"Cleanliness is Next to Godliness"

As the story goes, a guy didn’t want to waste a beautiful Sunday morning going to church. He sat out on his front step with his cup of coffee and was grooming his dog, thinking about how he wanted to spend the day. At the same time, the pastor of the neighborhood church he attended decided to get a short walk in before the morning service and passed right by the man as he was brushing his dog. The pastor decided to stop and say hello. The guy was embarrassed as it was very apparent that he was skipping out and after an awkward greeting wanted to say something “churchy.” 
        "You know what they say,” he said to his Pastor, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” to which the Pastor replied, “Well at least the dog will make it.”
        How many statements do we hear that sound good, are “churchy” but yet are totally false. I was reminded of this as I was doing my quiet time. I was using the daily devotional from the You Version Bible application on my phone and a suggested study was highlighted entitled 9 Common Lies Christians Believe. The devotional was a 5 day study based off of the book of the same name. A couple of the lies that are exposed in the devotional are:
  • God Won’t Give Me More Than I Can Handle
  • God Just Wants Me To Be Happy
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Believe In Yourself
  • I Don’t Think God Likes Me
        All of these statements sound right on the surface but are untrue. In some cases they are taken from the scriptures, but out of context or twisted into something we might want to hear vs. what they are intended for. In other cases they are outright lies that Satan wants us to believe. In either case they can sound right but will lead us away from the truth. Finding the truth in today’s world is getting more difficult by the day. Satan is the master at twisting the truth to sound wrong and making the lies sound good.
        So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my
disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Staying close to Jesus. Studying his word. Knowing what the truth is. That is our defense against falling for the “churchy” sayings that lead us away from the truth. Francis Chan in his series “Finding Truth” states, “Christians today face all kinds of challenges when it comes to understanding who they are and what they’re meant to do There’s no shortage of options that claim to offer 'truth.' If we’re not careful we can find ourselves chasing after popular opinion, celebrity opinions, or the tug of our emotions all the while neglecting the unchanging truth found in scripture.”
~Mike Moore, Ministry Board Member