Christ went to the Cross to make possible more than mere insurance against the catastrophic loss of our souls in hell. He sacrificed Himself to save us from sin, both its guilt and its power. Our deliverance from sin will culminate in heaven, but the process begins right now!
Diligently Seeking God
Godly sorrow for sins committed is great. But for all those who have enough character to feel sorry for what they’ve done after the fact, there are far fewer who have the character to feel sorry in advance and “repent” of the deed before it has a chance to take place.
Deep within our hearts lie two desires. One is for other people to think about us as we wish them to think, and the other is to think about ourselves as we wish to think. We tend to deceive ourselves about ourselves. We all have “secret faults” that are “hidden” from our own sight.
Between actively growing toward God and actively growing away from Him, there is no safe middle course. To do nothing is to deteriorate. Either we choose to seek God diligently or our hearts will fall into darkness, decay, and finally . . . death.
Sacrifice is measured in terms of what it cost us, not the degree to which someone else might have been able to afford the same gift. It involves some significant personal loss. Strictly speaking, a sacrifice is the relinquishing of something we could hardly afford to do without.
There is an important sense in which we are strongest at our most painful moments of weakness. At least this much is true: our greatest opportunities to grow in strength come when we respond to reminders of our weakness with humility and honesty.
When the dark clouds roll in, that is when people of real faith continue to honor God. When it must meet some significant test, that is when trust means the most. The value of faith doesn’t really become obvious until there is some doubt to be dealt with.
In the grip of intense suffering, Job found that the help of even his best-intentioned friends only made the pain more perplexing. The lessons to be learned during the time of God’s silence could only be learned in solitude. For a while, Job had to be left alone.
Until we’ve been driven to despair concerning our own “gods, the work of men’s hands,” we are hardly ready to appreciate the true God. If we’re not willing to let go of the created things we’ve been clinging to, we’re not ready to receive what the Creator has for us.
Derived from the Greek word for “lawlessness,” “anomie” has come into popular usage as a description of the “alienation” felt by individuals when they sense that the structures of society are collapsing. It’s that sickening, rootless feeling that the world is coming apart.