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God’s grace article

In Need of a Love Relationship

        Freedom requires sound decision making. Someone once said, “Freedom is a package deal – with it comes responsibilities and consequences.” In order to maintain freedom, one must be responsible to make good decisions. If they aren’t, their freedom is vulnerable to the consequences of their actions. Poor decision makers who reap misfortune are forced to hope their ensuing losses would remain manageable and that life would give them another chance to make the right decision that would hopefully restore their freedoms and fortunes. But if this opportunity arises and they do nothing or if they make another faulty decision, time and second chances may run dry as life puts that personal in a greater, more crippling predicament. A person may be born with freedom; however, if not careful, he may lose it all!

 

        This concept is true for all realms of humanity, but never more critical or most consequential than in the spiritual realm. When God first created Adam, He gave mankind the freedom to choose,

         Freedom requires sound decision making. What freedom people have is determined by the consequences

        Choices either expand or contract human freedom: good decisions expand, while bad ones contract. Someone once said, “Freedom is a package deal – with it comes responsibilities and consequences.” In our lives, the decisions we make affect not only ourselves, but also others. What freedom is determined by what Individual actions have not only the potential to influence current generations, but also future ones. Unfortunately, once decisions are made, they cannot be undone..

         The worst decision ever made was a sin by man’s first father, Adam. When he disobeyed God, humans lost their precious relationship with God. One of the consequences of this happening was that mankind lost the true happiness, peace, and security that result from having fellowship with God. The world that Adam once viewed as safe, peaceful, and controllable has almost infinitely been since perceived as scary, hurtful, angry, and uncontrollable by his offspring. Hearts have become more wicked and painful. Murder, thievery, adultery, and other forms of dishonesty seem to prevail over human decency. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Sin is not harmful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is hurtful.”

          In the eyes of God, we are all sinners. In varying degrees, we can all be considered as “child delinquents” as we fail to do what God’s laws require. Adam is the “bad father”, from whom we learned how to lie, steal, and hate from. Adam is the “bad father” that has caused great mental and physical turmoil to us. His actions have created inward securities in the way we perceive ourselves. Because of him, all humans experience a “hole in their hearts” as they try to overcome the pain and suffering that results from being alive. Because of him, we read about how “our brother” has committed suicide or hear about how “our sister” has been raped. As the Hungarians once stated: “Adam ate the apple, and our teeth still ache.”

          Every sin brings its punishment with it. (Romanian Proverb). According to the Bible, “the wages of sin of death.” Because of Adam, our father, all humans have been sentenced to the death penalty in hell after their life ends on Earth. That means, according to God (the “Judge”), “our eternal hope for us ‘child delinquents’ has been taken away.” The “Judge” views us as “filthy rags” in His sight. Our “hole in the heart” is enormous, needing a “heart doctor” to fix our “broken heart.”

         In this world, there lives a “heart doctor” who strongly desires to save us from our sins. He wants to adopt us “child delinquents” and make us “His” own. His name is Jesus Christ. In John 3:16-18, it says that “For God so loved the world that He gave us his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God”.

        Jesus, the “heart doctor”, has given mankind a pardon for all their sins. The “Judge” accepts this pardon under one condition: the person being evaluated by the “Judge” must believe that this gift exists and must choose to accept this offer given by “the heart doctor”. In short, “the heart doctor” desires to provide us a service to fix our broken hearts. If you do not let him perform this service, He cannot help you. Individual freedom contracts because of Adam’s choice to sin, but expands eternally because of  Jesus Christ’s decision to love us.

       Those saved by Christ have their relationship restored with God, regardless of how much us “child delinquents” decide to sin. However, negative consequences still remain for those believers who continue to do this. Sin prevents fellowship with God, a requirement to experience the peace, happiness, wisdom, and security we need from God in this turbulent world. When we do wrong, we must face the consequences that directly result from our poor decisions. In addition, our acts of wrongdoing can limit the future received rewards from heaven we obtain for good behavior. Finally, not having fellowship prevents the guidance other struggling believers need when facing life struggles.

       For any Christian, there is a constant battle between right and wrong. Bad habits conditioned by our father, Adam, fights against the newly developed habits resulting from our new adopted father, God. Jesus, our “heart doctor” realizes this as He perceives us as a “diamond in the rough” that needs to have our “child delinquent” imperfections to be molded into a precious, flawless diamond. Although not all of these imperfections will be removed until we go to heaven, “the heart doctor” simultaneously uses both discipline and love to perform this task. He desires to mold every “child delinquent” into an “improved, God-law-abiding citizen”.

      Unfortunately, the consequences of our unsound “Adam-influenced, bad father” decisions often makes our “sinful / child delinquent” nature prevail in this battle between right and wrong. When this occurs, we lose the peace, happiness, wisdom, and security that we temporarily had when we were in fellowship with the “heart doctor”. During these times, life struggles often seem to overwhelm us, creating a greater need for the “heart doctor” to fix the “hole in the hearts” we suddenly experience.

      There may be times where our Father in Heaven may seem upset and frustrated when we disobey Him. We may experience bad situations and believe He is angry and out to get us. However, our Father’s love is so unconditional and so great with compassion that when He does correct our behavior, he does it with patience and precision rather than with force and abruptness.

      When we decide to be like the “Prodigal Son” who turns His back against his father and lives like the “Adam-conditioned, delinquent child” in us, Our Father in Heaven is there patiently, lovingly, and compassionately waiting for us to return. Nothing can keep the Father from loving His adopted son. Nothing could ruin the relationship He had with His son. When we choose to come back to our Heavenly Father, He will embrace us similar to how the father did in the “Prodigal Son” story.

      In life, we make choices: some good, some bad. The worst decision to make is not to accept Christ as your Savior, to save you from the gates of hell. The consequences of other decisions made are also critical, but not as bad as the previous one. Those struggling with the “Adam-conditioned, child delinquent” behavior must be aware of their actions, but also realize that God is the “god of infinite chances”; a compassionate, loving God, waiting to give His adopted children another opportunity to learn from his mistakes. People who have a “hole in the heart” must continue to believe and seek the “heart doctor” who has the capacity to mend their “broken heart”.

      We all make mistakes, and must face the consequences of the errors we make in this world. However, while our Father works to make us better decision makers and more spiritually mature, life is also about love – God’s grace expressed toward all of His Prodigal Sons. Calvary gives the sinner a new identity: “a completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally acceptable, absolutely complete” “creation of great worth” (inspired by Robert S McGee).  Unfortunately, only the Prodigal Sons who return to the Father find this indescrible compassion.

There is a consequence to every decision we make. Make the right choice: choose Calvary before it is too late!

Thanks for reading this God’s grace article.

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