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Dirty Dishes

By David Brandt Berg Oct. 22, 1976
Note from webmaster: This was written during the Family International's famous "Flirty Fishing" ministry when Family woman would go to nightclubs in Tenerife (Canary Islands) to meet lonely men and share the Gospel with them.
Washing dishes is a ministry of sanctification!

I AM A SAINT!--A SINNING SAINT, because we're ALL saints but still SIN sometimes, because we're not yet perfect. Everyone who believes in Jesus is a saint. "SAINT" comes from the same root word as "SANCTIFIED". Most of us think that means to be made permanently holy, but it really means merely to be CLEANSED and SEPARATED and SET ASIDE for future USE.

MAYBE THIS WILL HELP YOU FOLKS THAT WASH THE DISHES EVERY NIGHT. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING?--YOU'RE SANCTIFYING THE DISHES! First you sanctify it, then what do you do with it? Do you put it back with the dirty dishes in the sink? No, you set it over here with the clean ones, right?--You set it aside.

THAT'S WHAT "SANCTIFIED" MEANS. You pull out and wash a dirty dish, you sanctify one and set it aside for future use.

THAT'S THE WAY JESUS DOES WITH YOU: He takes you, dirty as you are with sin, and He washes you with His blood and the water of His Word. He washes away your sins with His blood and your evil thoughts with His Word, and He gets you all nice and clean and sets you aside--for what?

WHY DO YOU WASH THE DISHES ANYWAY? Why don't you just throw them out in the garbage? You wash them to USE again, right? They're set aside for USE so they can be USED.

THAT'S WHAT GOD'S DONE WITH YOU: He washed you, cleansed you and set you aside for His use, whatever use that He sees fit to make of you, amen? Now there's a thought:

WHEN YOU USE THE DISH AGAIN, WHAT DO YOU DO?--YOU GET IT DIRTY AGAIN! But some people, some Christians, they want to be like this: "Ah, now I'm all nice and clean! I want God to set me aside on a nice beautiful shelf and never get me dirty anymore. I want to stay clean forever and never get dirty anymore. I don't want to get down on that dirty table and have all that dirty food put on me for somebody to eat! I just want to stay nice and clean up here on the pretty shelf for a DECORATION, not for USE!

"OH GOODNESS, IF GOD USES ME I MIGHT GET DIRTY!" Are you getting the point? Every time you go down to the club and have to witness and sit with sinners and mingle with the world, you have to be there, you've got to go down there like into the garbage pail to retrieve them.

SAVING SOULS IS SORT OF LIKE GOING DOWN INTO THE DIRTY DISHWATER, TO WASH AND PULL THEM OUT AGAIN. Every time you stick your hand back down into the dirty dishwater to wash a dish, what do you do?--You get dirty again!

THAT'S REALLY AN ILLUSTRATION OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING EVERY NIGHT AT THE CLUBS: We're trying to retrieve those dishes out of the dirty water and cleanse them, make them clean, wash them in Jesus' blood and the pure water of God's Word and set them aside for His use, amen?

Jesus' enemies said of Him as He hung on the cross: "HE SAVED OTHERS, HIMSELF HE COULD NOT SAVE"! ( Mat.27:42 ) To make you clean, Jesus had to get dirty, did you know that? He had to bear your sins on the cross. He had to get dirty with your dirt on the cross.

WE'VE ALWAYS GOT THIS BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF JESUS HANGING ON THE CROSS, such nice pretty art, it's so beautiful!--But we don't really see the pain, we don't see the dirt of our sins there on His hands, right?

HE HAD YOUR SINS ON HIM WHEN HE DIED! He had to let God turn His back on Him, He had to even think that God had forsaken Him, think of it! "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" ( Mk.15:34 ) Have you ever felt like that for some other sinner?

HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOU'VE HAD TO GO SO FAR AND GET SO DIRTY TO SAVE SOME SINNER THAT YOU FELT ALMOST LIKE GOD HAD FORSAKEN YOU? "God, how could You let me stoop so low to save someone? How could You let me have to go so low to try to save someone?"

WELL, JESUS STOOPED PRETTY LOW TO SAVE YOU!--He went "all the way" for you until He took your sins on Himself for you. And in a way this is what YOU do when you minister not only to the SPIRITUAL needs of these men, but also to their PHYSICAL needs.

JESUS WAS WILLING TO DO IT FOR YOU, SO WHY SHOULDN'T YOU BE WILLING TO DO IT FOR THEM? You're going through the same kind of sacrifice that Jesus went through. "My God, why do I have to get so dirty to save them?"

SOMETIMES YOU EVEN FEEL DIRTY JUST THE WAY THEY LOOK AT YOU, hmm? But you have to go down there and get dirty with their looks and their caresses and their kisses, etc., that they might be clean. Praise the Lord?

YOU LITERALLY ARE HAVING TO DIP YOUR HANDS INTO THE SLIMEPIT, THE DIRTY DISHWATER, TO PULL THEM OUT, TO MAKE THEM CLEAN! So sometimes when you think, "Why do I have to go down there in that horrible worldly atmosphere with all those evil creatures?"--Remember, that must have been exactly what JESUS thought when He had to come to this Earth to save YOU!

"WHY DO I HAVE TO DOWN THERE INTO THAT HORRIBLE EVIL ATMOSPHERE AMONGST THOSE EVIL CREATURES?" Jesus not only had to come down here AMONGST us, He had to be ONE of us! He had to take on this filthy vile flesh, He had to look like one of us and live like one of us. He had to eat, He had to sleep, He even had to go to the toilet!

HE HAD TO SOIL HIMSELF SO THAT WE COULD BE MADE CLEAN! Do you realise that? Jesus had to come down here and be a man and live like a man and get dirty like a man so He could make you clean, think of it!

He even hung NAKED on the cross for you! You are engaged in the ministry of Christ, stooping to conquer! You're going down there as far as you can possibly go and getting dirty with their dirt to make them clean!

DO DIRTY DISHES DAILY!--Amen? God bless!

Copyright © 1998 by The Family International

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James Arendt
James Arendt

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