Illustration results for Sin: Separates from God
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When the now-famous poet Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage. Their daughter Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation. After 10 years, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened! Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of classical English literature, it’s really sad to think that they were never read by Elizabeth Barrett’s own parents. Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.
All of us are alienated from God because of sin, but God has provided a way of reconciliation. In the Bible, He tells about it, and also expresses His earnest desire for fellowship with us.
ďIn 1992, a Los Angeles County parking control officer came upon a brown El Dorado Cadillac illegally parked next to the curb on street-sweeping day.
The officer dutifully wrote out a ticket. Ignoring the man seated at the driverís wheel, the officer reached inside the open car window and placed the $30 citation on the dashboard.
The driver of the car made no excuses. No argument ensued-and with good reason. The driver of the car had been shot in the head ten to twelve hours before but was sitting up, stiff as a board, slumped slightly forward, with blood on his face. He was dead.
The officer, preoccupied with ticket-writing, was unaware of anything out of the ordinary. He got back in his car and drove away.
Many people around us are Ďdead in transgressions and sins.í What should catch our attention most is their need, not their offenses. They donít need a citation; they need a Savior.Ē (Rowell)
Iím Sarah, Iím sixteen;
Last night I failed.
I prayed for more strength,
So why did I yield?
He said he loved me,
Brought me flowers and all;
Then he took me upstairs
And caused me to fall.
I feel so ashamed,
So dirty inside.
Heís taken my heart;
Now I want to go hide.
I let down my parents,
And they trusted me so.
Can God forgive me?
I need to know.
If I had it to do
All over again,
I think I would run
To a close, loving friend.
The pain hurts so bad;
I want you to know,
So you wonít give in.
Youíll know when to go!
Yes, God can forgive!
It says it right here;
Jesus died for my sins,
So I never need fear.
My past is all cleansed;
Iím whiter than snow.
Yet my sin is still sin;
Consequences donít go.
Today I start over,
My purity new!
Iím Godís little girl,
Straight through and through!
Abstain - yes, I must!
By Godís grace and power,
Iíll stay close to Him,
Hour by hour.
Hiding His Word
Deep in my heart;
When faced with temptation,
Next time Iíll be smart.
I know from now on
Iím determined to wait;
God has a man
Designed as my mate.
When that time comes,
And I know heís the one;
The day Iíll be married -
Now thatíll be fun!
But until then,
To the Lord will I cling;
At just the right time,
My husband, Heíll bring.
Iím trusting Him now
With all of my soul.
The Lord holds my future;
Thatís all I must know!
HOW I WANT TO GO
An old preacher was dying. He sent a message for his Doctor and his Lawyer, both church members, to come to his home. When they arrived, they were ushered up to his bedroom. As they entered the room, the preacher held out his hands and motioned for them to sit on each side of the bed. The preacher grasped their hands, sighed contentedly, smiled and stared at the ceiling.
For a time, no one said anything. Both the doctor and lawyer were touched and flattered that the old preacher would ask them to be with him during his final moment. They were also puzzled; the preacher had never given them any indication that he particularly liked either of them. They both remembered his many long, uncomfortable sermons about greed, covetousness and their avaricious...
A. Todd Coget
THE CATCH-22 OF INCOMPETENCE
Most incompetent people donít know they are incompetent.
In fact, researcher Dr. David A. Dunning of Cornell University reports that people who are incompetent are more confident of their abilities than competent people.
Dunning and his associate Justin Krueger believe that skills required for competence are the same skills necessary to recognize that ability.
Krueger writes in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Not only do [incompetent people] reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it."
That is the way we are spiritually without Christ.
Our sin not only separates us from God, it blinds us to our predicament.
SOURCE: Hank Simon, Catch-22 of Incompetence, Belleville, Illinois. Citation: New York Times News Service, Belleville [Illinois] News-Democrat (1-18-00.)
You and I were born into that darkness. Many people donít believe that. In fact in a Barna poll 74% of Americans said that people were born neither good nor bad (Forward in Christ, Dec. 2002, p. 28). That illustrates how thick the darkness is. We donít realize how lost and helpless we naturally are, even though Godís Word plainly says, ďSurely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived meĒ (Psalm 51:5 NIV).
