Practice What You Preach

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

I don’t have much to say today. I wasn’t really even planning on posting anything, simply because I didn’t have too interesting of a day. However, God’s been stirring in my heart, and though I sort of tuned Him out for most of the day, He’s a persistent one. He’s been trying to teach me something, and I know it’s big – I’m just not quite sure as to the full extent of it yet.

In order to try and get myself in tune with what He wants to say, I’ve been trying to look up more “information” on the subject, if you will. I’ve been looking for Bible verses, and I’ve also been looking at some of my older posts here on my blog. And man, some of the stuff I’ve written in the past is deep. I read through a few, and as I remembered the situations that were going on at that time and my thoughts during the writing process, I surprised myself. How does one go about learning a lesson and then completely forgetting it? Or even worse, how does one start off the day in an attitude of prayer and worship, and then go about and completely set God aside for the rest of the day? It’s horrible. I’m sitting here, literally disgusted by the fact that I could be so easily fooled.

But unfortunately, that’s what we humans are: fickle and ever-changing. We honour God with our lips and then seem to somehow detach ourselves from what we just said to Him. We somehow can justify living a double life, because, well, we’re only human, right? I can’t understand how my mind could be so compartmentalized, and yet I can’t seem to correct the problem, either. For some reason, despite my best efforts, that root of sin still is firmly implanted within me. And I understand that it’s the flesh, and that I’m a new creation. However, for some reason, the rest of me doesn’t seem to get that. And so, like Paul, I end up doing what I don’t want to do, and not doing what I want to do, and all the while part of me wants to do each. I’ve got one foot firmly planted in the world, and one foot firmly planted in God – the only problem is that they’re a million miles apart, and they’re so firmly glued down that I can’t seem to remove one.

It’s torture, really. God’s got soul surgery to do with me, and yet there is no anaesthesia to somehow numb the pain until the process is complete. But every time I screw up, it’s horrible, because I feel the guilt of a thousand sins, one on top of another. I know they’re forgiven, but somehow I can’t seem to let go of them. And so, I wrest the scalpel from God’s hand and try to tear them out of me. That’s the torture part – the fact that I manage to injure myself even more. I suppose it’s a matter of wrapping my mind around the completeness of grace. It is all-encompassing, all-forgiving, and all-inclusive. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it – it is perfect grace. It is God stretching His arms around each person, no matter their past. It is the ability to love all the Hitlers, Stalins, and Mussolinis in this world – realizing that in actual fact, each one of us is all three combined. We are guilty of breaking the whole law, because we are full sinners. And yet God is full of grace to cancel out each and every one of our sins.

Try this mind and heart exercise with me now. I came up with this just now, so I’m doing it as I write this. Picture in your head a huge scroll, unrolled and extending onto the floor as far as you can see. On this scroll, one below the other, is written each of the sins that you have committed, from the time you were born until the time you die. They are countless; they are innumerable, and all you can do as you see this list is to remind yourself of your hopelessness. You are condemned; this list stands testament to that fact.

But now, picture Jesus Christ. He comes, and in His hand He holds a bottle of white-out. Opening it, He starts at the top of the scroll, whiting out each sin, one by one. Continuing through, He blots out each sin, until He reaches the end. Using His nail-scarred hands, He then takes the paper, crumples it up, and then throws it away. Your sins are forgotten – not because He doesn’t remember them, but because He chooses not to. After all, He came to die for them, and so they are no longer held against you.

When you’re feeling down on life, that’s the exercise to go through. Remember that, above all, God has cancelled your sin, and you are no longer condemned. Rather, you are His child, and He loves you with a love so fierce that nothing can stand against it. He doesn’t let anything touch you, because His love for you burns intensely. Once you accept His love, nothing you can do will ever screw that up. You are forever in His grip, and He will protect you and keep you in His care. And if that doesn’t cheer your spirits, nothing will.

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