Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Inescapable Grace

This summer, our church is doing a series on the book of Jonah. Actually, we're only two weeks into it, but it's powerful. Last week Chris Moeller (our worship pastor) preached on the great storm and one of his main points was that our sin is not isolated. This has hung with me for the past couple of days - just the simplicity of this truth and yet most of us have no clue of its depth.

Jonah had been a successful prophet of the Lord. I use the word "successful" because although any prophet who faithfully brings the message of God to the people would be a good prophet, he actually saw a response to his message that was positive for Israel (II Kings 14:25). So with that success under his belt, he most likely also had some popularity behind him.

But we all know the story. When Jonah receives the instruction to go to Ninevah and rebuke their sinful rebellion, he decides he's had enough of this profession and hops on a boat going in the opposite direction.

God then brings a storm and that's where we clearly see the truth that our sin is not isolated. The sailors on the boat - big, burly, experienced, tough guys - they are terrified and quickly identify that this storm has supernatural origins. Their lives are in danger and we know it is because of Jonah's sinful decision to ignore the instruction of God and do his own thing.

A simple truth - our sin affects those around us - and yet it is so rarely considered when we choose to sin. Let's look at a two real life victims of another's sin:
  • Today cheating is rampant in high school. This cheating affects not only grade curves for any particular test, but GPAs and college admissions are impacted, as well. The student who chooses not to cheat is placed at the disadvantage because the cheaters are not earning their scores.
  • The husband who chooses to walk away from his family - well, this one is easy. Look at how it affects his wife and children - I was chatting recently with a young couple who is engaged and both of their parents are divorced. Planning the wedding with all the step parents and step siblings and trying to please all the extended relationships is a nightmare for these two people. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine having to go to court and tell a judge which parent you would want to live with - all because one of the parents was unwilling to stay faithful to his vows and decided his happiness was more valuable than a stable home for his children.
These are obvious ones but the truth stands when it comes to sin's affects. So here's my question for you today: Who is feeling the effects of your sin?

It's that simple. It's time to stop thinking that you alone can bear the consequences of your sin and look around you, because your sin is having an affect on others. This is where my mind and heart have been dwelling since Tuesday and you know what, it's not easy to look at yourself so honestly, but it's necessary.

The good news is that the story doesn't end here, but let's at least begin with a good look in the mirror...

1 comment:

  1. Its not very nice to look in the mirror and realize how our sins have affected those we love and those who are watching us. Thank God for grace and forgiveness and that He keeps on working in us every day of our lives here on earth.