Monday, August 27, 2018

August 28, 2018

"Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Genesis 3:13

One of the first popular game shows in America was called "Truth or Consequences". It premiered on the radio in 1940 and continued on TV until the late '80's. That is a long run!

Any show that can make the transition from radio to TV has to be intriguing!

"Truth or Consequences" was the show that first made Bob Barker famous and led to his long career as host of "The Price Is Right".

One more bit of trivia about the show before I attempt to make a point. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico derived its name from the game show. Original host, the great Ralph Edwards, once promised on the air that he would host a show from any town that would take the name of the show as the moniker for their city. Hot Springs, New Mexico took him up on the dare. They changed their name and he did the show!

Perhaps the reason for the show's popularity was its simplicity. A contestant was given trivia question to answer and if they could not answer the question they would be assigned a stunt to do. Most questions were so obscure that they could not be answered and the consequences would be endured. After awhile contestants began missing on purpose just to do the stunts.

What does this have to do with us?

Adam and Eve erred from the truth and we are suffering the consequences. Boy, are we!

The plight of the human race has become like a non-stop game of truth and consequences. Except it stopped being funny long ago and the consequences are eternal.

Due to the deliberate rebellious decision by Adam and Eve, our judgment has become permanently flawed. We have trouble recognizing the truth and it is easy for us to believe a lie. And worse, it is not just lies that we believe, it is THE LIE. What is THE LIE? It is the thought that we can be like God. It is pride in its worst form. It is Independence run amok. It is a perverse fantasy of being able to sin without any consequences.

Here's the good news! Jesus, Who IS the Truth also took our consequences! Believe that! Receive that! Exchange your fantasy for a faith-based relationship with Jesus. Confess your sinfulness, repent of your pride, and humble yourself to the Truth!

It is no game. Let Him show you what He can do!

August 27, 2018

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:8

What a crazy way to save the world! Crazy amazing that is!

It looked hopelessly impossible. Here is a Holy God separated from His beloved creatures by their sins. They would always be sinful and He would always be holy. Man could no more change his nature than God could His!

God longed for fellowship with man. Man needed fellowship with God. Man had tried to become like God - that didn't work too well! In fact, that is what created the problem! So, what was to be done?

If the guilty cannot become innocent, could the innocent become guilty? And if He could, would He? And if He would, why would He?

Jesus answered that question. He stepped up to resolve the dilemma. And Paul writes about here in Philippians 2. It is an idea only God could conceive and only Christ could execute. Perhaps Paul is the only one who could explain it.

Man couldn't reach up to God so God "morphed" down to man and Jesus was the result. Through the mystery of the "hypostasis" God was poured into man and a Savior was born! The perfect solution to a perplexing problem - a Being born Who was 100% God and 100% man. Just what God needed! The only hope for men!

How ironic that man became spiritually lost in the attempt to become God and the solution was found in God becoming a man! Mankind fell in his attempt to be God. Man was redeemed by One who surrendered His Godly privilege and humbly put on flesh. The One Who is life, the One Who breathed life into the nostrils of Adam, came in the flesh to suffer and to obediently lay down His life.

God did what He did because only He could do it! He did it in a way that only He could imagine. And He did for a reason that only He can comprehend.

So what are we to do with this amazing news? How are we to respond to this incredible offer? Why did He make sure Paul explained this spiritual truth in such detail? What does He expect or require of us?

He asks us to respond in kind - to humble ourselves as He did. To receive His righteousness we must confess our sinfulness. We must receive His holiness and repent of our selfishness.

Christ became like us to provide a way for us to become like Him! What we longed for and lost, He gave up to gain!