Friday, November 27, 2015
The Bestest Christmas Gift Ever
II Corinthians 4:4-5
If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
......."Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?
It sounds like science fiction....
Like something out of the Twilight Zone....
All of humanity is born with a spiritual genetic defect.
To us, it seems normal.
We are influenced by it.
We have our choices formed and fashioned by it...
But it is a defect none the less.
Since it is universal among us, we have a tendency to excuse the actions of others who take the defect to extremes in their behavior.
We label ourselves as having a "good heart", even though our behavior says differently.
What is this spiritual defect?
It goes by many names...
The old man....
The sinful nature.
No matter what the name, the end results is set in concrete.
We will die and be forever eternally separated from God.
Sounds pretty serious.
Well, it is especially when there is a solution to this defect.
Someone has given their very life to come up with an answer to what has, and continues to plague humanity.
You see, a spiritual defect requires a spiritual solution to the problem.
The defect came into existence when long ago in a galaxy far, far...er..excuse me for that. My mind drifted to the new Star Wars movie for a few seconds.
Long ago in what some refer to as the Garden of Eden, mankind made a choice that would forever change us.
The first man, named Adam, and the first woman, named Eve, made the decision to reject God to embrace their own self will. I know, I know..they were tricked but the bottom line was that they were enticed by the idea of being like God. The ability to change and be like God was simple. Eat a piece of fruit from a tree that God had warned them not to eat from. Game over..things would never be the same.
So you see, the spiritual problem that was loosed on mankind in that garden, is still running rampant today. "If I am like God, then I DON"T NEED GOD!!!"
We are spiritually blind. We reject the fullness of God that has been offered to us, to chase after things that only have the illusion of filling us. We seek spiritual contentment and satisfaction through using drugs and/or alcohol. We enter into unhealthy relationships,using sex as means to satisfy an itch that can't be scratched. And because of all the emptiness we are feeling inside, we run and run and run, until we can't run no more. But that doesn't stop us. We get up and run some more. All along the way we create destruction and damage to ourselves and to those near us.
The end will be death....
Now we all are headed to a physical death where the body gives up life and spirit and becomes an empty shell.
But we also are headed to a transition point where the choices we made while we were alive, will determine where our spirit will spend eternity.
If we carried our spiritual blindness all the way to our death...
Then our choice of rejecting anything to do with God has defined our destiny.
We will be separated from God forever.
Now there is the matter of hell. I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack but hell doesn't really sound like a place I'd want to visit, much less spend eternity in.
What I'm trying to write this morning is this.
1.) God is real
2.) Jesus is the real answer to that sin problem we all suffer from.
3.) The devil is real.
4.) He only does three things really well....
A.) Steal from us
B.) Kill us
C.) And destroy everything around us.
5.) The answer to our sin problem has been offered to us to receive for our own.
6.) To turn will and life over to the care of Jesus.
7.) Such an act on our part will not solve our problems, but acceptance of God's gift of salvation will empower us (God sends us a helper to fill us up and guide us...this helper is called the Holy Spirit) to face every problem we encounter.
IF you are struggling with life and your ability to make sound decisions, you might want to consider what I have written this morning.
Believe you me, it works...
Believe you me, HE works for the betterment of who I am as a human.
God on you....
Step # 1 We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable. Romans 718 - I know...