1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV
When we buy a new house and start making plans to move in, the first thing we want to do is make sure the inside of that house is clean from top to bottom. We also have a vision of what we want that house to look like in the future. As we live in that house, it begins to reflect our likes and dislikes. The neighbors who are familiar with that house will notice the changes that are being made. Maybe, not so much the ones inside, but when the outside starts to change they will notice those. Even those just driving by on a daily basis will start to notice the changes that are being made as your new house becomes a home to the new resident. Friends and neighbors will start to comment on how much better the house looks and what a great thing it is for the neighborhood. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts, He does the same thing. He wants His new residence to be cleansed from all the fleshly desires and attitudes. He desires that His new home will start to reflect His likes and dislikes. The work starts inisde, in our hearts. With time and His leadership, the outside will start to change to reflect the changes that have occurred in our hearts. Cleaning and maintaining a home requires a lot of cleaning products and time spent with those products. The cleansing and renewing of our hearts and minds requires a lot of time spent with God and using the cleansing power He provides for us.
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. — Eph. 5:26, 27 NIV
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. — Psalm 51:7 NIV
Just as the original cleaning of the new home doesn’t last and has to be followed by daily cleanings, so it is with our hearts, they need to be washed in the word every day. If we remain faithful in spending our daily time with Jesus, friends and neighbors will start to notice the difference the new resident in our heart is making in our daily lives.