Let us pray: Dear Savior, we hide our sins from others and we don’t think they matter. But, we cannot hide them from You. You see and hear everything we do and think. Lord, keep foremost in our minds the truth that You’re always at our side. And while You’re there to judge our sins, what You really wish to do is to forgive them. Moved by that kind of love, may we all seek to walk that narrow road to heaven on a daily basis. Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, OUR LIVING LORD!
TEXT: Galatians 6: 1-10, 14-16
Fellow Redeemed Sinners:
Do you know why a serial rapist or a serial killer or a serial thief never quits until they are caught? It is because of pride, arrogance, and the selfish thrill that their sinful side gets out of it. They continue to engage in such sins because it makes them feel on top of the world. It makes them feel smarter and more in control than those they prey upon. That same pride afflicts each of us, too. And that’s why we seldom, totally, give up a particular sin. We like the feeling of “getting away” with it. Pulling a fast one over on others makes us feel very self-important. But, of course, when we engage in such self-destructive behavior, we’re really not getting away with anything, because God sees all. And today, God’s inspired messenger, St. Paul, remind us:
DO NOT BE DECEIVED: GOD CANNOT BE MOCKED
You cannot con God! It sounds so simple. It is so true. And yet, every day we forget that sobering fact. Yes, you can con your spouse. You can con your kids. You can con your fellow workers. You can con any human being. But, you cannot con God. He sees everything you do. He hears everything you say. He’s always reading your mind. He knows all about the envy, the lust, the greed, and the self-destructive anger you harbor inside. He knows all about your secret sins. He knows them intimately. For Christ, God’s Son, came to carry those sins to the cross and to die for them.
Jesus is always with you. That’s a truth that every single Christian knows. And He’s always there at your side with one thing in mind: He wants to forgive you! He wants you to turn to Him in love and trust and say: “Lord, I’m sorry!” And when you do, His heart soars with joy! And His joy and love and strength is then transferred to you. When St. Paul says: “Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When Paul says that, he’s providing us a blueprint of how Christ deals with each of us. And if you have any of Christ’s love in your heart, then you’re going to try and try again to follow that blueprint. Indeed, you’re going to pick yourself up when you fail, plead for His mercy, and then fight on. Why? Because in your heart you know you cannot con God and you cannot con yourself. Moreover, you must, must, live with both every minute of every day!
“You reap what you sow.” Truer words have never been spoken. And to provide us with even more food for thought, Paul goes on to add: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Nothing in life is free, except the love of Christ! And armed with that love we have choices to make. One, we can resist evil, have our flesh and the world mock us, but retain a clean heart and a clean conscience; or we can give in to evil, have our flesh and the world applaud us, and live with a heart filled either with haughty pride or shame. What’s your choice? Are you going to forgive and forget another’s past sins against you, or are you going to chew on them like a dog on a ham bone? Are you going to cling to Christ in humble faith and always seek to do the Godly thing, or are you going to grow weary of such goodness because the results come slow? Are you going to value your fellow Christians above all others; or are you going to take them for granted and ignore their needs? You know, if you’re not happy with your life, you have no one to blame but yourself. For “you reap what you sow.” And if you are content, then thank God! For it’s only by His grace. So, what will it be? Happiness or discontent? Heaven or hell? The choice is yours as you walk His path of holiness. Only, make sure you never deceive yourself, for God cannot be mocked!
As we struggle to resist sin and walk in holiness, there’s one thing that we must all keep first and foremost in our minds. That is: sow in the cross! “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. What counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule.”
Jesus is always thinking about you. You were on His mind as He carried that heavy cross on the Way of Sorrows and as He hung up on it at Golgotha. You were on His mind as He arose from the tomb. You were on His mind when He ascended into heaven after telling the disciples: “I go to prepare a place for you.” Likewise, your worries and hurts are on His mind right now. And just as the cross liberated us then, so it liberates us each day as we struggle to fight the good fight of faith. Paul’s point is: do what Jesus would do. Act as He acted. Speak as He spoke. Focus your mind on the same things that He focused upon. Selfishness mocks God. But selflessness glorifies Him and liberates your conscience. So, through the power of His cross rise above your sins, live forgiveness, and that inner peace and mercy you so long for will be yours! Amen