The other morning while I was taking my morning run at the ranch, I stopped alongside a stream that paralleled the road. There was a beam of sunlight streaming through the trees and making a beautiful reflection upon the surface of the water. I sat down in the grass for a quick breather and was soon mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the running water.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve absolutely loved water. I grew up back in the midwest where the summers are scorchers. Water becomes a lifeline to staying cool and being refreshed. Water represents cleanliness and sustenance. It is a symbol of purity and no life can exist without it.
Jesus told us to believe and be baptized. The act of using water in baptism was a symbol of cleansing. It is an outward sign of an inward change that happens when Christ makes his residence in our lives. Water Baptism represents the act of being put down into the water, dead to our trespasses and sin and then being lifted out washing away the old and beginning again, being born again into the new life we have in Christ. It identify’s us with Jesus’ death and resurrection for the remission of our sins. Christ himself role modeled baptism for us when he was on the earth.
In the same way we are to daily wash ourselves with the word. Just like getting up and taking a shower every morning (well at least I hope that most of us do). We are to read it, meditate on it, and to let it speak to us and to convict and cleanse us (by letting it judge the thoughts and attitudes of our heart). . The word is to refresh and renew us. Just like that shower, the washing off of the filth and sin in our lives and restoring us to a clean state through confession. This is what meditating on the word is supposed to do for us, if we allow it to, it washes us and makes us clean.
I was just again reminded of this by an overnight trail ride my family took with some friends. I choose not to ride in on horses due to my dust allergies but my family did and I rode in to our campsite in the truck that carried all the camping gear. This was a dry camping experience, meaning no running water or electricity. And boy o boy, after a day of camping out there in the intense heat and sitting by a smoky fire, then spending the night covered in bug spray, there was nothing more I wanted the next day than a nice hot shower. I felt dirty and smokey and I wanted to be clean. It was the very first thing I did when we returned back to our trailer the next day and it felt wonderfully refreshing.
Just like I needed that shower to once again be clean and refreshed, we need the word of God to do the same thing in our lives. In order to be transformed to the image of Christ we need to daily be renewed and refreshed by the washing of the word of God in our lives. It is the transforming power in the life of a believer. And only through it can we reflect the light of Christ in a world of darkness, just like that reflection I saw on the surface of the water.
Psalm 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
John 13:8 No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.
John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Ephesians 5:26 . . . to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.