Submission and Obedience

An Ironed Rag

"You can even make a rag look rich if you iron it right!"

Laughing, my aunt used to say that as she ironed. She loved to iron and did it well, too. Even an old shirt or pair of pants looked much better when they were pressed well and had no wrinkles.

Yet, regardless of how well they are ironed and how nice they look, old clothes still are worn and threadbare. Ironing doesn't change their quality at all.

While we're on this earth, we must deal with people on a daily basis. It's part of our human existence and very important to maintain a pleasing personality and appearance so others have a good opinion of us.

When we're with others, we tend to put on a bright face. We 'iron' ourselves to look good and guard our behavior to appear we have it all together. We may even fool folks by what they see and by how we act!

There's One whom we do not fool for a minute, though. His name is God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. His full title is "I AM". He knows us through and through and sees what in us is fake and polished on the outside, yet empty within. Jesus described this condition as "whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27).

On Judgment Day it won't be other people we will face for a verdict about how our life was lived. God Himself will be seated on the Judge's dais and will expose what we are in character and substance. He will not be impressed with how well we were 'ironed'. He will examine our heart, our motives and what the results of our life were when governed by those motives and desires.

His first and greatest commandment was and is: "You shall love the Lord you God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind." That love is what He will look for, because from it flows correct and holy living that does not need to be 'ironed' to be good. The motives behind the accomplishments of our life will have flowed from that love and will meet with His "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

The individual who only 'irons' his appearance and life-style without having clean motives and love for God will receive judgment from the LORD: "From the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Too late, that man or woman will regret that they did not get rid of their threadbare, old sin-stained garment that they constantly 'ironed' to look good. They will weep and grind their teeth because they did not obtain a new garment from God, a robe of righteousness that needs no 'ironing' because it is washed in the blood of the Lamb and has no spot or wrinkle on it!

Do not be caught short at the judgment, friend. Repent! Get rid of your sin-stained garment and ask God for a new robe, one that shines in its purity. Be prepared for that day of reckoning! It will determine your destiny for eternity!

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
© Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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