As most people know the Redskins were recently steamrolled by the Eagles. What a painful game to watch. 35 points posted within the opening moments of the second quarter. I remember explaining to my son Michael that if we could erase the first quarter and very beginning of the second, numerically we would have won. While technically true, it was wishful thinking on my part and completely divorced from reality. Yet how often do we view life in this way? If we could just erase this event, or have avoided befriending that person…how much better our life would have turned out! Or, “I am the way I am because of him!” “She’s driven me to this!” While there might be some degree of truth in these thoughts, the reality is that the trials God’s allowed in our lives, as well as the consequences of our actions, are what they are and to pretend otherwise is wishful thinking.
When we find ourselves in a rut, it’s easy to blame shift and reinvent personal history. Without fail, the consequences of our sin do not go away, ever. “As a man sows, so shall he reap.” The question is not if, but when. But thank God for grace - grace that will pardon and cleanse within. There are two verses which speak directly to how we should respond to our failures, and move on with God’s favor.
“He who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Only God could say that. I know I make mistakes daily and I’m thankful for His grace. The key is to name sin as sin and be done with it. We need to stop rationalizing and own our own failures; name them and move on. That is the path to mercy and God’s favor.
As well, “Break up your unplowed ground, it is time to seek the Lord”. Hosea’s prophetic statement cuts right to the chase. The soil of your heart which has been neglected, which is dry and cracked and not bearing fruit – tend to it! Why? It is TIME to seek the Lord! Christians covering sin or living mediocre lives are the most miserable people on earth, bar none. Christ died to give us so much more, yet we settle for animal feed. That’s got to change. Christ in us should be attractive to others; we shouldn’t be repelling others with our flesh-empowered legalism.
If you are not where you want to be with the Lord, now is a great time to change that. Whether factors beyond your control or personal regrets, don’t let them define who you are. “Behold, the arm of the Lord is not too short that it cannot save.” God knows your heart, He knows your failures, and you are accepted unconditionally by Him. Never excuse sin or pretend periods of your life don’t exist. Move on from the past regret – Christ died for those sins, so leave them at the cross. But DO do this one thing – seek Him with all of your heart and settle for nothing less than an extraordinary life. When we’re honest about who we are and seek Him earnestly in our lives, Jesus portrait becomes a reality to those around us: “out of your hearts will run rivers of living water.”
May God help us to live satisfied and authentic Christian lives, all for His Glory.
- Pastor Colin
Galatians 6:7, Proverbs 28:13, Hosea 10:12, Isaiah 59:2, John 7:38