That was Lee Risler’s problem according to the Associated Press1. Mr. Risler, a 53-year-old sandal maker, was driving from his high desert home in Lucerne Valley, California to Hermosa Beach to sell his wares at a craft fair, when the accident occurred. For some reason, Risler’s van veered off Interstate 605, overturning in a ditch, very early in the morning. For the next 2 1/2 days Mr. Risler was trapped, his left arm pinned outside the van between the door and some trees.
Fortunately, he was freed by a California Department of Transportation worker, who happened to spot his Ford van tucked among some trees a few yards off the freeway, about 15 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
To say the least, Mr. Risler was very thirsty and was bleeding from his hand. He told the rescue workers he was so desperate he tried to cut off his pinned hand with a pocketknife in an attempt to struggle free.
This brings me to my point. What would you do if you were in a similar situation? We have all heard of people falling into wells, trapped in pipes, caught in snow drifts, etc. My elderly great uncle fell between his bed and the wall of his trailer, and he was unable to get up for a little over two days, but fortunately my mother sent my older brother to check on him. What would you do under desperate circumstance in order to save your life? Cut off your hand?
Jesus once said, “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell” (Matthew 18:8-9).
Yes, under extreme circumstances people have cut off or left behind precious things in order to save their physical lives. But, what if you were headed to suffer the eternal agony of being separated from your loving Creator? What would you need to cut out of your life to make sure you were with him forever? Forsake a sin and turn away from doing evil? Break off a wrong relationship and develop good ones? Repent of harmful attitudes and develop healthy ones?
Jesus in this passage is using hyperbole. He is exaggerating to make a point. For people normally don’t deliberately cut off their appendages because of a sin, unless you have some type of pathology. Now, what if you have a sin in your life that is keeping you from having a personal relationship with God. Would you cut it out of your life and get rid of it?
In the culture of Jesus’ day the hands and feet stood for purposeful actions and eyes covered the area of emotions or thoughts. Is there an activity keeping you from coming to God’s Son, Jesus of Nazareth? Is there an attitude, bias or philosophy blinding you to the need to draw close to the Almighty?
Before you put this article down, take the time to examine your life and see what questionable activities or ideas there might be blocking you from coming into a relationship with your Father in heaven. Jettison them! Purge them from your life and come to the living God. Do what is good and right, and make peace with the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ right now.
If you do, I assure you, you’ll be eternally thankful you did. Praise the Lord!
Pinned Man Tries to Cut Off Hand
Downey, Calif. (AP) - Trapped for days in a crashed van as traffic whizzed by only a few feet away, Lee Risler got so desperate he tried to cut off his pinned hand with a pocketknife.
Risler’s van veered off Interstate 605 and overturned in a ditch around 3 a.m. Saturday. The 53-year-old sandal maker spent the next 2 1/2 days stuck there, his left arm trapped outside the van between the door and some trees.
Risler was freed around noon Monday when a California Department of Transportation worker spotted his 1991 Ford hidden by trees a few yards off the freeway, about 15 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Risler complained of a tremendous thirst and was bleeding from the hand, but he was coherent, rescue workers said. He told them he began cutting at the wrist and fingers of his left hand, struggling to get free.
“He did more damage to his arm than the accident," Downey Fire Department Battalion Chief Chuck Seely said "This guy was definitely in desperation."
Rescue workers rushed Risler to the St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he was in fair condition late Monday.
Risler was driving from his high desert home in Lucerne Valley to sell sandals at a craft fair in Hermosa Beach when the accident occurred.
Source: Omaha World-Herald, Tuesday, 3.21.00, Metro Ed., National News, pg.3.
A man returns from a foreign holiday and is feeling very ill. He goes to see his doctor, and is immediately rushed to the hospital to undergo tests.
The man wakes up after the tests in a private room at the hospital, shuffles to the door & finds it locked from the outside!/Just then the phone by his bed rings.
"This is your doctor. Weíve had the results back from your tests and weíve found you have an extremely nasty virus whoís progress, so far, we are completely helpless to destroy or even slow down!"
