Sunday, May 18, 2003

Weekly Word for May 18-24, 2003

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4,5)

A week or two ago, Ted came home from work and told me about a sign that he had seen that really upset him. Someone had posted a sign on their property that read: “The Wages of Sin is Death!” When Ted told me about this sign, I have to admit - I also reacted pretty strongly to it! The funny part about this is - this sentence is directly from the bible! Yet here was a sign that quoted the bible, and we both disliked it immensely. In fact, it made me angry! Do I know that we all sin? Yes! The word says: all fall short. I also know myself and that I sin. But my hope? My hope comes from the One who forgives my sins - every day!

“Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter.” (Mark 3:28)

When I was growing up, I had been taught the rules of my home. I also had been taught what would happen to me if I broke those rules. I had parents that were very strict, and I didn’t look at them as being kind and lenient! As I became a parent myself, and now a grandparent, I have realized that some of those rules were for my own good. Smoking cigarettes when I was 14 was not a good choice to make! I very quickly stopped smoking when I got caught and severely punished! But I have friends who to this day continue to smoke. Some of them have become very sick, and some have even faced cancer and death. Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly I say to you, every one who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (John 8:34) Each of my friends know that smoking is bad for them! Most of them have tried to quit, and failed! Do I still care for them? Of course I do! So does the Lord when we fall short! That is why He comes to us. To offer us Himself, the One who can take our sins, heal our wounds, and set us free.

I love the story of “the woman at the well”. In this story Jesus comes upon a woman who is out in the middle of the day getting water. When He comes upon her, he asks her for a drink. She is amazed that He even speaks to her. For she is not only a Samaritan, but also a woman. The rules in that day were that men did not speak to women, or Jews to Samaritans. But Jesus did! He then proceeded to explain to her who He was - “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10) Jesus then asks her to call her husband. She answers that she has no husband. He tells her that she is telling the truth - for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” (John 4:18) Jesus knew the woman was a sinner. Even so, He taught her about himself. How surprised his disciples were when they came upon the two speaking! They didn't understand why he would spend the time with this woman. But looking back, she became one of the very first missionaries! She went and spread the message of the Lord to her people! God used a sinner to spread the Message of Life!

“whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

I guess why I was so upset with that sign was: I didn’t see the answer to what to do! Everyone knows that they commit sins. But what do we do about it? As I’ve grown to understand more and more about who The Lord is; I have found that I didn’t want to disappoint Him! As He has become a “friend”, I have wanted to please Him. Because of that, I have given Him everything. That includes all my vices, my bad choices over the years, those things that I knew were not good for me! And just like the woman at the well, I found that He was there for me! He talks to me, and offers me hope! Do I still loose my temper, make quick judgments that turn out wrong? Yes I do. But everything I give to Him. To cleanse it; and bring healing where I have either wounded another, or am wounded! Each day I ask Him to search my heart where I still harbor anger and hatred - because I know that I am not above doing that! "The heart is more deceitful than all else, And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9) Who understands it? The Lord does. He understands who we are - and offers us Himself to take our sins.

and He Himself is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

Will you ask The Lord to search your heart, and see where you have hatred and death? Will you ask Him to take it and heal your heart? His promise is to fill you up with new Life and those good things that He has for you!

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John: 1:8)

God bless you in the coming week ahead.

In His Love,

Debbie and Ted Ayers


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