Two months ago – at the heart of winter in the South – we celebrated the beginning of a new year. Now as winter slowly transitions to the secret place where God stores the seasons, we celebrate the beginning of a new season – spring. All of nature participates. The birds return from their hiding place and like ministers of music, they sing their songs as if they’re tasked with awakening the rest of nature from its sleep. The trees, shrubs, grass and flowers respond to the warmth by painting the landscape with a rainbow of color and aroma. All the animals and insects respond to spring’s invitation to join the celebration of renewed life.
Even man cannot escape the allure of the invitation to join the celebration with the rest of God’s creation. His ritual has been – and continues to be – to clean and beautify his habitat to correspond to the new and refreshing surroundings created by the plants and animals. We call our annual celebration, “Spring Cleaning.” The external beauty derived from our annual ritual becomes the topic of television shows, newsletters, websites and the like. Many cities have established an annual spring cleaning day to encourage its citizens to beautify their property – inside and out. Out with the old and in with the new.
But all of this cleaning and beautification is external and does little – if anything at all – for the soul of man. Surely God would not exclude the soul of the one He created and placed over all of His other creations from the power of renewal! “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet:.” Psalms 8:4-6 KJV. What spring motivates us to do externally, the Word of God motivates us to do spiritually.
At some point the non-believer realizes he needs relief. Relief from the accumulation of sin that has him bound and encumbered. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 KJV) Now in the winter of his life, he longs for a new beginning. A re-birth. A spiritual cleansing from the inside out. His spirit – although weak and faint – finally hears the voice of one crying in the wilderness. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9 KJV) The non-believer – turned believer – can now join the celebration with the rest of God’s creation who have been cleansed and have “washed their robes in the blood of the lamb.” Not even the excitement and refreshed feeling of life the beginning of spring brings to all of God’s creation can compare to the joy of a spiritual rebirth. “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 KJV) The good news is the unbeliever does not have to wait until spring to be cleansed. The cleansing power of salvation is available any season of the year, 24-hours per day, 7-days per week and is as close as repeating the words of (Romans 10:9)
Although the chill of winter has left our area for now, we can be assured it will return. We can also be assured that sin is lying in wait for the believer to make a misstep. But it is comforting to know that God has made a provision in His Word to cleanse and refresh the believer as needed. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9 KJV) We don’t have to wait for the season to change. The power to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us” is always available to us. (Hebrews 12:1 KJV)
Cities and towns across America have taken a vested interest in its citizens by sponsoring an annual day for spring cleaning. God has taken a vested interest in the citizens of His Kingdom by not only giving His only Son (John 3:16) to pay the price for our sins, but to conform us to the image of His spotless Son. ”For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.“ (Romans 8:29 KJV)
Written by Henry Hopson Jr.