Friday, January 20, 2017

Sin: the ultimate curse word!

Many do not recognize the word, sin. Many ignore it and feel it is over-emphasized. The problem is that we, with the exception of one born of woman, have a sin nature. It's with us at conception, handed down over the entire world genealogy right to us. It is the curse of all curses because it ultimately leads to an end that wasn't supposed to happen: death.

Why is death so terrible, so frightening, so swept under the rug for most of our lives? Because it is un-natural. We weren't created to die. Yet, and this makes my English teacher sensibility cringe: the wages of sin is death. The outcome of having, through Adam and Eve, disobeyed a God who cannot accept any sin, is that we physically must die. We can ignore it, take crazy measures to avoid it but, nevertheless it will be an end to the physical existence of all of us.

A lot of folks just cannot understand why someone else down the street who REALLY does bad things is in trouble while we, for the most part good people, can't just be good enough on a sliding scale to have God excuse us into heaven. Yet, we are all cursed and that curse cannot be overcome by ourselves. We are trapped by the very sin nature that condemned us in the first place.

Well, God knew about all of this. He knew that His created, having sinned and thus been placed away from His presence, would have to have an intervention for things to get fixed. You know what happened, though it is almost too amazing to understand. God sent God into this broken world to fix things, permanently. It was no easy fix! It involved giving the Son of God up to those He came to save to be put to death. Things looked hopeless. Even those who had followed Him were convinced that the end had come to their dream. But He, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was resurrected into life eternal, having broken the curse of sin, death and Satan forever.

Now God is in the process of trying to save us from ourselves. In the end, we have the ultimate choice to make. We can accept the gift of salvation, have our heinous sins forgiven for all time, be adopted into God's family and presence, or.... we can refuse. Refuse. May God forbid!

He saved us from His wrath. In a real sense, He is trying to save us from ourselves. 
Think it through. Do not wait. We do not know what tomorrow may bring. It is an eternal decision.

Praise our loving God!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hello, King Harod...

I have been reading a wonderful book by Timothy Keller called, Hidden Christmas. I would highly recommend your enjoying it! One of the ideas that most caught my attention was the suggestion that each and every one of us has a bit of King Herod within him. You will remember that Harod was essentially a powerless Roman 'plant' whose major job was to keep peace among those within 'his territory.' Apparently, he took his position to the extreme by putting many to death, even members of his own family.  

When confronted with travelers seeking the King of the Jews, he became very unsettled and sought to find the location of the birth of Jesus. When his plan was thwarted by an Angelic visit, he had all male children two years and under massacred. 

Now Keller is not suggesting that you, dear reader, would do such an abominable thing; he is, however, talking about that part within us that really has no desire to give up our control of our own lives. Many of us, Christians included, are quite willing to place Jesus and God on the 'stand-by' mode just in case we run into difficulties that we cannot 'solve' for ourselves. We really do not want to surrender our rule to anyone, even the God who created both the universe and us. 

What happens when people, with out sinful natures, try to fix things and work things out? Well one need only take a good look at our own lives to see that we can, as Alistair Begg is want to say, make a royal hash of things. When it comes to being qualified to drive our own lives to peace and real happiness, we don't pass the drivers' test. Some of us are sort-of Christians, almost Christians, Christ-less Christians who continue to look one way on Sunday and quite another at other times.

There is only one capable of leading us through the maze that is this life; that would be He who voluntarily came down into this world and lived a fully human life so that He might understand and be aware of what we experience, He who welcomes us to come to Him because His yoke is light, He who was there before time began involved in our creation, He who knows us like no other, even ourselves.

It isn't easy. You will need help from scripture, prayer, others and, of course, the Holy Spirit of God who awaits your open heart. You're not Harod so give up the need to be King. We have an ever-capable King who loves us completely.

Praise our God!