Not being able to hug or talk to that person you love.
I hate death.
I hate the separation that death brings.
I hate that it is the wages of sin that leads to death.
Yes, I hate that same sinfulness and wickedness and worldliness that I once loved, because it brings death and destruction.
I hate that I was too often been a party to sin in my life.
I hate that my example and influence for years did not free the captives, did not bring life, did not lift up and encourage myself and others along a different path – a path turned away from sin.
I used to have a god that had no problem with me being wrapped up in sin and death, because my god was no god at all, but I was my own master – justifying my own thoughts and opinions and ideas that weren’t Godly or righteous or true.
But I serve a new master today, and it is only by the grace of God that my eyes have been opened to not hate the law, but to love God’s instruction – and it isn’t a license to sin or a ladder of works – it’s a new life.
I used to SAY that I know that I’m saved, but my life sure didn’t SHOW that I know that I’m saved. I had a type of religious awareness that was empty of any abiding relationship of walking in His will.
My idea of being loving like Christ was just to “not judge others” so that I could justify all the sin that I was allowing to be active in my own life. But Jesus didn’t say that we should ignore the speck in someone else’s eye so we could leave the log in our own eye. No, He said REMOVE the log in your own eye so you can then help your brother REMOVE the log in his eye as well.
Jesus said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” a statement that many of “those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars” would say is “judgemental” and “not loving and compassionate and tolerant of alternative opinions”.
The Bible tells us that sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2), that belief and obedience and life are unified not exclusive from each other (John 3:36).
So if we are comfortable remaining in our sin, can we say that we feel any loss, absence, or separation from God? If we never recognized our sin removing us from His presence, if we do not have a hunger or longing that draws us to God and away from the sin that steals, kills, and destroys, can we say that we ever really knew that true love for God, for His will, for the way, for the truth?
Can we say that we have yielded and surrendered or lives fully to Christ, not only as “take me as I am” Savior, but also as “lay down your life, pick up your cross, and follow me” Lord?
If you cannot say that your life is fully surrendered at this moment, then I encourage you right now, to confess your sins, to believe Him, to choose right now who it is you will serve. And if you will do this, if you choose for your life, your whole life – desires, thoughts, words, actions, possessions, talents and resources – to be surrendered today in your faithful acceptance of this call to discipleship as a follower of Christ, not just a fan or a dead religious convert, I tell you, “Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.”
Do not hear this and worry and say to yourself, “but what if I sin” because “if Christ has freed you, you are free indeed”. Confess your sin with a true heart of repentance, with godly sorrow not just worldly sorrow, and “He is faithful to forgive”. But do not make little of sin, do not excuse sin and wickedness that grieves the Holy Spirit and that separates you from the annointing in which you are to flow and the calling in which you are supposed to walk and the good works He has set before you. Otherwise, you might find that you have deceived yourself with religious ideas and the empty philosophies andtraditions of men, and you might find under close examination that you are not in the faith.
Do not shrink back from the light of Truth, from the rebuke of those wise men who both demonstrate the love of Christ and the righteousness of a holy life dedicated to God. Be afraid instead of any man who has one and not the other and calls himself a disciple of Christ. For there are many blind guides who offer either the trap of empty religious practices or the trap of justifying worldliness and godlessness by blaspheming the name and purpose of Christ’s abiding presence in His vessels on this earth – and both of those paths will lead many to their deaths.
Seek and find that narrow gatec and the narrow path, and set your eyes firmly upon the Hope of Glory, and do NOT look back, do NOT turn back to your old ways of rebellion, do NOT take your hand from the plow, do NOT grow weary in your well doing, but TRUST IN THE LORD – BELIEVE – and do not allow the whispers of doubt or temptation or trial or persecution or oppression sway you from your eternal destination – lest we find ourselves at the end of this race disqualified and deceived.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
One day, some of you will see this old body of mine pass away and go into the ground. Buy if anyone tells you that I’m dead, just smile. By the grace of God, by my faithfulness to seek a life of obedient following in His footsteps, by my Hope being securely rooted in Christ, and His love pouring out through my life as a living testimony that Jesus Christ is the one truth, one life, one way – I live today and forevermore.
Death, where is your victory?
Sin, where is your grip?
I am free, free indeed!
Thank you, Jesus!