Sunday, November 27, 2011

An age-old problem

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. ~ Romans 3:23 (NIV)

Somewhere beneath all that mud and grease was my first-born. I cringed. I didn’t want him even to set foot in my clean house. When he was younger and showed up at the door looking like the mud monster of Smithport, I’d make him strip down to his underwear on the porch before I let him in. My house is my domain, and I alone determine who comes in and under what conditions.
Getting to heaven, God’s home, isn’t any different. So why do we think we can get there on our own terms and ignore God’s? I once thought that if my good deeds outweighed my bad ones, if I did everything my religion told me I had to do, or if I managed to keep from doing wrong, I’d get into heaven.

The problem is no matter how hard I try to be good, I somehow manage to do something that I know displeases God. Sometimes I choose to do wrong on the spur of the moment, like the time in high school when I cheated on a history quiz. Other times I sin without even thinking, like when I swore at the dog after I tripped over him and crashed into the cupboard. Excuses such as “It’s not my fault” or “I couldn’t help it” just don’t wash with a holy God.
On my own, I cannot be good enough to get into heaven. I can do nothing to remove the sin that too frequently stains my soul. Only a perfect sacrifice can do that (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus, God’s Son, was that perfect sacrifice. That’s why He came – to make me clean enough to enter heaven and solve that old sin problem once and for all.

Dear God, as I light the first candle on my Advent wreath, I am reminded once again of why You sent Your Son to earth: to die so that I might live forever with You in heaven. Throughout this busy holiday season, help me not to forget it. Amen.

Special-Tea: Read Genesis 3:1-19

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