Last week there was a message going around on Facebook that encouraged its recipients tally a fine by adding up monetary values assigned to vatious indecent/dangerous/illegal behaviors and afterward, post the total "fine" as their status. Upon receipt of the message, I was curious, so I followed the instructions and posted my fine minus $.10 for peeing in a pool because I thought the value would be too easy to identify, and, at the time, I really didn't want to divulge such a yucky incident, but, now, I have. Later, while I was reading comments that had been made on such status posts, I realized that there was almost a congratulatory nature present in most of the responses, and I was immediately ashamed to have participated in the game because, although I desire to be forthcoming about the person that I am, neither am I proud of the wrong choices I have made in the past, and it shames me to think that I may have made it appear as if I were flaunting my sinfulness as if I were proud of it! Then, as I contemplated how I might have damaged my witness for Christ by playing this game that seemed to me now to mock God and the behavioral boundaries he has set forth to protect us, the word fine struck me in a whole new way. The Bible teaches us that we all owe a fine for our sin...The wages of sin is death Romans 6:23 and for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God Romans 3:23! The great news for all us sinners is the aforementioned fine has been paid in full by Jesus Christ! Surely he took our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5. He himself bore our sins in his body on that tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. 1 Peter 2:24 This last verse really brings it home for me!...the words in his body really speak to my heart to what extent my Savior paid my fine. He carried my sins of pridefulness, lust, impatience, greed, dishonesty, unfaithfulness and selfishness in his body. I mean, the specific sins I, Cori Lukomski, have committed in my 30 years of life were carried by Jesus to the cross in his body in order to pay the fine that I owed, and that's why I love him because really knowing me and my sins so personally that he internalized them, he still paid the brutal and deadly fine in my place, and not just my place and my sins, yours, too, so in the last several sentences when i've referred to myself, replace it with yourself and try to wrap your mind around the awesomeness of what Jesus has done for you. Oh.before I wrap this up, I want you to come with me to the scene of the cross for just a moment. Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour he cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?-which means My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" For me, this verse carries the weight of what Jesus did for me on that cross! Because my sin and yours dirtied his purity in that moment, God had to turn away from him, and Jesus cries out in anguish as he experiences the separation from God that I will never have to face because he did it for me and you! What you've got to know is that for some of us it is like the cell phone rebate offer that sits on my kitchen table unrealized. Somewhere out there $100.00 waits for me to fill out the form and mail it in with my receipt to claim it. Jesus's forgiveness or his payment for your fine is like that, its paid in full, but each person has to claim it personally to receive its benefit, so you might ask me why I haven't sent the stuff in to claim that $100...The answer is "I don't really know...probably something like laziness paired with complacency. I keep putting it off thinking, "one day I will," or "maybe tomorrow." So, my question for you is quite similar if you have never claimed the forgiveness that Jesus offers you personally. If your answers are similar to mine as well, realize like I should that there will not always be a "one day" or a "tomorrow," so why not do it today! There are no forms to fill out or receipts to send in...just have a conversation with God letting him know you admit you have sinned and need to receive the forgiveness Jesus offers and want to do so today In doing so, you admit that you believe Jesus is God's son, and that you want to commit to be a follower of Jesus with the rest your life. Following such a decision with baptism by emersion is the way Jesus set forth(Matthew 3:15)
to confess to the world your new alliance with God. As a grand gesture of encouragement for you to take this step and become a Christian if you never have before, I am going to complete my cell phone rebate form and get it ready to mail out tomorrow as soon as I'm done writing this post!