October 12, 2010

To Live is Christ — deciding to be part of the solution

Our newspaper has a “venting” column. While it might be a good place to protest things that the venter can do nothing about, most of the vents are by people who are upset because someone has violated their comfort zone. Noise is too loud, air is too smoky, streets have too many potholes, streets have too much construction happening.

My DH, in his usual leadership positions, has a response to those who whine and complain. He suggests that they must decide if they are going to be part of the problem, or get involved and be part of the solution.

I’ve heard people complain about the sin and evil in the world too. Few can offer solutions. Some educators think that teaching people would fix it, but some of the worst criminals are well educated. A friend suggests that we hang them by their thumbs, but we both know that condemnation will not work. The sad part is that even with all our suggestions and all our complaining, we are just as much part of the problem as those we point fingers at. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

God’s Word makes it known how much He hates evil. Humanly speaking, we have all kinds of ideas how He should fix it. Some think evil would stop if everyone read the Bible, or if we followed those harsh Old Testament laws. Others wish God would strike sinners dead, but that would eliminate the problem by eliminating the population. There has to be a better solution. Complaining, condemning, or making the Bible required reading? I tend to like that last one, but I know that none of these will eliminate sin.

Today’s devotional verse offers God’s solution. It is from a modern version, The Message

God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. (John 3:17)
God’s answer to sin and evil is Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus died for our sin, taking our condemnation and paying our penalty. Then He rose from the dead and conquered that problem too. But there is more . . .

Jesus also offers to come and live inside those who put their trust in Him. By doing this, His sinless life and His power over sin are made available, as is His never-ending life. Christians do not have to sin or do evil things. We have escaped the snare of sin and selfishness because of Jesus.

I know that I don’t always live by the life of Christ. Sometimes I think that I know better. I’d never say it out loud for if I did, the sound of it would set me straight. But sin just sneaks in there at times. I know that it doesn’t have to. I can live without it. So can everyone else, if they put their faith in Christ.

What would that solution do to the venting column? Well, there would be no offenders to whine about, but even if there were, those who once complained would be more concerned to help the offenders with their problems. They would be telling them about Jesus and that they can overcome all selfishness and sinful behavior. Instead of whining over petty things, the venters would be content and thankful.

I know that putting the world right is a big job, but it is not too big for God. What makes it slow going is that God has decided that we need to cooperate. While He can be persuasive, He does not force sinners to change their ways. Like my hubby says, all of us must decide — are we going to be part of the problem? Or with the grace of Almighty God, are we going to get involved with Jesus Christ and become part of the solution?

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