news!

*Get busy living your new life. Learn all you can. Study a book in the Bible. I suggest John or Philippians to begin. Find a church nearby that worships the God of the Bible. Seek out a new friend. Pray. Talk to God like He's sitting right there with you--that's a new truth in your life: HE IS!!!

*Share this news with the people you care about! Even ones you have never met. The truth is that your life is brief on this planet and you've got something worth SHARING WITH EVERYONE!

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