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BEING WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS.
No. 27
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online  http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Main/index.htm

Getting to know God together.

My dog Dolly is a pest!
I mean I like her all the time, I even love her, but she is a pest when I wash her.
She gets a real 'pongie' dog smell after awhile.
And I give her a nice wash with warm water and eucalyptus dog wash.
Then the trouble starts!
Dolly doesn't like the  "nice and clean" smell that makes me pleased.
She likes a dirty fur smell. So she  always manages to escape after I wash her.
Every time she does it. Bad thing she is.

She waits until I am not watching, and she goes  to the paddock next door.
Timmy lives there. He is the sweetest  white pony I have ever seen.
He is short and  broad across his rump.
I feed  him carrots and apples sometimes.
He sees me  coming to feed him and he goes, "neighhhhh, neighhhh!"
Timmy leaves big droppings in the paddock, and that is what Dolly loves.
After a bath she rolls herself in pony droppings.
When she comes back she is so smelly that she is not fit to be anywhere  near us.
We could never let her inside after that!
So, I have to wash her again. She did it today.
I have got to watch like a hawk or she will be dirty again before I know it.
Back in pony muck!

Dolly can never want to be clean  really.
It is not her doggie nature to be clean like a human.
She needs yucky smells in her fur to be comfortable.
You and I like clean skin and clean smells. We are humans.
Yes, we like to go on  a camp and get muddy from  walks and things like that.
But by bedtime we want to be clean again.
We would never want to go to sleep with mud and dirt on us.
It is our nature to be  clean because we are humans.

When we are born-again,
when we trust Jesus to be our Saviour,
we  change inside.
We have  new life in Christ.
Before we were saved we didn't care
if we sinned and got dirty inside from wrong doing.

But when Jesus Christ comes into our lives our natures change.
I mean our spirits come  alive.
We want to be made good like God then.
We want to be loving and unselfish and holy, like the Lord is.

Sometimes,  we go back to the old ways.
We get dirty again, a bit like Dolly did, only on the inside.
We tell a lie, or we lose our tempers.
We do something which is displeasing to God, and we  know it is.
But, the Lord can clean us up again.
If we "confess" what we did to Him.
And trust in Jesus.

"Confess" just means to be honest with God about our  wrong doing,
and to not try to hide it.
We say we are sorry when we confess to Him.
We need not tell any other human about it.
Unless we have to say sorry to them too,
because we did something wrong against them.

"If we confess  our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (wrong doing)." (1 John 1:9).

EXTRAS FOR TEENS AND BETWEENS

Sometimes new Christians expect to never do wrong ever again in their whole lives! They come to Jesus and accept Him as Saviour, and they are so happy to be forgiven and made clean in His Blood. Then they get "dirty" again and it is a big shock.
The truth is that we never  become completely perfect in this life.
We are being changed by God into His own image every day.
But the whole process  takes a lifetime. When you mess up by doing wrong, come straight away to Jesus. Don't run away. I do wrong sometimes and have to come for cleansing to Jesus. And He forgives me and makes it right again. In fact
the Bible says this:

"If we say that we have not sinned,
we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
(1 John 1: 10).

Read 1 John 2:1.
This verse tells us that Jesus Christ is like One who pleads our cause when we do wrong. Rather like a lawyer standing up for his client in court.
When we do wrong Jesus is our 'advocate' our lawyer.
He brings us back to fellowship with our Father in Heaven.
He makes us clean again inside. And stands up for us!

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