Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to Fix What's Broken!

All of us are good at something. However, no matter how good we are at some things, all of us realize at some point in our life that we aren't always the best captain of our own ship.

We're all different, but it goes something like this:

A lot of us have some bad habits which keep us from doing what we should be doing. Others of us simply mess up in big or little ways and do things we know we cannot be proud of. Then there are times when some of us actually do what we should do, but for the wrong reasons. Of course, at times many of us secretly want to be really ratty, even though we'd be too embarrassed to behave that way in front of others. If we are honest about it for a moment, a good many of us know that we do some things that hurt people without even realizing it - which is being careless. Lastly, some people who are tired of feeling guilty, twist their mind around this way and that way with one argument or another until they feel justified or even proud about doing wrong things, at least for a while.

We've all felt bad about things we've done wrong (or failed to do) in our lives, but why?

We know we are meant to do what is right!

We even know down deep that doing right all the time would be rather glorious somehow or other, and down deep, we wish we could live that way all of the time. Instead, we find ourselves doing wrong things which are anything but glorious - but is there really a way to change all that?

Actually - there is an answer for all those problems, and it begins with the truth:

The truth shall make you free. John 8:32

First, we need to realize that there is a word for the wrong kind of behavior which we have all fallen into. It is the simple word 'sin.'

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Sin is something we should be ashamed of. It is not sophisticated. It is not cool. It is actually quite unglorious.

Today, many people are trying to do themselves and you a favor by suggesting that the shame you experience deep down can simply be ignored, or by sometimes saying you are sorry (again), or by trying to do better (again), or, amazingly enough, by deciding that the shameful behavior is really okay after all.

The problem is that none of these options really makes the shame go away down deep where it matters most.

The problem is still there - shame. It all needs to be gotten rid of, because (and they are right about this), shame is toxic.

But it's not just the shame that is toxic. The sin that brings about that shame is toxic too. Actually, it is utterly deadly.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Is all death alike? No! The most forboding 'death' is actually facing eternal death in hell.

The wicked shall be turned into hell. Psalms 9:17a

None of us want to face that.

The good news is that there is a way to get rid of sin and shame. There is a way out!

The 'gift of God - eternal life in Christ Jesus' is available to us because Jesus paid for that gift with His life already.

This is how it works.

When we sinned, we actually earned the penalty of death for ourselves. Someone has to pay that penalty. You know, "There's no such thing as a free lunch"? I'm the one who is supposed to pay for my sin. You are the one who is supposed to pay for your sin, and so on.

The problem for humanity is that once any of us pay, once we die eternally, there is no coming back. But like I said, there is a way out!

God's gift to you was paid for by Jesus himself when He died on the cross.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. I Peter 2:24a

Better yet, when He came back from the dead, He conquered death with eternal life!

He could do this because throughout His entire life He lived unto righteousness. Sin brings the power of death. Righteousness brings the power of life! His righteous life gave Him power over both life and death.

The question begs to be asked then: Can't we just start living righteously in order to conquer eternal death?

The answer is, 'No.'

For one thing, living better today isn't enough to wipe out our previous penalty, just like driving better today doesn't mean we don't have to pay a speeding ticket if we got one yesterday.....

For another thing, well, let's cut to the chase, He said we are to be saved through faith, and if He said it, that is the program:

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and that (faith) is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

We've proven we are not the best captain of our own ship.

Even when there was only one rule, humanity failed. That one rule, "Don't eat the fruit from this tree," can be summed up in two or three general principles:

--do what you say you will do (it's sort of inferred that Adam & Eve agreed to obey God)
--don't take what belongs to another (stuff, authority, glory, place, etc.)
--don't try to be something you are not (like, don't try to be god; he's better at it anyway; and don't try to write your own laws, God is better at it than we are......, which is why we aren't the best captain of our own ship)

Any sin we commit boils down to these basic principles today as well.

Adam and Eve only broke that one rule one time to bring the sentence of eternal death to their spirit. The only hope they had was that God promised that the seed of woman would come and offer us a way of escape.

Because of that one promise, they had hope. Because Jesus fulfilled that promise, so do we.

We have more than a hope! We have been offered an incredible gift!

You can accept His gift, and if you do, not only will His death remove your sin (so there is no more penalty to be paid by you), but the power to live unto righteousness, which empowered Him with the power of life, will become available to you in your own life as well.

There it is: The power to do what is right!

Along with the power to live eternally. And..... there's this too:

It's actually pretty amazing when you think about it - that He would die for any of us. But He did it because God, His Father, loves us.

God loves you!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Because His Father loved you, Jesus loved you too, to the point of death:

Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins... to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Revelations 1:5b, 6b

He cares about everything in your life. He wants to take care of the problems in your life His way:

....overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21b

Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you. I Peter 5:7

It's really that simple: sin brings death; living unto righteousness conquers death. Jesus loved us, so He lived a life unto righteousness here on earth to conquer death here on earth for us.

His life in us can conquer sin and death in us.

We simply need to ask for God's mercy and forgiveness, accept His gift which Jesus made available to you through His death and resurrection. Then He will wash away the sin and shame, breathe new life into your spirit, and provide you with the power to live unto righteousness, along with the promise of an eternal life in the future, free from the ravages of sin, in heaven with Him for eternity!

You can do that right now simply by praying something like this:

God, I know that I am a sinner, and that I need your forgiveness. Thankyou for your gift of forgiveness which you are freely giving to me even though I cannot begin to deserve it, simply because you love me. I do believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins, and that He rose to create a newness of life for others, which you are now sharing with me. Thank you, Jesus for dying for me. I know that I cannot walk in newness of life without your help. Right now, I cast all of my cares upon you and trust you to take care of them. They are yours. What an amazing God that you would die for me and take care of my cares. You are truly a glorious God. Help me to begin living my life in a way that helps others see your glory too.


If you just prayed that prayer humbly, in faith, then there is much rejoicing going on in heaven just because you have accepted His invitation to join Him there someday!

There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Luke 15:10

I really hope that you will let me know so that I can rejoice with you as well!

It will be important to begin to prepare for your new life in Christ Jesus. You can find some information here to help you begin that new life.

Feel free to let me know how you are doing as you begin to work on these different things. It would be a blessing for me to have an opportunity to encourage you and pray for you.

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