August 22, 2010

An Old Country For Old Men (Part 3 of 3 in the MACHO! Series)

So, you think you've got it under control. The problem you think no one knows about. It could be gambling, pornography, stealing at your job, adultery, gossiping, homosexuality or rage. It could be just about anything. And it's all under cover, away from prying eyes.

You know it's a problem because your conscience rubs you the wrong way. It might happen as you're thinking about doing it, as you're doing it or after you've done it. Either way, there's something happening inside that turns your stomach and mind, so that there's no peace. Of course, if you're not feeling anything at all then it's too late. Your conscience has been seared; that is, burned to the point of not having any remorse or regret at all.

What is a conscience? Charles Finney, a great 19th Century preacher, stated the definition this way: Conscience may be regarded, either as a power or as an act of the mind that affirms and enforces moral obligation, and that pronounces upon the paucity of obedience as disobedience. Thus, one's conscience calls you on your choices and you act accordingly to address and correct the straying from the right path (Here, I'm assuming you're Christian and have already concluded that Jesus Christ is the way and the only way, John 14:6).

If you're convicted of your sin [that problem you think you've hidden so well], then you can get right with God through Jesus Christ (I John 1:9). If you choose not to get right then you're down the path of searing your conscience to the point of no return.

What keeps you and me from getting right with the Lord? The source of your problem, whatever that may be, boils down to one simple word. This word has kept you in bondage. This word is what prevents a clean start for you. This word was the downfall of Satan. And this same word will be your doom if you let it dominate your thinking. The word I'm referring to is PRIDE.

Pride keeps you from asking for help. It freezes your mind and locks your knees so that you have a hard time acknowledging your sin before a holy and mighty God on your knees and face. Pride blinds you to the point that you believe the lie that you won't get caught. Again, God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7) and be sure that your sin will be found out (Numbers 32:23).

A man will not ask for help, not because he doesn't know he has a problem, but because he won't admit he needs any help in solving the problem. There's something about falling on your knees and confessing that you're helpless and hopeless and need help that turns men off. It's a showing of weakness, which is wrong-headed, really. True weakness is choosing to struggle in the sin-problem, hoping that the outcome will be different the next time temptation comes around. My friend, that's called being mentally retarded. Down South, we say you're slow in the head.

Brothers, please don't let your pride get in the way of coming to the Lord. He is ready and able to forgive your sins if you just humbly ask for forgiveness (I Jn. 1:9). To be sure, if you're not saved, no amount of confessing will do you any good. You need to first ask Jesus into your life and confess Him as your Saviour (Romans 10:9, 13).

The alternative is hell. You will die in your sins and end up in eternal separation from the One who loves you and gave Himself for you (John 3:16). Here's the Good News; in Romans 5:8, Scripture says, "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." That means that He loved us while we were yet sinners. I don't know about you but that's a mind blowing statement. Think about someone you hate, I mean really hate their guts and then imagine loving that person with all you've got in spite of all the wrong they've done to you. If you can grasp this illustration, then you've got a little perspective on how God loves you.

C'mon, man! That sin of yours is going to eat you up from inside like a cancer and leave you a hollow old man on the outside. The only thing keeping you from God is pride. And the only One bringing you to God is Jesus Christ, His Son. Do it before it's too late. Leave the old country of sin and enter into His peace and goodness. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.(Psalm 34:8). The New Country awaits you.

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