by Sheldon Bass
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What benefit is there in knowing the cure for a disease if we do not apply that cure? The value derived from knowing is the ability to "act" upon the truth of any situation, with responses that rectify the negative circumstance, while confirming correct action. Every person ever born is infected with the devastating disease of sin. Its signs and symptoms are evident. Some folks are able to keep this ailment veiled from public scrutiny, while others do well in repressing sin in their lives, but they still fall to the power of sin eventually.
As a young boy I heard a sermon about a dirty widow with four sickly children. It is a lucid picture of how mankind can have the answers to their delemma, yet fail to act in a rational way.
A certain woman felt helpless to rectify her little family's problems. There were four children, all of which were constantly unwashed and unwell. Grubby hands and faces smudged with grime were normal in their home. The children ran around with no shoes or socks and the soles of their feet were blackened with dirt. Their ragged clothes too were in dire need of washing. The kitchen sink and counter tops remained heaped with dishes from meals long past, with food still stuck to them. The floors of their little cottage are filthy as is the table from which they eat their meager meals. Tattered, dirty laundry was heaped in various places. Sickness is always present; diarrhea, colds and flu are constant.
The woman is beside herself, feeling as though her hands are tied with no way to remedy their plight. She avows, "We have no money to buy the things we need to stay clean, we cannot afford soaps and detergents." The woman knows that germs and filth are the culprits but the problem goes unresolved.
One day a soap salesman knocks on the door and was invited in. The sniffling children scurried around his legs, happy to have a visitor. Noticing the wretched condition of the unwashed family, he is certain that; "here is a sure sale". The woman however declares that they have no money to spend on soap; all that they have must go to buy food for the poverty stricken family. Moved to tears the salesmen decides to help by giving the woman all manner of soap; hand soap and sanitizer, dish washing liquid, floor and bathroom cleaner, laundry detergent and chlorine bleach to sanitize everything in the house. All of this the man gave her free of charge. He even gave detailed instruction on how to safely apply and use each product.
A month passes and the salesman stops by the house to check on the poor family. To his dismay he finds that nothing has changed, all is the same. The children are all sick and the house is even filthier than before. As the woman recognizes the man she begins to charge him with falsehood and lies. "You told me that these products of yours would allow us to stay clean, that they would help to keep us from getting sick and would make our house fit to live in. Well here they are, all of the things you left for us, you can have them back." The salesman was near speechless as the Mother brought out all of the products the man had left with her free of charge and all were unused, still unopened.
Though this story may sound ridiculous and far fetched, it is no more ridiculous than those who believe the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are true, yet fail to respond to the Gospel with saving faith. Mankind is afflicted with the disease of sin, and the only cleansing agent that can wash away these sins is the precious blood that Jesus shed for us when He died on the cross to pay the price of cleansing for us.
Many will say, yes I want the blood to cleanse me, yet they refuse to apply the blood to their hearts. God has set forth laws, rules that will enable us to live clean, joyous, victorious and abundant lives in Him. The Bible holds the truths we need, but acknowledging the Bible is true is not enough. We must apply its principles of spiritual and physical truths to our lives if we are to reap the benefits of salvation and cleansing, of wisdom and victory, and of joy and peace.
God empowers us with wisdom from His Word to remedy our bad decisions, He even comes to live inside us to lead and guide us. The cost of the cleanser has already been paid. Why not try it? Why not apply it today?
PS--Just as we need to bathe regularly to keep our bodies clean, so too, we need the cleansing of God's Word and fellowship with other Christians on a regular basis.
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I really enjoyed this interesting story. You did a nice job of showing how foolish we humans can be and how often we will pray for something yet not take any of the graces that God gives us. I noticed a few errors that a proofreader or an editor might help you catch. In the beginning you have its' and it should be just its (it's is the contraction of it is) In the second paragraph you tell us that you're going to tell us a story. Instead just start right in with something like: When I was a young boy, I remember a sermon that was once used to illustrate my point. Then when you tell it try to work on doing more showing and less telling. For example by changing this part here: There is a woman whose four children are all unwashed and unwell with dirty hands and faces and feet. to something that paints a picture will draw the reader in like this: Once a woman lived in a shack that looked as if it were about to topple over. Several children ran about barefoot and with snot dripping off their noses. Cluttering the house were stacks of dirty dishes, plates of leftover food that had turned into a petri dish of bacteria. Though I wrote this in a hurry, I did want to show you what I mean by doing more showing. it's something each writer struggles with. I know of a book that would help you with this concept. PM me if you're interested. I think you did a fine job of telling an important message. The fact that this story has stuck with you over the years shows what a powerful illustration it is. I can feel your passion and desire to spread the Lord's messages to as many people as possible. Keep writing, you're doing a great job.