“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Because it is there

Many look in wonder and amazement at some who love to be unselfish, or holy, or good. Unselfishness seems to be as impossible to attain as the snow cap of Mt. Everest is to reach. Yet the secret is really very simple. By beholding, we become changed. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18).

Others see a certain debilitating habit that has conquered them. With fear and trepidation they look upon conquering it as if it is doing the impossible. But again, the secret of success is by beholding we become changed.

Sin is self-indulgence. It is the love of pleasure and self-pleasing, self-gratification. It is self-congratulation and self-exaltation. If self is the object, we can know sin is behind it all.

But selfishness is the center of our natures; self-centeredness is at the very core of our being. How can that most primate center of all our reactions, that most deeply rooted urge, ever be dissolved?

By a transformation far beyond the auspices of any human. It can only be found under the control of someone other than us. Not a single hypnotist nor world renowned psychologist or guru—no human can accomplish the uprooting of a solitary root of sin.

We are all infected with the disease. Who can accomplish the healing? What leper has ever healed another leper? Not one. What depressed person ever resolved the depression in another patient? We must have Someone who is free and clear of this race’s pandemic problem.

Perfect righteousness is the key. Not by jumping into it and “getting er done!” But, by beholding it—if fully engrossed in it— we will come to imitate it. A learned educator once declared, “A child will learn that to which he attends.” I believe by that he meant that only when the teacher, through the head and the heart, brings the child to truly appreciate knowledge and thus crave it, will he then focus on it enough to obtain it.

We need to focus on righteousness, but we cannot get to that focus by ourselves. We need a Mediator, a Teacher, a Guide. Of ourselves, we hate righteousness. We don’t like the infinitude of failures it reveals in us. We bristle at its innocence and goody-goody-ness. We brand it naïveté and then ignorantly discount it.

We need Someone to help us see its possibilities, Someone anxiously ready to paint for us a beautiful picture with its brilliant colors. We need to get over our prejudices and be moved away from group-think. “The crowd isn’t doing it,” is always a determining factor for everyone who won’t choose life over death. We need a guide, confident and inspiring, loving and patient, inspirational and supernatural. We need Jesus, the Master Teacher with divine leadership that navigates all the machinations of the master-manipulator of our prejudices and fears of Christian life. We need the Lord Jesus’ grace to infuse us with the power like Jeremiah felt before Him in Jeremiah 15:19.

When asked, “Why climb Everest?” George Mallory responded, “Because it is there.” Mr. Mallory had looked upon the wispy summit of Everest for so long that it pulled him to the top. The Matterhorn has done the same to many daring men. It was there, it was there! It stood before them for so long that it became branded on the memory. It was there when they studied schoolwork. It was there when they stared into their bowl of breakfast. There it was as they went about their daily duties. The longer they lived, the more they thought about that one object, though it symbolized the impossible. It remained in the forefront of their thinking and in the subconscious, awake or sleeping, until it consumed them.

Suddenly, one day the sheer miracle, it looks possible. Upon the nascent conscience creeps in the resolution, “Yes! It can be done! And I choose to bend every effort to go where I’ve never gone before! I choose to do what men label impossible! I will overcome every obstacle standing in the way of this great venture! I must get there!”

This is the very same attitude and thought process of all who have conquered self. At some point, the Spirit of God, through the word of truth, was able to get in to hearts of people and awaken a desire for liberty. They conceptualized the beauty of freedom from their sin which was destroying them and everyone within their sphere of influence. Then a need arose, and the Holy Spirit nurtured that little smoking ember. Growing possibilities fed the flame of interest and hope. Thus holiness became a consuming fire in them and they rose up to conquer.

“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord.” (Ps. 36:6) When we behold the mountain of Christ’s righteousness, and keep staring at it; when it has consumed us with its charm and awe, and we see deep, self-sacrificing love from it’s very foundation to it’s cloud-obscured heights; then we gravitate to it’s feet and cry out for assistance to begin our climb. And that cry is always heard.

“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (for they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:). But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Heb. 12:18-24).

We are come to Him who was from the beginning, whom we have heard, whom we have seen with our eyes, whom we have looked at and our hands have touched—the Word of life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sin is self-indulgence. It is the love of pleasure and self-pleasing, self-gratification. It is self-congratulation and self-exaltation. If self is the object, we can know sin is behind it all."

But we can not get away from self. How far you take this thinking? Do we have no happy times? I like to eat. I like to run and I like to sleep. I do for myself and nobody else is that being selfish?
You description of sin is kind of narrow here. Sin is also refusing to do good or to meet felt needs.
Sin is doing anything that hurt us or someone else.
There is no sin in pleasure! God create us and give us eyes and hands to enjoy things. Food, love, colores, friends, sex, outdoors, laughters and fun. It is only when these thing takes place of God in the throne of the heart that they are sin to us. Then we ask to be forgived. If we be willing to hurt others to have what we want then we be sinning.
If I know someone is down and refuse to comfort him, I am sin. If I know a man down the road is lost his job and fail to help him, I am sin.
Pleasure can lead to sin, but sin is a bigger monster than only that. The bigger sin of all is trusting myself to be a good man. There is only one real good man. Jesu Christo!! My english not so good I learn language from these blogs. Hope I do try well. Pedro

2/01/2007 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment, Pedro. And your English is pretty good. See you, brother.

2/01/2007 4:10 PM  

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