I found this unattributed piece on the Internet this evening. In today’s society I fear that many are like the thief in this story, looking to skate by until the next time. How sad each of us should be that there are folks that just don’t understand the scope of not only God’s grace, mercy, and love, but also His hate toward sin and the judgement to come.
The Meaning of Forgiveness
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child,” says William Shakespeare’s King Lear. Well, then, how about a thankless jailbird? If you want an answer to that one, ask District Judge Phillip Killien of Seattle. Recently, a young man appeared before Judge Killien on charges of car theft. The judge saw no reason to keep him locked up while he awaited court action. He released him on his own recognizance. A short time later, Killien’s own car disappeared. Police quickly found the stolen car, and the one who stole it. Then, Judge Killien was in court in a new role, not as a judge, but as a witness, against the same young man he had released, who stood accused of stealing the magistrate’s wheels. A Japanese proverb reminds us that forgiving the unrepentant is like drawing pictures on the water. Ignoring sin may gain the sinner’s temporary gratitude, but makes no lasting impression. A forgiven car thief is still a car thief if no change of character takes place. How about you? Do you seek to escape justice or to be justified by God’s grace and Christ’s mercy? God offers you liberty, not license, in the cleansing blood of Christ.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. (Psalm 51:17 NLT)
2 Timothy 4:1 …the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead…
Yesterday we looked at a heart-warming story that ended with the accidental display of the message “CHRIST WAS LOVE”. But this story doesn’t give us the whole picture and, as Paul Harvey would say, let’s look at “the rest of the story”.
Jesus most definitely was love; the Bible asks what greater love could you have than to lay down your life for another, which He did. But Christ still is love today; He is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us even now, and He still has the power to save any and all who will come to Him. Truer love than that of Jesus Christ will never be known!
However, there will come a day that that love as we know and understand it will cease. When a person stands before Him for judgment the Door of Mercy will be closed; if they had yet to enter it there will be no other chance then to do so. I imagine that He will still love that person and there will be no joy in His sentence. But the way has been clearly laid out for us all; He paid the price so we won’t have to. If we choose to ignore His mercy now it will be us, not Him, sending us forever from the presence of God, into an eternity of pain and sorrow.
Gifts are some thing we receive from someone with no merit on our part. We give them because we love the recipient. Christ did the same for us with salvation. What better gift could anyone receive this Christmas season than the free gift of salvation through Jesus? We will all most likely see folks we don’t usually see on a regular basis in the coming days at family get-togethers, parties, etc. Take time out of your schedule to share the Good News of this most precious gift with someone when God gives you that opportunity.
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
In Old Testament times all Hebrew males over 20 were required to serve in the army, as I believe is customary in Israel still. However, there were a number of exemptions given in the Law that allowed some to not serve. They could have a “pass” on fighting and going to war through these laws.
Today we often see folks that by-pass the way things “should” be by various means. Some times money or fame or political clout gets a person out of a jam that Joe Average would just be stuck in. And we all see the injustice in these kinds of things but rarely have the means to do anything about them.
The Bible teaches that one day there will be a righteous judgement for all by the Righteous Judge: Christ Jesus. On that great and terrible day fame, fortune nor collateral will matter, only connections. And the one connection will be this: Are you His, under His blood? How each one answers that question will determine their eternal fate, one of joy and rest or weeping and gnashing of teeth. Are you sure of your connection? Have you examined yourself to make sure as Scripture enjoins? It’s far too important a question to not know that you know that you know the answer to!
There was a certain science teacher that was infamous for always grading his students on “the curve”, giving the highest test score a 100% and raising the other scores by an equal number of points that the highest score got raised to make it a perfect score. This practice encouraged many students to slack on their studies, with everyone doing pretty well once “the curve” was applied with no real effort.
Halfway through the semester a new student was transferee into one of these classes. She didn’t care for the system and studied hard to actually learn the material and earn a good grade. The results were terrible for the other students with many of them failing the semester. The new student scored near perfectly on every test, thereby negating “the curve”.
Sometimes I think our people believe that God is going to be like this teacher, comparing one’s behavior in this life to another; if so-and-so is better than such-and-such they will make the “cut”. Well, you know what? That is exactly true. Yes, you read that right; that is correct. There is one thing folks forget about this “system” that we’ll be compared on: the One we’ll be compared to is Jesus. And no one can come close to the perfect life He led and then laid down for each of us.
The good news then? We don’t have to live up to His unattainable perfection. We only have to accept the gift He has so lovingly provided for us: life eternal through and by His shed blood.
Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.