08.25.15 – Potty Training


Stirring the Stink; Spiritual Lessons From the Pages of Potty Training

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” – Isaiah 64:6

I want to tell you the story of a father and his young son. For weeks, the father had been diligently potty training the young lad, teaching him the basics of bathroom etiquette and personal hygiene.  One day when the son felt the urge to use the bathroom, He confidently told his father that he was ready to go to the bathroom without any help. The father said, “Okay, but if you need me for anything, I will be waiting in the hallway ready to help.” So the Father sent the boy into the bathroom and closed the door. As he patiently waited, he heard his son rummaging around in the bathroom, just as any curious young boy might do.  He heard the toilet seat go up and down, and the toilet being repetitively flushed, as if it was some sort of toy.  He even heard his son humming and quietly singing to himself.  All of these noises were cushioned by an occasional period of silence. As time passed by, the father became increasingly concerned. The task at hand was taking longer than it should have. The father spoke through the door and said, “Son, are you okay?” The little boy boastfully shouted back, “I’m okay daddy; I can do this all by myself!” Yet the father knew that something was wrong. He entered the bathroom only to find out that everything was not okay. The boy was standing in a puddle of urine with his clothes crumpled in a pile on the wet floor. He had a roll of toilet paper in his hand as he tried to wipe his bottom clean. Toilet paper was scattered everywhere. Both he and the toilet were covered with poop. As the father stood there looking at his son with loving eyes, the boy frantically continued to try to clean himself off; yet the more he tried, the bigger mess he made.

I understand that this illustration might be considered somewhat crude. Nevertheless, it accurately depicts the mess we make when we try to clean up our lives from the mess of sin without crying out to our heavenly Father. In reality, any attempt on our part to wipe ourselves clean from stain of sin only spreads the stink. Even our best efforts to be clean only lead to a pile of filthy rags strewn all over the place (Isaiah 64:6). The truth is, our garments are soiled and we need our Heavenly Father to remove them (Zechariah 3:3-4); for He is the only one who can clean us up and clothe us with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10, Revelation 3:5).

But how does this all happen? How are we made clean? We are made clean through the atoning work of Christ accomplished at the cross of Calvary. God the Father provides cleansing for His children through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, and it is Christ alone who atones for sin. He became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). This means we have nothing to offer based upon our own merit when it comes to getting clean before God. Any effort to do so is futile labor which falls short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23). In essence, we end up only making a bigger mess.

If we could offer something towards our salvation, it would mean that salvation could somehow be bought. But salvation cannot be  bought (Ephesians 2:8-9). In fact, we are the ones bought – bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). And when Jesus paid the price for our sin, He paid the full price. Thus, we cannot even offer the smallest contribution to the balance due for the price of our soul. God designed salvation in this way so we could not boast in ourselves, but only boast in God (1 Corinthians 1:31). Yet we have a tendency to be like the boasting little boy in the story. We proudly say, “I can do this all by myself” when we can’t. And any effort on our part to spiritually clean ourselves just stirs the stink. It is only the atoning work of our Lord Jesus that cleans us from the stain and smear of sin.

 – Pastor Eric

46 thoughts on “08.25.15 – Potty Training

  1. We cannot do it alone. We need our Heavenly Father to come and dwell inside of us, to save us. And He does. Christ is our Savior. We can’t do it, but with God we can. We are filthy rags, unrighteous, and not perfect. But since God loved us so much He sent His Son, the perfect sacrifice. We can’t clean up our lives or do it alone, which lots of people tend to think. They think that they’re perfect and the best but really they aren’t perfect and they aren’t the best. But God is perfect and the best… And He saved us from the dominion of the devil, we are His.

  2. we tend to think that we can do it by ourselves. but really we can’t. and as Ellie said we can’t clean up our lives alone.
    and its a great example because just as the father was waiting patiently for his son to come out. God is waiting patiently for us to come to him, whether it’s with our problems or our hearts. and though we tell others were okay, God knows something is wrong. and he cares.

  3. We cannot do it on our own! God is the only way! We need to be less prideful and ask him and others for help and prayers. I am bless to have such great friends at church. I know I can always them for help and God, of course. God is the ultimate God! We can trust Him. He has saved us and wants us to ask for help

  4. We have got to let God in. Being baptized or sprinkled or whatever does not save us at all! God is waiting for us to come running to Hil and I pray that everyone in this class has truly had that defining point in their life where they relize that they are drowning a and need Jesus. I did this year at a DNOW at my church on March 21. I thought I was saved when I was a little girl but I was just a “good” kid, I didn’t have a strong relationship with God and I didn’t feel guilty when I sinned. Now, I do, and I thank God and my wonderful youth group for that! 🙂

  5. We are dirty and filled with sin, yet God loves us anyway. He sent his only Son to die for bad people, like that video we watched said. That shows how much God loves and cares for us even though we continually sin and make bad decisions. God will always forgive us and it’s true that we can’t do anything without God. We are helpless without him and at times when we think we can do things on our own, we just need to step back and trust God to help us. He is in control of everything and we can take comfort in that.

