Dear Fellow Children of God,
This past summer our family has had a number of appliances malfunction. First we had trouble with our gas clothes dryer. We do have a big family and the dryer has been well used. In fact we had owned the dryer for about 10 years. When the dryer started having problems we called Stan’s Appliance Repair. The repairman had worked on this dryer before and been able to fix the problems. But this time the problems were bigger. The estimate was almost $500.00 to fix the various problems. On top of this, the repairman was not totally sure the repair would actually fix the dryer so that it worked the way it should.
You probably know that when repairing something costs more than buying a new one, it is financially wise to buy the new one. So we purchased a new dryer, trying to buy something that was simple and would last. But, will the new dryer last? In another store later this summer we heard a contractor say that most appliances don’t last more than 5 or 6 years any more. I hope he was wrong. However, it does seem that our world produces products that are expected to be replaced rather than repaired. My parents and grandparents experienced the Great Depression and my memory is they fixed everything. Engineering products to throw them away seems wasteful to me.
Recently my daughter ran into some appliance questions that made me realize that God acts in a different way. God created the world and the people in it for lives of obedience and an eternal relationship with Him. But, from the beginning human beings have been selfish, rebellious, proud, and lacking in love for others. We are sinful and broken.
The only way for God to act in righteousness while saving the people He created is for someone sinless to die and rise for sinners. No person could do this because we are born with selfishness and sin as part of our being. But, God could do this Himself. When people were hopelessly lost, God the Father sent His own Son to live a perfect life. As the Son of God and as a sinless human, born of Mary, Jesus could die to pay for the guilt of sinners like us. In His resurrection Jesus won victory over sin and death. God worked to save humans from their lost and hopeless state, but the price God paid was out of this world.
In Romans 5:8, we are told of the great price God paid to fix the broken, to save us from death. We are told, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Think, in today’s context, about the price God paid to save us. We throw away our appliances and possession when it costs more to fix them than it does to buy a new one. But, was it worth the suffering and death of the very Son of God, the Creator of all, to save His sinful creation? If God acted the way we do, he would have thrown this world and it’s inhabitants away and created a new world. But instead, God paid the unbelievable price of His Son, to fix us, to save us. Amazing! Unbelievable!
There are times we deny our brokenness. But, there are other times that our failure is only too obvious, even to ourselves. Because of our lack of obedience and our sin we are ashamed. We often feel unlovable and worthless. But, when we feel worthless, God assures us that we are precious and loved by Him. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I pray that when the trials of our world and our own failure oppress you, that God’s amazing love and the price He paid to save us will remind you how valuable you are to the Lord of the Universe. May God’s love give you strength and joy and peace to go on. If God loves you and me that much, then our lives are worth living, for Him!
A Child of God, Amazed by the Depth of God’s Love,
P.S. After applying for a permit to hunt bison for about 20 years, I was blessed to be drawn for a bison permit in the Delta herd this year. I have saved two weeks of vacation for this hunt, and leave after worship this Sunday, October 20, to try to find a bison to harvest. I’ll be joined and helped by Gerry Zellar and Harvey Kolberg. I would appreciate your prayers for safety, and God’s blessings in the hunt.
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am always adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message. . . Or, if you know someone who would like to receive one of these e-mails, please send me their e-mail address.