Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Jesus, Grace Personified is Better--Sin Just Plain Sucks

I must say, I have a really hard time understanding how anyone can claim that they are under grace, and yet they engage in all kinds of sin, all kinds of perversion.

Anyone who has tasted, who has seen that the LORD is Good (Psalm 34:8) knows that sin ... sucks!

"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16:11)

Yes, that verse above is in the Bible.

God is not against us having fun, having life.

Remember, Jesus was--IS--the life of the party!

"7Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John 2:7-10)

Jeuss literally saved the party. He turned water into wine. Not exactly healing, but a miracle, the First Miracle He performed!

God is all about us having fun.

Really, He is!

So, when people have this weird idea that grace is a license to sin, I have to ask:


I think of that scene toward the end of the movie "Return to Oz", from the early 1980s.

Before Dorothy Gale goes back to Kansas, she says good-bye to her pet hen, Belina. She asks the hen if she is going to come home with her.

Belina is just shocked, and shoots back:

"What, and go back to that hum-drum world again?"

Once she had seen the Emerald City, beautiful in its dazzling wealth and fresh wonder, why would she want to go back to dry, flat, boring Kansas?

I feel the same way when people talk about sin, in contrast to the love, joy, and pleasure of the Son.

What? Why would I want to go back to that garbage? Why would I want to settle for less?!


How quickly we forget, and how correctly Paul would write:

"4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)

Riches, goodness, longsuffering.


As for sin:

"The wages of sin is death," (Romans 6:23)


Also, let's not forget Paul's exhortation to pastor-in-training Titus:

"11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" (2 Titus 2:11-13)

Grace teaches us to say "No!" to sin.

Of course it does! Grace is better! Why settle for death, hell, and the grave?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Last of all, John could not have written better in his First Epistle:

"15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)

Notice that John writes "Don't love the world." He points out the reason why people love the world: "The love of the Father is not in them."

It's about more than knowing that God the Father loves you. Is His love in you? Have you let His love in, or do you still keep it out, convinced that there are things that you have thought or done, that you are thinking or feeling, that would make Him unhappy?

Do you believe that the Father loves you? Do you see His love as intimate, close, never to leave you? Do you see Daddy God embracing you, even at your worst, your lowest, your basest, just as in Jesus' parable? (cf Luke 15:20).

Now, why does John reproach "love of the world"?

"16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:16)

The three different types of human-centered--strained attempts at pleasure: giving into temptations, trying to please our eyes, our senses; making ourselves big in the eyes of the world, big reputation  etc--is not from the Father, not from our loving Daddy.


"17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:17)

The biggest problem with whatever the world has to offer? John does not mention the Ten Commandments. He does not mention God the Father's displeasure with sin.

The reason why the world and whatever it has to offer is not good enough? It passes away. It's NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

We are made for eternal things. Remember back to Psalm 16:11, in which there are "eternal pleasures
" at Jesus' right hand!

I want what lasts, not what is temporal.

Jesus, Grace personified is better. ALWAYS!

As for sin. Really?

Sin just plain sucks. BORING!

I want life, and that more abundantly--and that is PRECISELY what Jesus came to give us! (John 10:10)

Sin cannot compare: Jesus, Grace Personified is Better!

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