…that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:26-27)~ We can try to live a holy life among a lost world, and we can persevere not to allow the influence of darkness stain our garments; but in truth, each day we stand before the Lord in need of new mercies. We hear and see things that can bend our thinking and tarnish our purity. Even in times when we’ve not sinned, our spirit can still pick up the stale odor of the world from just having passed through it—kind of like walking through a shroud of cigarette smoke.. We didn’t smoke it but we might come away smelling like we did…its influence is on us! God has made provisions for our continual cleaning and re-cleaning. He knows that we’ll encounter constant challenges to our faith, constant pressures to compromise, subtle foxes spoiling our vines from beneath where we don’t always see them. Our Lord is the master of cleaning our dirty laundry. He can lift any stain, press out any wrinkle, and remove any lingering odor of unrighteousness. God’s grace provides for us a good washing when we need to be cleansed from being out in that dirty world. Jesus paid an awful price to make possible this holiness we can so freely wear it, and He did it not just for our benefit…He intends to present Himself with a perfect, flawless Bride, without one speck of soil on the wedding garment! When we allow Him to use the soap of grace, applied against the washboard of loving discipline, and rinsed in the water of the Word, we come out as pure, forgiven, and sanctified as if we’d never been dirty in the first place. So Fresh; So Clean!