One summer day, a man went out of his house and in the bright sunshine he saw that his driveway that had once been clean had become unclean. Over time it had become blackened with all sorts of dirt and filth, so he determined to devote his time and energy to removing the impurities. The next morning, he took his pressure washer and began to clean the driveway. As he was cleaning, his neighbor on the right side of his house saw him and asked what he was doing. He replied that he had become disgusted with the state of his driveway and desired to restore it to its previous luster. A short while later, the neighbor on the left side asked him what he was doing and again he replied that he wanted to bring his driveway back to its previous condition. After many hours and with much effort, what was soiled had become clean again and glistened in the bright summer sun.
The next day, he noticed that his neighbor on the right was out pressure washing his driveway. The day after that, he saw his neighbor on the left was cleaning his driveway as well. Both told the man that his example inspired them to attend to their driveway.
Truly, truly I say to you, when you remove the dirt and filth from your own lives you are a model to those nearest to you to do the same. For how you choose to live will be an example for others to follow.
2 Thessalonians 3:9 – …to give you in ourselves an example to imitate
Things to think about:
· OK, so maybe that was a silly parable, but the point is still made
o The world is watching how we live
§ At home
§ At work
§ Stores / restaurants
· Examples of the kinds of dirt that can creep in over time to darken our witness:
o General negative outlook
o Crude language and humor
o Not be sociable (inhospitable)
o Not being interested in others (self-centeredness)
· God’s pressure washer
o His Word
§ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
o His Spirit
§ Col. 1:10-11 - so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
· Pressure washing is a tedious job
o It’s slow, there’s not always a quick fix
§ Col.1:10-11 – “"We're praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; by being strengthened through his glorious might so that you endure everything and have patience."
o Missing one spot really makes it stand out.
§ Col. 3:5 - “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
o Requires ongoing maintenance – not “one and done”
§ Gal. 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
§ 2 Timothy 3:14 – “…But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of…”
What’s the condition of your driveway? Has it become a little (or maybe a lot) dirty over time? Perhaps it’s time to get out God’s Word in the bright light of day and let it and the Spirit wash off the sin that so easily encumbers. The world is watching a will follow your lead.
Matthew 5:16 – “ In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”