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Tuesday, September 15, 2015
I'm getting weary of watering my big collection of flowers daily for nearly five months now, but these beauties appear and I consider it a blessing to still have such beautiful ornamentals before the cool air changes everything.
"The Wages Of Sin"
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"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Today's texts are deeply theological in nature and often used in the plan of salvation to establish our sinful condition and need for a Savior. These verses were among the first ones we memorized in Bible College probably due to a witnessing approach we called "The Roman Road".
We have often heard, "I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?" Romans 6:23 has bad news and good news in that order.
The bad news: "For the wages of sin is death."
The good news: "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"
As I, Brooksyne, was preparing last week for my Middler Sunday School class I was pleased to see that the selected memory verse was Romans 6:23 which I memorized years earlier in my college years. I always try to memorize the Sunday School verse before I ask my students to do so as an example to them and as a spiritual exercise for me.
But Romans 3:23 has taken on fresh meaning since I met a woman whom God has recently delivered from many years of heroin addiction. I've been praying with her as she experiences withdrawal symptoms and emotional outbursts. She no longer douses her problems with poison toxins so she's now dealing head-on with the wages of sin that wrecked her life and robbed her of the people she loves most. And it is dreadfully painful.
Reared in a godly home she started out only flirting with the devil. But he's deceitful and cunning, taking us further than we want to go, keeping us longer than we planned to stay and robbing us of that which matters most. She is now drawing near to Christ through this difficult time and being accountable as she rebuilds her life in Christ and finally has abiding peace in her heart.
I was reminded again of the wages of sin yesterday in the course of a company community service day. I visited an institution that provides 24/7 medical care to babies and children born to drug addicted mothers. Some also suffered permanent brain damage due to abuse and others were born with major health abnormalities. Amidst the life support and tracheotomy equipment with all the bells and alarms, I sought to offer a tender stroke, a kind word or a playful sort of rhyme or song - something different than the usual daily treatments, lab work, tube suctioning or such; simply an extension of Christ's love offered to these precious children, many of them in an essentially vegetative state.
I considered the awful price even the innocent must pay for the wages of sin. The Garden of Eden was perfect, until sin entered it through the disobedience of Adam and Eve and the human race has been dealing with the wages of sin ever since.
In our troubled world where we hear the bad news reported 24/7 via media outlets here's the good news that is way under-reported: "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".
If you're living in sin we encourage you to draw near to Christ just like my new friend. He will lovingly receive You, forgive you, and give you a new start. There will still be pain even as you embrace new life in Christ' it's a result of the fall. But as you draw near to Christ He will "stick closer to you than a brother" and overshadow you with His peace.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Loving Father, if only we heard "the wages of sin is death" we would be without hope, for none of us can boast that we are without sin. Yet forgiveness is extended to all who bow their knee and confess with their tongue that Jesus Christ is Lord, who live in accordance with Scripture. Yes, the wages of sin is death but Jesus' death on the cross provides the transitional word, "but" in this Romans 6:23 Scripture. "The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." No treasure or experience on earth compares with the awesome news that we will spend eternity in heaven because of Your gift provided to us through Jesus. We thank You now and for all eternity. Amen.
Several of our companies, in the course of seeking to be good stewards, have community work days. Yesterday we joined the employees of Val-Co company in their fourth annual stewardship day. The entire plant closes and all the employees who choose to participate are paid their usual daily wage including a hearty lunch. The largest group did demolition and renovation work on an old school now used as a community center.
(For the curious this photo will enlarge if clicked on)
This group spent the day visiting residents in a city high-rise senior home.
Here's the group that went with me to visit elderly residents and severely disabled children. We also held a hymn sing much enjoyed by the residents, planted some flowers, and even did some cleaning to help the staff.
Yesterday we passed this interesting means of advertising in the city. Amish are industrious and look for opportunities to flip houses.
We drove past this large dairy feed barn on our early morning bike ride.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Save My Family" Video Tribute Quartet As Stephen and I were biking this morning I had my headphones on listening to WDAC. This song came on and touched my heart. I know it's also the prayer of many of our readers today, "Save my family, save my friends." May it touch your heart as you listen!
"Such Love" Video
"Amazing Love" Video Candi Pearson
"Jesus Messiah" Video Chris Tomlin
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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