"Oh my goodness," cried the man, "What are you going to do, doctor?"
"Well weíre going to put...
In a Catholic church a sign was hanging over a shrine which said, "This Shrine is out of order. Do not worship here." That is a parable of what sin does to the Christian. It makes us out of order spiritually. (Pulpit Helps, Sept. 98)
ďAn Image Better Than Adamís!Ē Isaiah 59:1-8 Key verse(s): 1-2:ďSurely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.Ē
Oh if we could but live one day as Adam and Eve. Have you ever wished this? If you could but experience for even the briefest moment the joy and complete satisfaction that must have been manifest in the lives of our first parents before they fell into sin. They walked innocent, naked and in complete communion with God their Father. Disharmony, sorrow, fretfulness, and anger were unknown to them. Doubtless they cried; but their tears could only have been as those which flow from a feeling of complete contentment and happiness. Their state was one of total cooperation, unswerving commitment and consuming love both for each other and for God. Created in holiness, they dwelled within its tent, secured and warmed by its amazing completeness and immeasurable capacity to grant happiness and promise. Adam and Eve were the lucky ones. They were created in pure holiness, a state which we have never experienced. We can only speculate what it must have been like. Can you imagine a day in your life when, in the presence of a person, even someone that you love with all your heart and soul, you do not harbor a single wrong thought or secure even the faintest glimmer of jealousy or resentment? Those little irritating thoughts that cross our minds constantly, the ones that are there for but an instant and then gone, would never happen. In a sinless world people would never know bitterness or envy. They would dwell apart from comparisons and they would have no need for justice. All these things would be made meaningless in the absence of sin.
Truly Adam and Eve were more fortunate than we. Unfallen man had in his possession the power of sinlessness, the ability to live in complete harmony with others and with God. Oh to be like them if but for an instant! We could throw off this coil of sorrow and woe. Our worst enemies would be our best friends. Our worst obsessions would be trivialized in the presence of such perfect promise and hope. Our worst fears would become nothing more than idle thought. To walk hand in hand with the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, if but for a moment, would be a thrill beyond expression. To step back into the world of Adam and Eve prior to Satanís appearance would just have to be the one experience that nothing in this life could top. Or, would it be? Is there yet a state that could compare or, better yet, surpass this? How could there be anything surpassing to the joy and completeness our first parents must have experience before Eve took the apple and Adam placed his lips upon it? To be in a state of created holiness, holding the very hand of the One who made you and kept you each day; how could there be anything better than that?
When God created man the Bible tells us that He made man a little lower than the angels but in a state of complete holiness. God created man in His image to dwell in holiness and rule over the entirety of His creation. He did not, however, create man in equity to Himself. It was in His image He made us, not in His essence. Man was holy indeed. But, their was One to whom all things were subjugated and under whose domain the entire universe bowed down. That was and is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. There was no equity between Adam and Christ beyond the knowledge of sin. Although Adam lived in sinlessness at first, he had the capacity to sin later. Christ, the sinless Son of God, possessed power over sin. Not only did he live without sin, He dwelt in complete dominion over it. In that respect, Adam and Eve, bereft of the ability to defeat sin, could never know the power, the perfected love, that dwelt within the essence of Jesus Christ. Only Christ has power and authority over sin. Would it not make sense, therefore, to aspire to this greater power, one superior to the holiness of our first parents? To claim the authority over sin would be a greater power than the ignorance of it. C. S. Lewis writes, ďWhatever may have been the powers of unfallen man, it appears that hose of redeemed Man will be almost unlimited. Christ, re-ascending from his great dive, is brining up Human Nature with Him. Where He goes, it goes too. It will be made ďlike Him.Ē (Miracles, chap. 15, para. 5, p. 135)
You and I in this sense are far better off than Adam and Eve. Even though we know sin, we aspire to a holiness even greater than theirs; the holiness of Christ Himself. Through the Holy Spirit we grow in this grace daily. When Christ descended into Hell to claim victory over the sin that Adam brought into the world, he arose with such a force and shout that we too are taken up with Him and made holy in that ascension to the throne of God. There can be no greater aspiration than this. To be like Christ would be far better than to be like Adam.