Saturday, March 5, 2016

29 to 26 to 30

Old preacher stories never die.  Perhaps, they never die because young preachers hear them and tell them for a life time.  One I remember and have told many times is something which actually happened in the 1970's when the Methodist Church in south Georgia was struggling with the issue of being open to people of all races.  An old farmer took his preacher out to the cow pasture.  After some moments of leaning on the gate and watching the cows followed by a few minutes of silence the old man told his preacher, "I know what the right thing to do is.  I just ain't ready to do it, yet."
Many of us who have walked the journey of faith in Christ have lived through our own version of the old farmer's story.  Many have been the times when we have walked away from doing what we knew God wanted us to do because we were not ready to do it yet.  What we do not want to tolerate in others, we can be very dismissive about when it comes to our own living.  The Word of God says that knowing what God wants us to do and doing it not can have serious consequences.  The writer of Hebrews wrote that such people, "...have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant...and outraged the Spirit of grace."  (Hebrews 10:29)  And who is not guilty of these "spurning...profaning...outraging acts?"  How do we know if such a person is the one who looks at us in the mirror?  Verse 26 of that same chapter says such people willingly persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth. 
To look more closely at ourselves is to see someone who ask God to forgive again and again and again.  Has anyone ever asked God for forgiveness for today's sin knowing that it will likely be committed again tomorrow?  Could it be in such moments that we are spurning the Son of God?  Could it be that we are profaning the blood of Christ?  Could it be that we are outraging the Spirit?  The Word tells us that when we know sin is present in our hearts, we should confess it and then turn away from it.  To ask for forgiveness knowing we will be doing it again is a dangerous choice.  Even divine patience has an end. (Hebrews 10:30)

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