Welcome to This Passing Day. My friend, may I ask you a question today? It’s common for us to approach God with a sin, prepared confidently to give it to him and get it off our chest. Yet, did you ever experience how quickly the holiness of God reveals a concentration of sin we’ve been carrying but really didn’t feel the load?
My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
When I graduated from college many years ago I graduated with a double major. One major was law enforcement. Within weeks I began searching for a job, applying to a number of departments in the area which generated several interviews. The first step in the interview process was, of course, the application. One of the questions on every application was: “Have you ever committed a felony?” Now, over the course of my youth I had done some wild things, partaking in my share of nefarious deeds. Most of these could be characterized as youthful pranks such as the time my buddies and I tipped a cow or knocked over an outhouse. These weren’t felonies, however. Nevertheless, there were some borderline things that were in a gray area, like the time we put an M-80 in a neighbor’s mailbox. My conscience always threw up a red flag on that one, so I was moved to answer the question affirmatively. I knew the question would come up in a personal interview, so I was prepared. Funny thing about the interviews though. On paper I felt convicted of one thing; in the interview, faced with an interviewing board, my conscience suddenly blossomed into a concentration of possible unlawful deeds prompting a more general admission of guilt. When the interview moved on I felt emptied and strangely relieved.
When we sin it’s common for us to approach God with a sin, prepared confidently to give it to him and get it off our chest. Yet, did you ever experience how quickly the Spirit of God reveals a concentration of sin we’ve amassed we didn’t know we were carrying? In God’s presence we drop to our knees and he takes up our load, and holiness is exchanged.
Here’s a story. A professional golfer was playing in a tournament with President Gerald Ford, fellow pro Jack Nicklaus, and Billy Graham. After the round was over, one of the other pros on the tour asked, “Hey, what was it like playing with the President and Billy Graham?” The pro said with disgust, “I don’t need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!” With that he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed, and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, “Was Billy a little rough on you out there?” The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, “No, he didn’t even mention religion.” Astonishingly, Billy Graham had said nothing about God, Jesus, or religion, yet the pro stomped away after the game accusing Billy of trying to ram religion down his throat. (R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God.)
When the prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 6:5: “‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’” Isaiah experienced a burden of amassed sin, a concentration of sin he was bearing, that was suddenly laid upon him as he entered into the presence of the holy God. God pulls us toward himself when we sin. “Come to me my son, forgiveness awaits here.” We climb the ladder of his grace carrying a sin and God economizes and takes care of many sins. Like playing golf with Billy Graham, we enter his presence and nothing much be said except our sinfulness becomes apparent in Christ. God’s holiness grieves our conscience and the pall of sin is removed. We are emptied and strangely but wonderfully relieved in this holy exchange.
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We pray. Thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit as he pulls us daily into your presence. We climb the ladder of your grace in confession and you take our slate and wipe it clean in Christ. Forgive us Father when we neglect confession or choose not to linger long enough in your presence to experience the full grace that you offer in Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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