  6. That is true we can’t do it alone, we need Him to lead and guide us. Not to long ago one of the youth leaders at my church said something like this that we cant do it alone and to accomplish it we must ask God for help. 🙂 I have trouble sometimes asking God for help because I think I can finish the job on my own, and then I get frustrated because it did not turn out how i wanted it to then i remember that God can fix it. God loves us no matter how much we mess up, and we can relax by knowing that He is in control of everything.

  7. I agree that we cannot become clean from our sin with out God. We need to ask him to forgive us from our sin, and once we do he forgives us. Many people believe that if they sin then they can make it better by doing good deeds, but that doesn’t help. What helps i asking for forgivness

  8. I believe that this message shows us a very good representation of how we are dirty with sin. We try to wash away and clean our filth on our own without looking up to God, who is the only one that can truly clean us of our sin. We should all take this into account when we feel as if we need to be cleaned, because we cannot clean ourselves without the help of our Father.

  9. This is truly an amazing blog post. I believe this with all my heart that we can’t clean ourselves without the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why God sent Him to die for our sins. God didn’t send Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior for us to try to cleanse ourselves, no He sent Him to pay the debt for our sins so whoever believes in him shall not parish but have everlasting life. People find themselves, like this boy, trying to clean themselves when truthfully all they need to do is ask Jesus into their hearts.

  10. This story is so true it is like us in every way . The boy is us like you said, the boys predicament is not a one time event it something that’s many times a day that we need to go to the Father and ask Him to help cleanse us many times a day. We are dirty like the little boy and we can not boastfully do anything without God because he gives us the power to do all that we do.

  11. this story is very true because using the bathroom is a one or twice a day thing witch show us that we need God more than just one time we need him all the time. God also has invested in us so much this shows us that no matter how confident or ready we feel we always need him.

  12. We cant do everything on our own. We need God in our life. We need Him to help us clean ourselves. If we try to clean our sins by doing ‘good deeds’ or something of that sort, we aren’t getting anything accomplished. If we have God in our lives, he can help us through anything!

  13. We are all dirty and we need Christ Jesus to make us clean.when we try to solve apron let on our own,it won’t turn out the way we expected.when we make aims take and try to fix it on our own,we just make it worse.we have all sinned and we need God to redeem us.

    • We are all dirty and we need Christ Jesus to make us clean.when we try to solve a problem on our own we make mistakes and we make the problem worse.we have all sinned and we need God to redeem us.(sorry messed up on the first one!😃)

      • Maggie! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, you and your sister are a blessing to our class…It is obvious that your parents have taught you both God’s Word. Have a great night!

  14. Thank you Mr Martin for this. I really struggle with this daily. I try to clean myself and try to do it all by myself when God is just waiting their to help me but I think that I can do it all by myself. I’m really enjoying doing these and being in your class.

  15. As Christians, we sometimes think we can do things on our own. Even though, we know that God is always there for us no matter what the circumstances. Like the boy, we often leave our Father outside the door, not asking for His help. We become prideful, and independent, believing that our way is better. But like the boy in the story, we usually end up making a much larger mess by not asking our Father for His help!

  16. I agree with this, and I especially like the part where it says that we can’t clean ourselves up without God’s help. As much as we try, we can’t. I also like the part that says that nothing we can do can make up for what Jesus did. It shows how much He really loves us.

  17. Most of the time we think we can take the problems of life and don’t think to turn to God. Just like the child, we try to fix the problem, but we always make it worse. We should let God cleanse us so we can learn from that to become better though our Christian walk.

  18. Very inspiring message Mr. Martin! I think that some people feel they need to do good so they will be able to get to heaven, when in all actuality, as believers, we need to do good and show the fruits to be a mirror to God. If we don’t show the fruits, it is going to be hard for someone to want to follow and be like God. And we need help to do that! We need to ask God for patience or kindness or anything that we may be struggling with! Thank you for the message Mr. Martin! 🙂

  19. Sometimes we think that we should only go to God with our big problems and not the simple things, the small messes. A lot of times those simple things become bigger problems that we should have never tried to fix in the first place. All things should be given to God, even the little things.

  20. This message is very encouraging to me. I really need to heed and gain wisdom from this truth from God because I always try to solve my problems by myself, and I should not do that. I know God is there saying “Klowy let me take this one” and I refuse and say “I got it”, when I really don’t have it! And I love how this message says that He has already made me clean by Calvary on the cross! And that all my wrong I have done in the past, present, and went that I will do in the future is already covered. But this doesn’t mean I can just sin and not care about repenting or even try to do better next time. I will keep striving to hand over my problems to God, but this also means I cannot just lay back lazily and let God do all of the work. No, we have to pitch in as Jesus’ servant and help Him with a willingly heart to do better and help solve the problem. I also love how God looks at us with loving eyes and cleans us up! I also love God’s unfailing and radical love! W are not alone. We have a friend and that friend is Jesus!

  21. We try to clean up our lives without asking God for help. Then we end up making a bigger mess of our lives. Lucky for us God is like the Father in the story waiting to help us clean up our mess. I am glad God is there to help me through life.

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