Today's Terrific Tuesday guest is Michelle who writes at Finding Michelle. Michelle is a wife, mother, and stay at home mom. I've often commented on how I appreciate that I meet people via the internet that I'd never have the opportunity to meet otherwise; Michelle is certainly one of those people. While I do not always find myself agreeing with everything she says, I do always find her posts stimulating my thoughts.
Here's what Michelle has to say today:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful, who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
It seems human depravity is not mentioned much in the sermons we hear today. It seems the messages are about hope and love. We’re taught we are to put our hope in Christ and God is love. But we’re not really taught why we need to put our hope in Christ or why God is love. We are taught about having our best lives now. The vision is taken off of Christ in eternity and placed on making it easier here tomorrow.
When you read the above passages do you see yourself? Can you find that others around you relate more to the passage than you do?
It was not until later in my walk with God that I began to see my own depravity. I began to see that even though I had faith, I was still a despicable person. I began to see the motives in my actions and the thoughts in my head. I realized that even our greatest deeds are sins if not done for the glory of God. I could feed the hungry, but if it was not done for Christ then it is sin. And then I began to look around me and began to speak with other Christians. I saw other Christians who did not seem to be fazed by the sin in their own lives. And then I realized we have become a culture desensitized to sin.
We have explained our fallen nature from birth as the “terrible twos” or the “trying threes.” We have neglected as a culture to see that a child lies, hits, and steals because it is his very nature to do such things. I think it is said best when it is said, “You are not a sinner because you sin, you sin because you are a sinner.”
We are sinners that deserve the wrath of God. You… reading this right now deserve hell. Your mother deserves hell, your child deserves hell, and I deserve hell. But by the grace of God, Christ took our place.
Something I meditated on not too long ago was exactly what happened when Christ was on that cross. What happened when Christ stated, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” I can’t say what happened at that moment or the moments before or after. But during this meditation, I came to believe that at that moment Christ received the wrath that I deserved. I am not speaking of the pain He endured on the cross although it was great; I am speaking of being separated from God to endure the wrath that we deserve. Christ faced the wrath of God in our place! We can never understand what that truly means because we can’t begin to wrap our minds around what the wrath of God really is.
But back to why we need this sacrifice. Do we recognize our sins? Jesus says in Luke 7:47, “Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But whom little is forgiven, the same ones loves little.” Christ was not saying the woman had sinned more than the others. He was saying her recognition of her sin was reflected in her love for Him. She realized her need for Him. I believe this a good example of the Christian society. We rate our sins and see that we are better than the child abuser, the sexual predator, and the murderer. We become self-righteous when we don’t see that it is only the hand of God that keeps us from being the child abuser, the sexual predator, or the murderer. We become self-righteous when we forget or fail to recognize just how unrighteous we are. What would it be like if the person next to us could see our every thought? Wouldn’t we be ashamed? Would we be much different than the man who commits the most heinous crimes?
As Paul said in Romans, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!” We are delivered through Christ. But let us never neglect the war that wages between the flesh and the Spirit. Our belief will be made strong in remembrance of why we need Him.
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