Friday, January 09, 2004

Be Made Clean!

LUKE 5:12-16

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns
where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with
him, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus
stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made
clean." And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to
tell anyone, but "Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your
cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The
report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to
listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw
to deserted places to pray.

We would do well to emulate the leper's attitude and his simple prayer today. "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus has the power to clean us of all doubt, fear, anxiety, disappointment, depression and pain. All we have to do is ask Him to do so in faith and humility. The gospel says that the leper fell prostrate and pleaded with Jesus. I wonder how the leper felt when Jesus responded "I do will it. Be made clean." It was probably the happiest day of his life!

I still forget that we have already been saved by Jesus from darkness, for many times I still allow fear and pain to rule my life. During my prayer time this morning the Lord reminded me that His will for me as His daughter is a life of abundant joy, not endless suffering. I had
been walking around again limping, sometimes bleeding, thinking that I have to make my life a sacrifice in order to deserve my place in God's Kingdom one day. In hiding behind my pain, however, I have not allowed Jesus to heal me. I had stopped placing my hope in Him, forgetting His love for me. A different kind of leprosy had taken over me and I forgot to ask the One who could so easily clean me and who has been waiting all along to help me!

My version of the Bible quoted above speaks of "cleaning" and not "healing" for the leper. I looked up the meaning of "clean" and Mr. Webster says: 1 a : to make clean: as (1) : to rid of dirt, impurities, or extraneous matter (2) : to rid of corruption. I know I have allowed
impurities like worldly standards to pollute my mind and heart. Lord Jesus, if you wish, you can make me clean. I have been bogged down by "extraneous matters", things that have significance in the world but are utterly useless for someone who wishes to become the Lord's servant.
Lord Jesus, if you wish, you can make me clean. The last meaning of the verb "Clean" is " to rid of corruption". That is part of my job in Sandiganbayan, but I cannot do it alone! Lord Jesus, if you wish, you can make our country clean.

For today I will strive to ask my Lord to make me clean, for I know that just like He did to the leper, He shall remove all dirt and impurities from my life and make me clean!

For this year the Lord's message for me consists of one word: "Yield" - which the dictionary says means "to give up possession of on claim or demand". It is not an easy command but this week too I was reminded by the 1st letter of John chapter Four that the Lord's commandments are not burdensome. I am devoting this year to learning the meaning of "Yield" in my life. Today, however, I know that one of the parts of my yielding to Christ is by asking Him in prayer to make me clean.