Not long ago, while on vacation in Pigeon Forge Tennessee, I was in service with my good friend, Pastor Church Simpson of Williamsburg Baptist Church. Like me, Chuck wears glasses. He took off his glasses, held them in his hand and said, “Occasionally, in order to continue to see well, I have to clean these.” He continued, “It’s not because I have done something to get them dirty. They get dirty because of the dirt and dust that occurs naturally in the atmosphere.” As soon as he said that I immediately knew that I would use it in a pastors column, a sermon, or both! So, here it is!
Chuck is a bi-vocational pastor. So, in conjunction with serving as the pastor of a church, he works as a butcher for a local grocery store. He said, “Aaron, the health inspector came by my store the other day. I had my meat cut and on trays. The trays were stacked in a mobile cart inside the cooler waiting to be placed into the display coolers inside the store. The inspector told me that he wanted me to remove the top tray of meat from the cart and replace it with an empty tray turned upside down. When I asked why, he told me it was to prevent atmospheric dirt and dust from settling onto the meat below.
Now, why am I telling you about atmospheric dirt and dust? To make the point that as we travel through this thing called life, we don’t necessarily have to do anything to get dirty. The atmosphere in which we reside is contaminated and it contaminates us! This is true in the natural realm, and especially true in the Spiritual! While here, we reside in satan’s domain. Ephesians 2:2(KJV) teaches us that satan is, “… the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” And Isaiah 64:6(KJV) teaches us that, “… we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” At our best, or our cleanest – we are filthy!
God gave up on redeeming our physical bodies in the Garden of Eden when he declared to Adam, “… for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19KJV) But thank God that in his letter to the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 4:16(KJV) Paul declares, “… but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
The point I’m trying to communicate in this column today is simply this, as we have traveled through 2017, regardless of how “good” or “clean” we have tried to live, we have been contaminated by the very atmosphere in which we reside. Sin abounds all around us. We are bombarded by it on a daily basis. Every sin imaginable to mankind is now modeled before us. Nothing is sacred anymore. Addictions, perversions, and abominations are now touted as normal while Christianity, morality, and commonsense are touted as abnormal. It’s a sad day in which we live!
So, as we stand on the precipice of a New Year, just maybe we need to do as Paul instructed the Corinthians to do and to renew our inward man. Just maybe we need to take off the Spiritual lenses of our lives and remove the atmospheric dust and dirt of sin that has accumulated. And while we’re at it, just maybe we need to get under the protective covering of Jesus, his Word, and the Holy Spirit. This just might prevent some of the atmospheric dust and dirt of this world from settling on us in the first place!