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He Comes Running

September 28, 2011

I never had to teach my children how to sin…they came with it…it wasn’t even an accessory that had to be added…and it wasn’t something tucked away in the fine print.  There was never a doubt in my mind that my children would come with sin…they’re my children…and I am a sinner.  They got it from me just as I got it from my parents, who got it from theirs, and as Romans 5:12 says, “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”  Simply put; sinner is our default setting.

 Take a moment and read through Matthew 5:1-12…focusing on verse 4.

 Grief is a natural part of life.  We can fake it all we want, but in the end, we are going to go through periods of grief…and God knows that.  God knows that it hurts to lose a loved one.  God knows it hurts when families are ripped apart through infidelity and selfish ambition.  God knows it hurts when children veer of course.  Remember, the father in the parable of the prodigal son didn’t jump for joy when he watched the son run off to waste his inheritance.

 God also knows our grief when we come face to face with our sin.  You see, God knows us better than we can even know ourselves.  He knows when we’ve bent the truth (that’s southern for “lied”).  He knows when we’ve been so wrapped up in our own lives that we neglect the good of others.  He knows our pride.  He knows our lust for control.  He knows when we have allowed our minds, and our bodies to wonder into areas of sin.  He knows…well, he knows us.  Wrap your mind around that for a moment.  Maybe even pause…take some time…and consider all the things that God knows about you that deep down, you wish He didn’t…those things in our lives that we fear to confess because of the shame in our hearts.

 And listen, this is the sting of sin, isn’t it?  This is the reality of you and I…that even when we are at our absolute best…we fall short of His glory.  This is why we mourn…seriously, this is bad news right?  Sure we mourn in times of loss…we mourn at death.  But coming face to face with our sin is never a comfortable moment.  It’s a heart wrenching reminder of how terribly filthy we are…check that…of how filthy I am…I don’t want to put my baggage on you…you’re responsible for your own junk.  For many Christians, we’ve gotten so comfortable with the idea of “good news,” that we’ve forgotten that it is because of us that the Gospel of Christ is good news…and not just another story.  It’s good news because it removes the stain of the bad news.

 Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15 wrote, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?”  But only those who have received the good news…those who have heard and believed the Gospel can make such a claim.  The sting of death is all around us.  It’s palpable…you can feel it.  The results of the fall scream across the spectrum of humanity.  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.”  And God’s response is not one of a condescending father, but “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”  This is our Father’s response…this is the good news…this is the Gospel.

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