November 17

 

God offers Life to all who Repent and Turn from their Sins

 

Ezekiel 18

Key Verse: Ezekiel 18:4

 

††††††††††† The Bible teaches us that God is just. He holds every person accountable for his own sins. Finally, as St. Paul says, each of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be judged for the way we have lived. †††††††

Our society has not encouraged the principle of personal responsibility. Instead we have taught people to blame someone else, or something else, for their problems. So we have now a generation of people who hold other persons responsible for their errant behavior.

The more we study the Bible, the more we comprehend the fairness of God. In our ignorance we may presume God is not fair. When we do so, we are wrong.

God reveals in Holy Scripture certain principles of the Kingdom. They are true for one person anywhere. They are true for all people everywhere.

These principles are not subject our amendment. In our great wisdom we often think foolishly that we can instruct God. We cannot. He is the instructor; we are his children. We have a choice. We can live well by Godís kingdom principles, or we can break ourselves by ignoring these principles. What are they?

1.      God desires and expects that each of us obey him.

2.      God blesses us in response to our obedience.

3.      God will punish us for our disobedience.

4.      God holds each of us accountable for our sins.

5.      He does not punish us because of the sins of another person.

6.      God takes no pleasure in punishing us for our sins.

7.      Godís mercy never ends; it is everlasting.

8.      God will forgive us when we repent and turn away from our sins.

9.      God promises life to those who repent.

10.  Those who refuse to repent have chosen death instead of life.

I grew up with and loved very much a cousin whose parents were alcoholics. He and his siblings suffered because of the behavior of his parents. But God did not inflict this suffering upon them; their parents did.

My cousin could have excused himself from righteous living by blaming his parents for his misdoings. But he did not. He chose to be responsible for his own life. He rose above his circumstances, lived a godly life, and became a compassionate Presbyterian pastor. God honored his obedience and blessed him with a wonderful wife and family.

It all boils down to the question: am I willing to do my best to obey God. None of us can do that perfectly, but all of us can want to do it.

When I went to watch my grandson Jake play football, I tried to get his attention from the sidelines to no avail. Finally it dawned on me that his eyes were on only one person, his dad. He was playing his heart out for his dad, consumed by a desire to please his dad.

That is how we need to live our lives: with a consuming desire to please our heavenly Father by obeying his principles for living.

When we weary of living for our own pleasure, God is more than ready to welcome us with open, loving arms. He waits for us to repent and turn from our sinful ways so that he can give us life, and life abundant! +++