EASTER – PAID UP FRONT

Why didn’t God make it so that there would be no sin? Because God made people in his own image, with the freedom of will to choose. God didn’t want puppets. God has a wonderful life planned for everyone, but He wanted people to choose it, not be forced into it.

But people didn’t believe in His goodness and turned away from Him. When the first man and woman sinned, it began to cultivate in the blood. They rebelled and chose to do things against God’s plan of good, and so the results were ungodly too. “For the wages [payment, harvest] of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). These wages came in the form of instant death like the murder of Abel, or in various partial deaths such as a partial death of a healthy mind, partial death in the functioning of various body parts, partial death of right thoughts about prosperity. You get the picture.

God knew that once sin got started, the results would be passed down from generation to generation. Sin brings death into a person’s body, mind, emotions and spirit and if allowed to go on, eventually destroys him entirely. God didn’t want that. What would be the point if every person was destroyed and gone? God would have no family left! He had to have a way for man to escape the results of sin that would kill him. So instead of having to pay with his life for every sin, God said people could pay with something dear to them and the sin would be covered, the debt paid.

In Old Testament times sin was covered with the payment of sheep, wheat, barley and other things that had significance to the people. But God had something better in mind that only He knew the full value of. He planned to give mankind His own son, who people could then take into their lives and hearts. People would then have the one and only perfect payment for all sins—Jesus.

When a person accepts Jesus as their own, then they have the most treasured sacrifice to give. Whether we know it or not, when we first believed in Jesus, we allowed Him to pay off our sin debts for us.

Jesus took the results of all our sin, including death and hell. But since Jesus had committed no sin, even death and hell couldn’t overcome Him; it couldn’t stick to Him. God raised Him up and outsmarted the best the devil had to throw at Him. Jesus Christ rose from the dead as victorious over all adversaries.

If you don’t know Jesus Christ and you want to, then all you need to do is “declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9). Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and all the old sin is washed out. We become new people with the seed of God’s Holy Spirit in us to stay.

The Holy Spirit in us rejects sin. So when we sin and rebel and make mistakes (and we all do), God says just admit it, say we’re sorry and we’re forgiven. No more sacrificial payments. Jesus paid it all up front. And no sin or the results of sin can overcome or stick to us either if we don’t want them. We can live in the goodness of God’s plan for a wonderful life now and we get to have it forever.

Love, Carolyn

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GOD CAN TURN OUR IRRITATIONS INTO DELIGHT

When we do a faux finish to match a live sample, (like making a piece of hardboard look like mahogany), we have to look at our samples in the conference room because it has the same lighting they have at the designers’ office where our samples get approved. Our electricity went haywire and three of the necessary lights in the conference room were off. We were on a strict deadline and were already nervous.

An electrician was called but it was a full day before he showed up. When he did, he was way too casual for our liking. He would work a little, take a smoke break, jabber with the guys awhile, work a little more, take another smoke break, laugh and jabber with the guys some more, work a little and then, yes, another smoke break. At the end of the day, we were told the lights were working. Next morning, lights not working again. This was really frustrating.

My boss said, “I guess we’ll have to go over to the pub to get a good look at our samples.” I thought she was joking so I just laughed and got back to work trying to do the best I could. The electrician showed up again a day later and I was getting more and more disgusted with him and started calling him names behind his back. I knew it was wrong, so the second night I repented and I forgave him and tried to not let my thoughts about him weave more of a bad story.

The next day at work, my boss being equally frustrated with the situation, suggested again taking our samples to the better lighting at the pub. This time I quickly agreed and off we went.

Not only was it super profitable as far as seeing what we needed to do with our samples, but they were serving breakfast at half off, so we decided, “What the heck, we’re going to take a break anyway, so why not here?” We’d never done that before.

We had a really delightful time, laughing and letting all our frustrations disintegrate into thin air.

The electrician irritated us to no end, but since we ended up having such a great time, maybe we should have been thanking him instead? One of my friends is convinced of this philosophy: We should be thanking those people who bother us for stepping into our lives. We may never have had the opportunity to learn what we did without them.

With this situation I was reminded of Genesis 50:20, where Joseph says to his brothers, “You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good.” The electrician didn’t specifically plot against us, but the adversary used his actions to really get to us. But God turned the situation around and used it to catapult us into a really amazing, one of a kind, fun day.

I don’t know about you, but I need to see more of this kind of thing. God will take my negative and turn it around for good and no one can stop Him. That’s a great truth to hold on to.

Love, Carolyn

Check out my book on Amazon. It’s in print form and e-book, or you can get shorter, stand-alone sections with 6 chapters for as low as $.99. WINGS: A Journey in Faith from the Earthly to the Heavenly.