My friend, may I ask you a question? What do we really deserve? Apart from the love and grace of God, the Bible tells us that we deserve only punishment and damnation. Deserve this or that thing? On what grounds do you or I deserve anything other than God’s justice?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner?
“You deserve a brea today. . .”, so the jingle went! The TV was asking me to buy something to eat. And, “Well, don’t you think that you deserve it anyway?” Now it was telling me that I was a fool if I didn’t go and pamper myself with the car that already had “my name on it.” Take a little test tonight. Watch television for about an hour. Pay particular attention to the commercials. It doesn’t matter if it is cable, satellite or network programming; simply look for the similarities among almost all of them?
I did this the other night and was stunned by the results. If you watch and listen closely, you will find that nearly every commercial break in the programming is all about you, your deserving something that other people already have and you’re the fool for not already having it. Whether it is a brighter smile or more satisfying sex, there’s a product out there with your name on it. You need to spend your money and get that product because, well, you “deserve it.”
The desire to have because we deserve has been around for a very long time. Jesus dealt with it in his ministry as did Clarence Macartney, who writes: “To a man who demanded that he should compel his brother to divide with him, Jesus said: ‘Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? . . . Take heed, and beware of covetousness’ (Luke 12:14-15).
I thought of that saying of Jesus when a man came to see me about a woman--his sister, who was a member of my congregation--and demanded that I should use my pastoral office to compel her to divide the inheritance with him. When I declined to do so, on the same grounds which Christ took in similar circumstances, the man said as he went out, ‘If there is a hell, she will go there!’ But when I heard those words and saw the look on his face I thought to myself, wherever his sister may go in the next world, this man already is in hell. And what put him there was the fact the he was thinking of this world only, and that to lose everything.’(Macartney’s Illustrations, page 79)
What do we really deserve? Apart from the love and grace of God, the Bible tells us that we deserve only punishment and damnation. Deserve this or that thing? On what grounds? I no more deserve a MacDonald’s hamburger than I do a Lexus convertible. Simply, apart from God’s grace, I have no right to demand or feel a right to, anything outside of hell. When we fall for the Madison Avenue line that we have a right to eat this, wear that or drive in that, we fall for the oldest trick in the book; the same one Satan pulled on Eve with a simple apple. Perhaps the better commercial might be this, “Want a living hell? Think about yourself today and nobody else. We guarantee the result. You’ll get what you deserve!”
We pray. Heavenly Father. You tells Lord that we deserve only punishment and damnation in Your Word for our sins and imperfection. We know that we no more deserve a MacDonald’s hamburger than a fancy car. Apart from Your grace, we have no right to demand or feel a right to anything outside of Your justice. Forgive us for listening to the Madison Avenue line that we deserve this or that in life. Help us to understand that our deserving ends where Jesus’s redemption began. Yes, Lord, we look forward now to getting what we deserve through 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. (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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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.