Sermon Illustrations

The Full Treatment! (09.21.05--Grace Walks!--Hebrews 10:14)

Recently I had the old corvair restored. I had given the mechanic a list and was confident he would fix everything on it. Most of the items had to do with the structural integrity of the suspension and frame, so I was confident the car would drive more safely. Yet, I wondered; would I feel and see the difference? Would all the money that I had invested in putting my little car back on the road seem worth it in the end? Or, would I just have to be content with a vehicle that was safe to drive but demonstrated little else? Only time would tell.

When God chooses to “fix” us, put us right again, our Heavenly mechanic is certainly in tune with our prayer requests. Yet, as He goes about making us holy, it is rare indeed when He doesn’t do more than we ask. When God is the mechanic, we are sure to get what we ask and, perhaps, a bit more in the bargain.

C.S. Lewis writes: “When I was a child, I often had a toothache, and I knew that if I went to my mother, she would give me something which would deaden the pain for that night and let me get to sleep. But I did not go to my mother--at least not till the pain became very bad. And the reason I did not go was this: I did not doubt she would give me the aspirin; but I knew she would also do something else. I knew she would take me to the dentist the next morning. I could not get what I wanted out of her without getting something more, which I did not want. I wanted immediate relief from my pain; but I could not get it without having my teeth set permanently right. And I knew those dentists; I knew they would start fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not yet begun to ache. Our Lord is like the dentists. Dozens of people go to him to be cured of some particular sin. Well, he will cure it all right, but he will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if you once call him in, he will give you the full treatment.” (C.S. Lewis.)

When I got my car back I was surprised and pleased to see that the mechanic had fixed a lot of the little things that weren’t even on the list. The car was now safe but it was also more functional. It’s like that in our daily grace walks as well. God tells us that each of us is “perfected” in Christ. We can be no more perfect than that. Yet He also tells us that we “will” be “made holy” through Him as well. How can that which is perfect be made more holy? Like my little car, God has made it safe for us to “drive again” through Christ. Without that repair we wouldn’t be on the road to heaven at all. Nevertheless, He doesn’t stop there. Daily He gives us the “full treatment,” cleaning and shaping us through Christ, fixing the little things as well so that not only do we drive to heaven more safely, we enjoy the trip as well.

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