USE A CLEAN PLATE

Talk about the blunder from down under! An Australian man reported finding live maggots in the pre-cooked chicken he had purchased from a local supermarket. Unfortunately he found them after he’d eaten several bites. Ewww! There are some things that you never want to experience. Today we’re going to talk about some of them in a way that could just possibly save your life.

Before getting to some new definitions of “extra special” as relates to food purity, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me on the top spot for coffee with a cleric on the internet. My coffee cup is clean, and so is today’s lesson. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!

When you or I drop in to our local fast food joint for a quick bite of lunch, the waitress might ask if you want lettuce and tomato on your burger; but you’ll never get the questions, “Did you want a clean plate?” Of course you do !!!! Even getting asked the question would raise serious concerns in your mind about your choice of restaurants, right? “Mostly clean” is not the standard we hope for in restaurants, public restrooms, or laundry baskets. No one puts clean food on dirty plates or clean laundry on top of the clothes that still need to washed. If EVERYTHING isn’t clean, then none of it really is. Our Australian friend would not have been comforted by the knowledge that the container holding the maggot-infested chicken was clean.

Whether you’ve found a frost-bitten frog in your bag of frozen peas or a finger tip in your ice cream, the experience turns your stomach. I know of a woman in the U.K who was mystified by the lumpy consistency of the “Asda Extra Special” curry sauce she had poured into a pan. She discovered how a mouse had apparently lived out the final moments of its life – drowning in curry. It wasn’t the “extra special” touch of flavor she’d been hoping for.

Nobody likes pollution; not of any sort. We all prefer clean and fresh. New and unused.

Today’s verse says MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH AND THE MEDITATIONS OF MY HEART BE PLEASING TO YOU, O LORD

God prefers His followers to be pure, too. The process of PEOPLE getting that way and staying that way is pretty much the same as the process for FOOD FACTORIES getting that way and staying that way. If you don’t begin at the source, sooner or later you’ll have problems with the delivered product.

With factories, you have to be diligent about getting them completely clean to begin with. Then the process of preparation has to maintain high standards, as does the cleanup afterwards. Some things are going to be messy, but messy and dirty are not the same thing. When my wife makes banana bread, she starts with clean counters, bowls and pans. Clean and properly fresh ingredients make for a delicious outcome. And once the bread mixture is baking in the oven, the work area and the prep tools all get thoroughly washed.

It’s no different with people, and most especially the people who walk with God. We need to begin by getting thoroughly cleaned before we’re ready to be used. But living life gets the dirt and muck of the world on us, and we need to get cleaned up after we’ve been used. Staying clean is an ongoing process.

To maintain our cleanliness and purity, we need to guard our hearts and monitor our mouths. “Mostly clean” is never an acceptable standard. Stephen Forse of Oxfordshire, England discovered a dead mouse in the loaf of bread he bought from a local bakery. A little filth ruins the whole loaf. Katherine Ortega from Newport News, Virginia found a deep-fried chicken head nestled among her McNuggets. We need to regularly come to God and deal with the messes within us, asking Him to forgive and cleanse us.

You and I are called to serve God and advance His kingdom. Let’s remember the first rule of serving well — Use A Clean Plate !

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