Ice breaking?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If there is an agonizing no-man’s land of crushing and pain as repentance plows into our pride, can the Old Man of sin only be exchanged for the New Man in Christ through the agony and pain of repentance?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

It’s springtime and it’s great to celebrate the warm weather, all of our bird friends returning from the south, gentle rains, and the promises of summer in the air. However, springtime in Wisconsin doesn’t happen easily. Getting to spring means getting through late winter and sometimes a very stubborn period of time where winter just won’t let go of its hold on air, land and water. The water is sometimes one of the last strongholds relinquished by Old Man Winter. After months of building up several feet of ice on the lakes and rivers in the area, he doesn’t let go easily. We often have warm breezes and daffodils pushing through the frosty ground and ice still apparent everywhere. Nevertheless, the warm air above and the warming water below work hard to wear the ice away, eventually resulting in cracks. Then, with a boom, the ice buckled and pushes itself over its neighbor. This creates a chain reaction, a noisy and powerful pushing and crushing eventually resulting into a spring thaw. Without a doubt it is an agonizing time for lakes and rivers. There are ice dams everywhere and flooding on the lands nearby. The air can become a cacophony of booms scaring the living daylights out of bird, beast and humans. In the end the tumult quiets down and spring gently pushes winter away for a time.

We have to get through the end of the cold in order to get into the beginning of the warm. That usually means a time of agonizing crushing and noise but, in the end, quiet and peace will come. Our time of crossing over from the cold world of sin into the warm world of forgiveness is no different. Between the two worlds is an agonizing no-man’s land of crushing and pain as repentance plows into pride and the cold of the Old Man of sin is exchanged for the warm of the New Man in Christ. The difference makes the agony and pain worthwhile.

As Christians it’s sometimes more appealing to talk about faith than it is about repentance. Nevertheless, without repentance faith is empty. “A gospel which is always talking about faith, and scarcely ever talking about sin and repentance, is denuded, indeed, of some of its most unwelcome characteristics, but is also deprived of most of its power, and it may very easily become an ally of unrighteousness, and an indulgence to sin.” Repentance can be painful as it pushes against our naturally inclination to proclaim ourselves “not bad overall” or “working hard at being better.” Regardless, the agony of knowing our sin and confessing it is a necessity of being faithfully obedient to Christ’s gospel of forgiveness–not the other way around.

“The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians. “For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.” The long and the short of it is this: You and I need to know how to feel sorrow over our sin. Sorrow brings repentance and repentance works the knowledge of salvation in us. Accept the pain that repentance brings; sorrow is never pleasant. Nonetheless, like winter letting go to spring, sorrow will blossom into joy when the pain is done. We just need to do some ice breaking as needed?

We pray. Our Father in Heaven. May your name be holy among men. Let you kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Give us our daily bread today. Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not allow us to fall into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. 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. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

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God bless you for Jesus sake.

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