Friday, March 1, 2013

Don't Take It Lightly

I wrote in A SourTaste in My Mouth that although we have done wrong many times, and the sins of the entire world number in the Gazillions, we can be entirely and completely forgiven through Christ! No need to feel condemned, we can be forgiven and free. Righteousness through God.

Even when I repeat a wrong, rather than feeling hopeless and guilty, I can talk to Him, and have the assurance that Jesus’ death on the Cross buys my forgiveness. God is merciful.

In this post I want to stress that we should never, never take sin lightly. We should never, never take forgiveness for granted.

God hates sin. In one place the Bible says “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” [1]

Out of respect for God we should view sin the way He does. That is the fear of God. I need more of it.
Sin is horrible. It is hideous. It flies in the face of God’s nature.

Doing wrong has consequences. They are always misery, suffering, and ultimately death. Because of God’s sheer mercy, the consequences of evil are not always immediate. If they were instantaneous, we would stop sinning, but we would probably stop living too. If I don’t water my plants, they wither and die. They don’t die instantly. When I do wrong my life, relationships, and career begin to wither.

New Town was the result of sin. So is divorce. And so is the fight with my wife after I say something harsh or stupid.

 “Why doesn’t God do something?”  we might say. “Why did this happen to me?” Amazingly, we blame God!

Why should God do something? Are you and I obligated to be good to those who ignore and offend us?

But in reality, God has done something! The cross. What a friend called the “throne of God.” Sin was overcome on that “tree.” Free favor and forgiveness was offered in Jesus. God didn’t need to give His Son, but He did, because He loves us. He loves you. He loved the shooter at New Town, he loves both parties in a divorce, he loves me when I’m harsh or stupid.

But He doesn’t love the wrongs themselves. He hates sin because it kills us. It is contrary to who He is.

So I purpose never to take sin lightly. First and foremost my own.

“How blessed are all who fear the LORD as they follow in his ways. You will eat from the work of your hands; you will be happy, and it will go well for you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children like olive shoots surrounding your table. See how the man will be blessed who fears the LORD.”[2]

[1] Proverbs 8:13 (International Standard Version)
[2] Psalm 128:1-4

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Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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