Tuesday, March 04, 2008

From the Pastor's Desk Column for 3/3

I have the privilege this month of supplying the pastor's column for the local paper (Cavalier County Republican) for this month. I will post them here after they are published in the paper if any are interested in reading them. Here is the first column.

Recently, there was a scary scene in the hockey world. A young player named Richard Zednik was cut in the throat by another player's skate in what would surely be seen as a freak incident. The skate cut into his carotid artery and put his life in serious danger. I saw on television that he stated he began to wonder if he would see his four year old daughter ever again. Life is a gift that we often take for granted. It is staggering statistic. 10 out of 10 humans die. We all know that this is true, but we rarely take the time to contemplate our own death. The Bible tells us that there is a day appointed for each of us when we die and then we will face the judgment of God. Have you considered how you would fare in this judgment?
Let's take a look at one of God's well known standards. Have you kept the Ten Commandments? Have you ever told a lie? I don't know of anyone that hasn't. What about theft, have you ever stolen anything, regardless of its value? It is a rare person indeed who has never stolen something. Have you ever used God's name as a curse word? It's called blasphemy and in today's society it seems to be the norm rather than the exception. We have only looked at three of the ten and already most of us are batting 0 for 3. This is the reason that Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” When you stand in God's courtroom on your appointed day, will you be innocent or guilty? The Bible is clear that we are all guilty before God, because none of us could live up to His standard. The Bible is also clear about the consequence of a guilty verdict. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There is good news here. There is One standing in the courtroom at God's judgment who is willing to take your place. Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and for yours as well. He offers to stand in our place, if we will let Him. If we acknowledge our guilt before God and repent of doing things our own way, God can forgive us because of Christ's sacrifice. Read the Bible to know God's way of living and do what it says. A new commandment takes its place in your life. 1 John 3:23-24 says, “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
No one knows the hour or the day we will be called from this life to face the judgment of God. But there is no excuse for any of us to go unprepared to face Him on that day. If you have questions or comments, I would be glad to talk to you more.

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