Coffee stains
April 23, 2012
by Pastor Brandt Johnson, Dassel Church of Christ

I like coffee. I like it rich, dark, strong, and hot. In fact, I have a favorite coffee mug. It is not my favorite because of the saying on it, because of the color, or even because of the picture on it. It is my favorite because it is BIG. I can drink two cups of coffee at the same time with this thing. It’s great!

The other day, I picked up my favorite mug and saw, there in the bottom, two dark rings. Now, when I had picked the mug up, I thought that it was clean. From the outside, I could not see any stains. It looked like it had just been washed.

“No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just rinse it out.” Guess what, it would not be rinsed. The stains stayed there.

This got me to thinking, and that is a big deal since I had not had my coffee yet. I thought about that stain in my favorite mug. How did it get there? How had I neglected something that I hold so dearly to the point that it became stained?

This thought process and line of thinking is what leads someone to more thinking and more questions. This can be dangerous at early hours. I started to think about life, about the Bible, and about the “stains” in our lives.

How does a coffee mug get stained? First, it has to get dirty. You use the cup. Second, the mug then sits for while with a few drops of coffee in the bottom of it. Third, the coffee evaporates, leaving behind residue that stains the inside of your favorite mug.

How do lives get stained? First, they get dirty. Second, they get left that way for a while, with just a little bit of sin in them. Third, when the sinful events are done, they leave behind a little residue on our lives.

Are there “stains” in your life? Have you allowed sin to sit in your heart long enough to leave a stain? Is the outside of your life clean, but inside, stained? This reminds me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 23:27. He tells the religious leaders that they are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful outwardly, but on the inside, they are full of dead men’s bones (paraphrase).

Realize, today, that it does not matter what the outside of your cup looks like if the inside is stained and dirty. Realize that man looks at outward appearance, but that God looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7).

Realize that it is our own fault that we have stains in our lives. We could have cleaned them out at any time, but yet they remain.

If the truth be told, my favorite mug was still my favorite, even though it was stained. The stains did not bother me. Oh, I knew they were there. And every time I used that mug, I would think that I ought to do something about it. But I didn’t.

Too often, this same thing happens with the “stains” in our lives. We don’t let them bother us. We get used to them. We may even think of them as a status symbol. We do not want to change.

We are God’s vessels; I Corinthians 4 calls us jars of clay that carry the message of Christ. Do we want to carry God’s message in stained vessels? We need to get cleaned, get up, and get going.

There is a way to get rid of our stains. There is a cleansing that we all can experience. Jesus Christ died to wash the stains of sin away from our lives.

Hebrews 10:22 talks about being washed with “pure water.” Revelations 1:5 says that Jesus Christ “washed us from our sins” (KJV). Jesus Christ offers “pure water” to wash and cleanse us from our stains. He wants to make us whiter than snow.

Do you have stains in your “mug”? Do you need to be washed?