Summary: Moral filth and evil are sometimes things that WE must deal with, here is a message stating why that is the case.
PLUNGE THE MORAL FILTH
James Series 9: The Elimination of Evil
INTRO: A couple of year’s ago, I attended the National Youth Worker’s Convention with one of my best friends in the world, a man named Jeff Easterwood. While getting out of the van with our driver, Jeff exclaimed, “wait a minute,” then ran back to the van to get something. I was thinking it was a Bible, a notebook, you know, that kind of stuff. But he proceeded to grab a plunger.
THE PLUNGER: Jeff proceeded to explain to me that he had used the plunger in a lesson he had made about “plunging the moral filth,” and that the plunger was a memory device—or something. Anyhoo, Jeff carried that plunger with him the entire weekend and told everyone who wanted to hear the message or not that we need to plunge the moral filth of our lives, which is an awesome message for all to hear (the funniest moment of them all is when he was able to sneak himself up to the front of the 3rd Day Concert using the plunger as a dividing stick, some people even called him the honorable title: Plunger Boy).
TRANSITION: So now we are in that infamous book of James where the term is used, so let us look at this passage that gives us the phrase “moral filth.”
BIBLE VERSE: James 1:21
21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
1. Get Rid of Moral Filth:
BED BUGS EXAMPLE: “Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite” has been spoken by loving mothers to their children for decades as they gently tucked their little ones to sleep and wished them a good night. The phrase itself carries within it the gentle reminder of a younger age and the loving ritual of our youthful mothers. Little did we know that there actually are millions of tiny little bed bugs just waiting for their chance to attack, and it appears that they are once again on the prowl.
The bed bug phenomenon began in United States during our early years when immigrants from Europe carried the little numskulls aboard their ships and right into the linen closets and bed sheets of America. After World War II, with the advent of DDT and the spraying of other insect killers, the bedbug population went quiet, almost like it had fallen asleep. It seems that our nation’s decision to take such a strong stance at killing cockroaches worked wonders at ending the bed bug infestation as well.
But the creepy critters are back. Some estimates have the increase at over 5000% per year over the last decade though it is hard for this mind to imagine an accurate statistic on the matter. Hotels, bed & breakfasts, and every bedroom in USA are under attack from this almost microscopic intruder. War has been declared as some people have gone to some extremes to stop them. These often times include putting poisons out to be ingested, buying bug eating pets, or even throwing away the infested item which means saying goodbye to mattresses, sheets, coaches, and the like. To stop the little buggers, Congress has proposed H.R. 2248, or better known as the “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2009” to attempt to halt them. Whether it will work or not, we do not know.
On the spiritual side, I believe there is help for any person’s life that is riddled with a bug problem that does not seem to go away. If the spiritual bug problem that is happening reflects a reoccurring sin that seems to be rampant in a person’s life, the cure is not some laboratory chemical created by man, nor the addition of some larger predator into the house, nor is it the complete tossing away of someone’s life in order to start again. The answer is Jesus.
In the book of Jeremiah, the author is confronted with the question of why God’s hand has seemed to be lifted off of his chosen people, why were bad times among the people. The answer was sin. Chapter 5 verses 24-25 state, “They do not say to themselves ‘let us revere the LORD our God. It is he who gives us the autumn rains and the spring rains at the same time. It is he who assures us of the regular weeks of the harvest.’ Your misdeeds have stopped these things from coming. Your sins have deprived you of my bounty.”
Christian friends, we do fight a battle against an almost invisible enemy that wishes to feed on our lives like a block-sucking insect. This adversary wishes to lead our lives into a state of immorality, of misdeeds. Satan, like bed bugs, can live for a brief period of time in a clean environment, but enjoys his longest stays in areas that are dirty, abandoned, and left to decay. So let’s stand up and fight these small battles against the sins that drag us down, the sins that leave us scratching ourselves rather than serving God. Let’s clean up our lives today, and let us start this battle right where Congress is beginning the battle against bed bugs--in our bedrooms.