The Dividing Line

This entry relates to a recent Twitter post:

Try to imagine the accumulation of all your sins through today. If we’re honest, the number is staggering. Now extend that thought to every person who has ever lived or will ever live until Christ returns. It’s a number beyond comprehension. Think of how any one individual sin grieves God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the crushing weight of the rebellion of mankind that fell on the back of Jesus Christ.

Our sins put Him there. The nails held his physical body there. But it boggles my mind how Jesus and the cross could keep from plowing through the earth to physically cut it in half, loaded as He was with all our sins.

It’s a mental picture to be sure, of the impact and weight of sin, but in fact Jesus & the cross does divide the earth. Jesus himself said:

 
Luke 12:51-53

Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division.  For from now on, there will be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

I also thought of the three men who professed to follow Jesus, but gave excuses for not doing so.

 

Luke 9:57-62

As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go.”  And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  He said to another, “Follow me.”  But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”  But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce the kingdom of God.”  Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to bid farewell to those who are at my house.”  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

On the surface these are not unreasonable requests. But Jesus knows the heart of these men. And He is certainly making point, an emphasis, on the radical nature of being a fully devoted follower and disciple.

So what about us?

I profess freely that I have not loved Jesus with my whole heart. I have fallen short of His standard and His love. And what’s worse, sometimes it’s as if I try to keep one foot on each side of the dividing line. One foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. It’s like trying to straddle a fissure line during an earthquake; in the end you just get swallowed up whole.

Our collective sin, grievous & voluminous as it is, did not break the back of Jesus. His triumph is our redemption.

 

~~~ . ~~~

 

Poem:

World-Breaker

He came to bring a message the world had no taste to hear

To build a bridge to Heaven, He first buried death and fear

The world was broken on His back, His hands, His feet

Our Lord Jesus, Messiah broke the back of sin

and the world became complete

01/26/15

Merry Christmas! Happy Resurrection!

It may seem odd talking about Christmas just a few months into the new year, but I was thinking about attempts in recent years to banish Christ from Christmas. Whether it be governments limiting or outlawing nativity scenes, or the push to change “Merry Christmas” to simply “happy holidays.”

Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t noticed as much of an outcry about using the phrase “Happy Easter.” Perhaps it’s the name of Christ that is offensive to so many?

But why would you want to banish someOne who has been throughout human history the greatest Force for good?

Now before you begin take exception to this statement, I acknowledge that Christians (as well as others purporting to know Him) have made mistakes at times and done more harm than good. Because they are flawed human beings. That’s not my point.

I’m just wondering why you want to banish someone who has contributed so much to our civil society, even if you do not believe in him as the Son of God? Why do we have a law against murder; because it is written “Thou shalt not kill.” Even if you are an atheist, why would you not want a neighbor who believes in serving others over himself?

I will always say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Easter”, “Happy Resurrection Day”, “Happy day that Christ rose again and conquered death so that my sins, although grievous, could be forgiven and I might enjoy fellowship with my savior forever!”

And I pray that you can say this also. I pray that you have peace in your heart now and forever more. In need of a God like this? Almighty then!

The Crushing Weight 

Think of the sin on the earth, at this very moment you read these words from six billion souls.

Now consider the collective sin of humanity; past, present, and future.

The weight of the sin on the cross, laid upon our bleeding, suffering Savior, if it had physical weight would have cut the earth in half and still be hurtling through space.

We begin Lent.  May this thought be impressed upon my mind.

Deceptive Coffee Cups

I admit it.  I drink too much coffee.

Now, I might justify it a bit by stating that I don’t navigate into the exotic side of caffeine.  No mocha lattes, no cappuccinos, and heaven forbid I ever partake of something called “iced coffee.”  To me, that’s an oxymoron.

But nevertheless, way too much (even with the occasional decaf).

So, as you might imagine – I have assembled a decent collection of coffee mugs.  Gifts from family and co-workers, trips to the beach and other places, etc…

I find that most of the mugs I have are either black (or very dark navy) or white. Anyone who drinks coffee day in and day out knows that the white cups quickly become enstained (I just made that word up) with coffee [or tea – I sometimes switch to tea later in the day] residue.  Especially if:

  • the daily washing of the cup is a quick 2-second rinse of water [“after all, next time I pour coffee in it, the hot water will kill any germs”]
  • the half-empty/half-full cup of coffee sits overnight on your desk and you get a nice ring in the middle of the mug
  • You go on vacation for 1-2 weeks and come back to a science project in your coffee mug [yuck]

I have no doubt been guilty of all of the above at one time or another, but at least I try to wash my cups with detergent, and keep the white cups as clean as possible.

Interesting enough, the dark cups are a different story.  With a black or dark blue interior, you can’t see the coffee residue!  Works well!  In fact, for practical reasons, I think all coffee mugs should be dark on the inside.

But that’s the rub…or lack thereof [lack of rubbing out the stains lol].  Forgive the bad pun.

I’m serious from here to the end, which you will be glad to know is soon.  Sin ~ especially “secret sins” [actually no such thing – see Hebrews 4:13], are like those hidden coffee stains in the black mug.  They are not visible to the human eye, but are there just the same – and God sees them with vivid clarity.  Chew on that for a while.

In the case of the mug, unless the coffee is cleaned thoroughly – the stain will persist.  Just as it is with us and sin.  Unless we are cleaned, thorough forgiveness of our sins made possible by the blood of Jesus, we can look very Christian on the outside but rotten where it counts.

Woe to you…you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.  [Mat 23:27]

Inextricably Linked

INEXTRICABLY LINKED

Christmas inextricably linked to Easter


His birth inextricably linked to His death


The manger inextricably linked to the Cross


The Star of Bethlehem inextricably linked to the noon-day darkness of Golgotha


The flight to Egypt and safety inextricably linked to His deliberate journey to Jerusalem and death


My death to sin, the flesh, and self-will inextricably linked to new life in Him


My surrender and trust in Jesus inextricably linked to eternal life in Heaven with Him


Amen, Hallelujah, Amen!