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Monday, 30 November 2015

He Pays the Cost

I was scrolling through the internet today and happened to stumble on an article about a man fined twice by police for forgetting his licence and then not locking his car. It was an odd little article but what interested me was how unjust so many people seemed to find the situation. The consensus seemed to be that the police needed to be spending their time on other crimes and that too many people get off with heavier crimes.

This is what that article taught me however: the law exists to punish you regardless of whether someone commits a crime worthy of greater punishment. If you break the law you pay the price. In the same way we all broke the law of sin and death, but the price was paid for us by Jesus Christ.

My challenge to anyone reading this brief post is for you to question whether you have broken the law of sin and death - the law of being good enough to be perfect in your every action and thought. If you have then your punishment is a fine so heavy it can only be paid and wiped away by the sacrifice of Jesus. I challenge you to ask yourself whether you need that payment and to ask God freely for it. It's a payment free of grace that only costs a life of lordship.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Do Or Do Not - There Is No Try

It's been a while since I last blogged, due to many busy aspects of my life. However, this idea for a blog post has been running around in my head for a while and now it is time to finally publish it in the digital domain. I have no doubt, however, that when Jeanille reads this and realises that it's focused around a Star Wars reference she will shake her head and think something along the lines of: you're so predictable.

I was watching Episode V recently, followed by Episode VI in a minor marathon while at home, and heard the famous line by Yoda once again "Do or do not - there is no try!" This was in response to Luke saying that he would try to use the Force and it's a line that has always confused me in its simplicity. But as I considered this line again, the truth of it hit me that the same thing goes for our lives and our walks with God.

You see, sometimes we will know that God is asking us to do something and instead of doing it we will say 'I will try.' Often what follows is a half-hearted effort of our own strength and willpower that ends up failing. But you see, if God tells us to do something in faith and we only 'try' and fail then we still haven't 'done'.

Think about the story of Peter when he stepped out of the boat, onto the water and began to walk to Jesus. In the moment he too walked on the water, he didn't just 'try', he did. There isn't really any option to just try things with God you see. There is either success or failure - and sometimes our failures are successes in God's eyes, not merely moments that we tried and failed. Remember how James 2:17 states that "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead," James here is in some way saying that faith requires us to do not to do not. If we 'have faith' but don't act on that faith then our faith is meaningless and we are not trying or doing but rather doing not.

Right now the world is hurting over acts of terror situated in the Middle East and Europe. I have seen countless arguments over who is to blame - whether it is one terrorist group or another, whether it is Paris or the West, whether it is the entire Muslim community etc. But what does it profit the world to continue pointing fingers of blame and hatred at one another? That is the way of the great spiritual thief Satan who, as John 10:10 says "comes to steal kill and destroy." But as John 10:10 concludes, Jesus came that all might have life and have it to the full.

When the world, or evil in the world, tries to take away light and life, are we to point fingers at who is to blame? Are we to simply do nothing? There is a choice we all have to make when faced with tough realities - whether we choose God's way - the way of Jesus on the cross - or our way/the way of the thief. There is no 'trying' one way or the other, God doesn't allow us the option of 'trying out' a Christian life, but we can choose: His way of peace and security in the face of unknown adversity, or our own twisted path of unrighteousness and instability. I know what path I choose, I chose it long ago, and my challenge to anyone reading this is to ask youself, will I be someone who does chose the way of Godly love, or will I be someone who chooses to not do as God would and to live in fear. The choice, as always is yours - do or do not, there is no trying.