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Stained!  

Walked into the Apple store the other day.  Wanted to take advantage of their special $29 battery replacement offer, as my iPhone is several years old.  So we dropped it off and perused mall stores selling products considerably beyond our income or station in life (among them a Tesla in which I dreamily sat).

When we came back to claim the phone, I was informed Apple refused to replace the battery because the phone had been exposed to water—which is true. About a year ago, I wrote of this disaster in The Thursday Thought

But in the kindness of Jesus, the phone came back to life and has functioned perfectly in the year since. Not a hint of trouble of any kind from my quick dip in the lake.  Like all phones, though, the battery only allows so many recharge cycles before it fades. Time for new.

As tech savvy readers know, Apple incorporates a small sensor inside the phone case that turns colors once it detects water damage.  A technician told me my phone was “stained.” 

I couldn’t argue the assessment. Guilty as charged.  Yet it all felt so harsh.  So final. No hope.  No second chance. Be gone!

It seemed to me a sad metaphor for the state in which sin leaves us: guilty—and stained. Like my incident in the lake, there’s no use in denying my culpability, my wrong doing. The sad truth is, I’ve stacked up a lifetime of selfish choices (the Bible word is “sin”).  

We are stained—every one of us—and therefore barred from the possibility of heaven and a right relationship with God. Like my fate at the Apple store, there was no hope for any of us.  No second chances.  Here’s how God assesses the situation:

“Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign Lord” (Jeremiah 2:22).   

But unlike my misadventure at the Apple store, the story doesn’t end there.  When Jesus died on the cross, He offered us the choice to be made clean by receiving the twin gifts of His forgiveness and assurance of eternal life. Consider I Corinthians 6:11, “But now you have had every stain washed off.  Now you have been set apart as holy.  Now you have been pronounced free from guilt, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God.”

That’s not just good news. That’s great news. Way better than a new phone battery!

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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