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Devotionals by Dale O'Shields

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Clean or Dirty?

“Is this clean or dirty?”

This question seeks to determine the current physical or moral condition of something. We ask it about dishes in the kitchen, a towel in a bathroom, a joke someone is about to tell, and a variety of other things.

Why are we so concerned about the cleanness of things? Because we understand the potential consequences of dirt, filth and contamination.  We know that exposure to uncleanness is dangerous to our health; physically and morally. Instinctively we understand a basic truth, clean is better than dirty!

If clean is better to us, we should also realize that it is better to God too. It is something He wants us to be, for two primary reasons:

  • When we are contaminated by moral and spiritual filth, we run the risk of being destroyed by spiritual diseases. Dirt in our soul makes us vulnerable to all kinds of spiritual viruses and infections. It robs our spiritual health.
  • When we are contaminated by moral and spiritual filth, God cannot use us to help and bless others. Dirty dishes are not used for serving. They are set aside until they are cleansed and made ready for service again.

"When it comes to cleanness of heart and life, God’s first concern is our spiritual health. His second concern is our spiritual service.

Because cleanness is such a priority to God, getting and staying spiritually clean should become a priority to us. It should direct our daily choices; where we go, what we look at and listen to, the people we associate with, the thoughts we think and the words we speak. It should also affect the prayers we pray.

The psalmist understood the connection of prayer and spiritual cleanness. He prayed:

“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean … ” — Psalm 51:7 (NLT)

“Create in me a clean heart, O God … ” — Psalm 51:10 (NLT)

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you … ” — Psalm 19:14 (NLT)

The Apostle Paul reminded us of the power and importance of a clean life too:

“If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” — 2 Timothy 2:21 (NLT)

Clean or dirty? Go for clean! You’ll be healthier, and more useful and pleasing to God!

Dale O'Shields

For more information, visit the Church of the Redeemer's website.
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Positive changes happen in us when we know, believe, confess and obey God’s Word. When we agree with what God says about us, our minds are renewed, and our choices and habits improve. In this new book from Pastor Dale O'Shields, you will find 25 biblically-based affirmations that will help you think right about God, yourself, others and the world.

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About Practical Living

As it has for over a decade, our weekly broadcast continues to provide fresh, contemporary insights into Christ's teachings. Tune in and "get practical" in your walk with the Lord!

About Dale O'Shields

Dale O’Shields is the founding and Senior Pastor of four campuses in Maryland, just north of the greater Washington, DC area.

Dale O’Shields is known for his relevant teaching style focused on practical application in people’s lives. His messages are regularly broadcast on radio and television. He is also the author of several books, devotionals and group study guides.

Dale O’Shields is a frequent conference speaker with a passion for leadership development and church growth. He has served as the Senior Pastor of a thriving local church for over 25 years. His heart to equip and encourage pastors and church leaders has led him to be a key founder of United Pastors Network.

Dale O’Shields has been involved in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving previously as Director of Campus Ministries and as an adjunct instructor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He and his wife Terry have two married daughters and seven grandchildren.

Contact Practical Living with Dale O'Shields

Mailing Address
Church Of The Redeemer
19425 Woodfield Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20879


Phone Number
(301) 926-0967