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Getting Rid of the Garbage of Sin

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#1 Diana Poling

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:55 AM

I love Thursdays. Know why? It’s garbage pickup day. It feels wonderful to me to know that all of that trash I’ve been throwing out all week is gone. I’m so thankful for the people who are willing to do that stinky, gross, and often thankless job in all kinds of weather so that my home can be a cleaner place. I’ve decided to do something this week to thank them, and share the Gospel of Christ and/or encourage them at the same time. I’m going to get some donuts and a thank you card and include some parts of the following in a letter, which I will give to them when they come around this Thursday morning. Here’s what God showed me this morning while I was thanking Him for my garbage men. I shared it with my kids.

Garbage is like the sin in our life. We need to get rid of it. What do we do with our garbage? Sadly, some people are content to live with it in their homes and are oblivious to the filth and the consequences it will have to their health. But if we do recognize it as trash, what do we do with it? Initially, we throw it away in the can in our kitchen. In essence, we hide it. When that gets full or starts to smell, we take it outside. In other words, we hide it a little farther away from us. But if no one came to get it, it would pile up and the stench and the vermin it attracted would eventually invade our homes. So we need someone to come and take it away. So we sign up with a garbage service to come and get it.

That’s what Jesus does and will continue to do when we trust in Him as our Savior and Lord. And we all have sin and need cleaned up (Romans 3:23). And we can’t get rid of our sin by ourselves.

Ephesians 2:8,9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

I John 1:8,9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The awesome thing about Jesus is that he doesn’t just show up on Thursday morning, or rather just Sunday morning or Wednesday night, to take away our sin. We don’t have to wait. I explained it to the kids this way: It would be like me eating a granola bar and instead of ever throwing away the wrapper in the trash can, I would call the trash truck, it would instantly pull up outside the house and haul it away. Praise God He is always there, ready to take away our sin. I’m sure the people who work for the sanitation department are glad things don’t work this way with our trash. It would be unrealistic to expect them to do so. But God can handle it because He’s, well, God!

But the sad reality often is that we treat our sin the way we treat our garbage. We hold on to it and try to hide it or move it around instead of getting rid of it immediately. Or sometimes we don’t even recognize that it’s trash. I know I’ve heard the phrase, “Why are you saving that? Just throw it away,” echoed more than once in our house. And when I really stop and think about it, I need to get rid of it. It may not even be something that’s necessarily harmful, but it’s taking up space that could be put to better use or make my home more hospitable. I may be hanging on to it for “sentimental” reasons, or fear that I might have need of it someday, or any number of reasons. But whatever the reason, if something is getting in the way of what God wants me to do or to become, be it material or spiritual, I need to trust and obey Him and ask Him to take it away.

And once I ask Him to take it away, I shouldn’t try to get it back. I told the kids, “If we had been watching the neighbor’s baby and I had a stinky, dirty diaper and asked the garbage man to take it away, wouldn’t you think I was crazy if that night I went to the dump to try and find it to get it back? Maybe even though it stunk, it kind of reminded me of when you were babies, so in a way it made me feel good. Would it be a good idea for me to bring that back into the house?” My 7 year-old looked at me and said, “Ewww, yuck, no. If you want to remember when I was a baby just go look at the pictures.” I explained to them that is what we often do with our sin. We repeat it because Satan associates it with something pleasant, or convinces us we need it, or we feel guilty that we ever had it to begin with and don’t trust that Jesus really can forgive us and deliver us from it, etc. and so we decide to put it back into our lives. Thankfully, once again, Jesus is always ready to take it away again immediately if we repent. But we are often left with the consequences, so it’s better just to get rid of it for good, and the sooner the better.

Today in our “green” world it is very popular to try and reduce the amount of garbage we create, but we’re never going to eliminate it completely. We need to do the same with sin in our life. Until our time on earth is over, we will not be perfected, but we should be becoming more like Christ. How? First we need to admit we need Him to come and take away all the original sin we have and accept him as our Savior and Lord, and that He is the only one who can take it away. Speaking of Jesus, Acts 4:12 says “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Next we need to be aware of God’s commands and with His strength and the power of the Holy Spirit obey them so we don’t have need of the garbage truck so often. And when we do need Him to get rid of something, it’s best to ask Him immediately. I look forward to the day when I see Christ face to face, whether in death or at His return, and will no longer be producing garbage or be in the presence of it. Imagine, a world without sin. What a wonderful hope we have in Jesus Christ!

#2 Tina Shaff

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 03:12 PM

Well done.
Tina - ysiC

#3 landonmark



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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:38 AM


Thank you for an amazing insight on the subject of sin....so easy, a child can understand it. Sadly, however, many adults miss it by a mile.....

Blessings to you!
Mark Landon