When I was in the Navy, before I became a Christian, I had a coffee cup, like this one, that reminded me of me. It didn’t then, but it does now.
It was a cool cup. It had great success sayings on it like. “Plan your work, work your plan.” And “dream big dreams”. And “reach for the stars”. It didn’t have my favorite saying, “Pigs don’t know pigs stink.” (Which is another sermon).
Anyway it was fashionable, in my squadron in the Navy, to keep the outside of the cup sparkling clean, but to never wash the inside of the cup. You can imagine the sludge buildup it got after several years of not washing it. I call it my Pharisee Cup. Clean on the outside, filthy on the inside.
But then I got transferred and brought the cup home and Charlene washed it. There goes my great cup, I thought. It will take me years to build up that gunk on the inside again. But I noticed something, the coffee tasted better in it now.
You see now, it was clean. Like I said, the cup reminds me of me. I used to be just like that cup. All clean and spiffy on the outside, but filthy with sin on the inside.
Notice some things about this cup:
1. It didn’t wash itself. No, the owner had to wash it. Like me, I couldn’t wash myself. Jesus, the owner, had to do it.
2. It doesn’t stay clean on the inside. Constant contact with the coffee stains it again. Like me, constant contact with the world, stains me.
3. If you leave a little coffee in the bottom when you go on vacation, it gets really grody, with mold and everything and it’s lots harder to clean. Like me, when I let Jesus clean me constantly, I clean easier. When I wait for a while, the cleaning process is painful.
So I urge you brothers and sisters, if you’re a Pharisee cup, don’t leave here tonight without getting washed by your owner, the Lord Jesus Christ.
© 2007 – 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.