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Posts Tagged ‘Sin’

A Cross Among Weeds

Over the next few months I’m collaborating with a great friends of mine – Jon Mills, from the USA. Jon is a Jesus follower, a philosopher, and a deep thinker. Recently I had the privilege of reading some of his writing and we have decided to work together and see what we can do with his prose and some of my poetry.

In the book, The Power of 2 by Rodd Wagner and Dr Gale Muller they describe five years of research on collaboration and partnerships. Essentially the book describes that when you partner with someone else on an idea that you both contribute to, it results in greater impact for your readers, than if you both worked on the idea separately. So we thought we’d give this a go.

So let’s begin with Jon’s words . . .

Near my house there is a hill, atop of which is a wonderful cross, worthy of hiking to in the early morning hours. As I was standing there alone early one morning God and I were having a wonderful time watching the sun rise and worshiping together.

In the midst of my worship time I noticed the fresh crop of weeds coming up all around the hillsides. These weeds reminded me of the curse. The curse of sin. Didn’t it say something in Genesis about the earth bringing forth weeds? Sin . . . . curses . . . weeds.

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Weeds are very symbolic of sins if you think about it. They are always cropping up around us requiring that we pull them out. The more we allow sins, the more they multiply . . . like weeds. I will always be weeding my life of the sins that crop up.

Yet, as I viewed the cross among the weeds on this morning, I began to realize that Christ had broken the curse through the power of the cross. Even if sin continues to pop up in my life until the day I die, I know the curse is broken, once and for all.

My heart fills with joy and love for my wonderful Saviour every time I am reminded of this wonderful story. The curse is broken. Sin is powerless. Christ won the final victory. I am His, He is mine. Though the seeds of sin will always be around me, though my flesh enjoys sin and I must weed it out, I have no fear.

There is a cross among the weeds.

May you my friends this week know that the cross is so much more than a symbol, and experience the redeeming and restorative power how the cross and the resurrection brings freedom from sin and guilt. May you experience this freedom and decide today what you will do with it.

Grace and peace.

 

Lift High The Cross

At the cross I bear my soul
The emblem to which I cling
Your life, my hope, my legacy
My all, your everything

At the cross I bear my heart
The symbol to which I sing
O Jesus you have saved my soul
To you my life I bring

At the cross I leave my sin
The sign to which I kneel
At your feet I fall down
I am covered by your seal

On that cross you paid it all
The hope for all to see
That empty cross, the sign of life
For you, for us, for me.

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Let me see if I can clear a few things up about sin. First, if I were to ask you to define the word sin, how would you answer? My guess is you’d probably say something like Sin is when you break God’s laws or Sin is disobeying God or Sin is whatever you do that makes God angry.

While those may sound accurate, they don’t tell the whole story. Which is why many don’t know what to do with the word other than cringe when people use it with a straight face.

Now, for a definition. The great theologian Cornelius Plantinga in his book Engaging God’s World  puts it like this:

Sin is culpable disturbance of shalom.

east-west

Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace, wholeness, health, and blessing. Shalom is the harmony God intends for the world. Shalom is how God wants things to be. Shalom is peace with yourself, with your neighbor, with the earth, with God. 

Disturbance – things aren’t how they’re supposed to be, are they? From environmental degradation to domestic violence to Wall Street corruption to the petty little ways we disrespect each other, this world isn’t everything it could be. 

Culpable –  guilt, responsibility, ownership-culpable is any way you have contributed to the disturbance of shalom we see all around us.

So one definition of sin is anything we do to disrupt the peace and harmony God desires for the world.

Jesus came to deal with our sin once and for all and he died for all our sin, but also for our freedom – that we might become free.  Jesus promises to continue to place our sin as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12).  If Jesus can do this for us – why do we hold on to it?

May you this week, my brothers and sisters, know that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us, not only for our sins, but so that we might be free.  May you confess your sin, let it go and know that Jesus will take it and place it as far as the East is from the West.

East by West

In the fallen world
Where my worst
Just became my best
You place it
As far as the East is from the West

Again I stumble down
Half human and divine
You take my less
You place it
As far as the East is from the West

Repeating predictability
Of the darkened night
Just like an unwelcomed guest
You place it
As far as the East is from the West

So help me live not in this
For you took it all that day
I am a new creation, blessed
You placed it
As far as the East is from the West

 

Some content adapted from Rob Bell

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The Beach

Down to the beach of golden sand,
I walked with a small stick,
The tide was out, the sun was low,
I knew I had to be quick.

I found a piece of untouched sand,
That the tide had washed so clean,
It glistened in the morning sun,
It sparkled and shimmered it seemed.

I used the stick and started to write.
Those heavy words that had held me back,
All the things that I had to let go,
My troubles, my worries, my lack.

Before too long I had filled that beach,
Down by the water’s edge,
I walked back to soak up the view,
Of all my words etched in black.

The sun rose up, the waves rushed in,
And covered my words that day,
God took my story of my sin,
And washed it all away.

The tide groaned out, the sun sank low,
And on that golden shore,
The sand was untouched by human hands,
The story of sin was no more.

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