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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Miranda Writes: I Like the Smell of Clean!




by Omar Miranda



Once a month my wife organizes what I like to call “The Big Buy!” What is the big buy, you ask? Well, it’s when my wife buys a big amount of stuff (duh). I mean, she’ll easily drop several hundred dollars on this trip.

And this month she bought the most wonderful and magical product. I was absolutely enthralled by the name: “Miracle Cleaning Eraser.” I know, that’s a big claim to make. The package says “Cleans just about anything” and “Removes scuffs and soap scum.” This is, of course, an awesome, much cheaper Walmart knockoff of the Mr. Clean brand “Magic Eraser” sponge. The most interesting thing about this product is that for being a “miracle,” it comes in this little plain white box.

One day this week my wife and daughter were using this product to clean tough, nasty stains off our old claw-foot bathtub. These stains were the careful work of my 6-year-old son’s constant “experiments” with God’s nature. Let me tell you: this product really works! Although it worked wonderfully, my wife and daughter, being the froufrou, feminine girls that they are (this is a good thing), wanted the bathroom to not only be clean but also smell nice. So they sprayed some awesome, cheaper, Walmart knockoff brand odor eliminator with some fancy-sounding name like “Himalayan Mountain Unicorn Breath.”

Immediately afterwards in stomped my son, sensing a disturbance in The Force. He smelled like a wet goat, with his rubber rain boots on (middle of summer, mind you) and trees growing under his fingernails. He looks at his mother and sister, then he looks at me, inhales deeply, and says one of the most deeply spiritual things a 6-year-old can say: “Ahhhhh, I like the smell of clean!”

Of course, he was talking about the smell of our newly sprayed bathroom, which he totally destroyed shortly thereafter. But his statement got me thinking about my spiritual life, and yours as well.

Each of us is blessed in the way that we can come to Jesus, who is like that incredible little plainly packaged “Miracle Cleaning Eraser.” We confess our sin, repent, and have that sin totally erased from our dirty, evil, selfish selves. First John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.”* And Isaiah 1:18 says “I, the Lord, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.”

But once we get clean, how do we stay clean? Well, the Bible covers that as well. It’s found in John 15:1-7:

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I am the true vine. . . . Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me.  I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me. If you don’t stay joined to me, you will be thrown away. You will be like dry branches that are gathered up and burned in a fire. Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you.’”

I know that my elevator doesn’t always go to the very top, but even I can’t miss the main point of what Jesus was trying to say: To have a healthy and intimate relationship with God—to stay clean—you’ve got to be and stay connected to Him.

In this passage Jesus uses the phrase “stay joined” eight times. So I have just one question for you: have you ever been connected to Jesus? Have you ever accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? It’s simple to do.

I recently heard a preacher say, “You can’t remain where you’ve never been.” Once you’ve gotten connected, just stay there. No matter what kind of good or bad things happen to you, stay connected to Him. Stay connected to Him. Not to other people or to stuff, but to Him. Many of the things that we’re connected to aren’t bad, but they’re not Jesus. They can’t give you eternal life. Only Jesus can do that.

The 12 disciples spent three years being exclusively with Jesus. They woke up with Him (do you think Jesus had morning breath?), they ate with Him, they watched Him teach, preach, heal, love on people, and snap on them too. During the day I’m sure they left His side for a while to pick up food or visit somebody who was sick or go somewhere and preach, but at the end of the day they always came back. They always ended their day connecting with Jesus.

And so it is with you, during the day, no matter what you do or whom you’re with or where you go—come back and connect with Jesus. When you succeed, and especially when you fail, come back to Jesus at the end of the day. Spend some time talking to Him about what your day was like. Connect with Him and let that connection magically and powerfully erase all the grime and dirt and sin of the day. If you do this every day, habitually, day in and day out, I promise you, you’ll like the smell of clean.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omiranda@rhpa.org; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, Editor

*Scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is the editor/director of Insight Ministries and a Christian counselor and with more than 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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