Clean from the Inside Out

The parallel between the Rhema of God’s Word and the Coal Basket

American culture informs us via television, smart-phone ads, and even mega television preachers that we are what we appear to be on the outside: the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the house you live in, the things you possess, and even the right amount of knowledge of world events; all define who you are to others.

I remember hearing a preacher telling a young couple that if they lived for God, they would get their house with their white picket fence. “In the world you shall have tribulation” immediately came to mind.

Jesus spoke very harsh words to the religious Pharisees, saying they were full of dead men’s bones. He encouraged them to examine the inside of the cup to make sure it is clean first, before putting all that polish on the outside. (Matthew 23:26)

Only you and God know what is on the inside of you. Only what is on the inside of you really matters to God.

The Bible and the Coal Basket

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you, but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”

The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house.

The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.

The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.

That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son. Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day.”

“You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3)

Keep reading till His Words speak to your heart.

When He does speak; you will be cleansed from the inside out.

Once you are clean inside, the outside will desire to match the inside.

This entry was posted in Bible Studies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.