Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Got Trash?

One of the best house-keeping tips I ever got was to be generous with collection containers for trash, dirty laundry, and things I don't need or use anymore. The closer and easier they are the more we use them. Why? Because life is full of garbage, dirty garments, and things that break or fall apart. A full-time wife and mom, I was often asked at corporate functions with my husband, "What do you do?"

"I'm an entropological engineer." If they asked further I would answer, "I reverse entropy (chaos), all day, every day."

I like to think of our home as controlled, fairly clean. I hate to imagine a trail soda cans, dirty dishes, spilled milk, and food-littered floors. I've been in homes like that. Guess what? Trash never takes care of itself. Ever. It builds, rots, stinks and takes down everything in its domain.

Entropy, or chaos, is part of life on Earth. It affects the physical--and spiritual--world. We say things we regret. We do things we wish we hadn't. We think about things that take us far from where we know we should be. And we need a close, handy trash receptacle, laundry basket or please-get-this-out-of-my-life bin. If we don't address sin, it--like trash--will not take care of itself. We can try to ignore it, live around it or in it, but it will build up, rot, stink, keep people away and take us down a path of ruin and destruction.

Knowing and believing in Jesus doesn't automatically whisk away sin or remove consequences. We are responsible for our choices and actions. But as we determine to believe that He paid the penalty for our sin before Almighty God, we can live in the power of forgiveness and righteousness. We can purpose to live out our calling--knowing the trash bin of confession, repentance and reconciliation are as close as saying the words. Sin. Deal with it.

The answer, the only answer, is Jesus. If you don't know how or where to start, ask.

What a Savior! What a God!

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:8-23)

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