Colossians 3:13-14, Jeremiah 29:11, Luke 12:6-7, Philippians 4:8, II Corinthians 6:17
The Basic Bible Truth
As Christians, we are called to live a holy life, a Godly life. Our character and actions are to be as much like Christ as we can be. It is a lifestyle we strive for, not just a one-time experience of salvation and then nothing beyond that. The price paid for our salvation prompts us to respond with our entire being. Giving God everything is the appropriate response to Him giving us everything.
5 Photographs: A Pasta Strainer, A Very Special 1986 Ford Mustang, A Ring, A Public Restroom, And A Dead Skunk
Point Number One: Ya gotcher “Mama Mia’s” spaghetti extraordinaire. (Col. 2:13-14)
At the point of salvation, God forgives our past completely. Everything is cleaned away and we start with a clear slate. Nothing in our past is beyond God’s reach of forgiveness. Look at Paul’s life at the Damascus road event. Here was a man guilty of murder, who became one of God’s leading men in the effort to spread the Gospel through the ancient world.
In my bachelor days, I ate a lot of pasta. I still love it to this day. Give me some macaroni with a touch of catsup on it and I’m a content man. I learned early on that a pasta strainer with all of its holes is good for cooking pasta. When the noodles are done cooking, it can be used to drain off the excess water and residual “gunk” that will often cook off the pasta during its time in the hot water. Sometimes, even a rinse under the faucet to get everything still left behind is needed. At the point of salvation, we retain wholesale forgiveness from God for our past. He cleanses us from our sin and the guilt associated with those indiscretions.
Point Number Two: Ya gotcher 1986 Ford Mustang. (Jeremiah 29:11)
When my daughter became of driving age, I indulged in one of my favorite activities. I love to restore old cars. And with her entrance into the driving world, and my limited checkbook, I came to the conclusion that I could build her a fairly nice car to drive to school. Believe me, she was the envy of many young men in her class when she drove to school that first morning with her “new” car. One of the unique features on this automobile are the wheels. Old car buffs will appreciate the use of 5-slot mag wheels on a customization. A closer look will reveal that these wheels have a unique feature. They are a 4-bolt pattern. To my knowledge, 5-slot mags were never produced with a 4-bolt pattern like this. I bought these on e-bay for this specific project. I took them to a machine shop who welded the original holes closed and re-bored the wheel with its present 4-bolt hole pattern.
We were purchased by God for a specific purpose. He has a plan for us. We are restored to fellowship with Him when we accept His free offer of salvation, but with that purchase of our lives, He has the right to do with us whatever He wishes. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. That usually requires some changes in our behavior and lifestyle. And as we become more like Christ, we begin to discover God’s perfect plan for our lives. We are not here by accident, with no purpose.
Point Number Three: Ya gotcher Valentine’s Day suggestion. (Luke 12:6-7)
Valentine’s Day is difficult for me. As a guy, yes, I love my wife dearly. But as a common sense person, I do not appreciate the pressure put upon me by the rampant commercialization of an idea. I am required by society to give my wife something on this particular day. I tend to resist that push, not because I am cheap, or do not love to give my wife gifts. I don’t like to be told what to do, by someone who doesn’t even know me. My wife does not expect wondrous things on this day. Our early married life was on a very limited budget, so we learned to get less caught up with the commercialization. I do know this, though. I could give my wife a slug of solid gold and it might be appreciated. Or, I could give here a slug of gold with a hole in it, more commonly called a ring, and it would be valued by her with much more enthusiasm.
We are of great value to God, and His plan for us is that we become willing receptacles for His fullness. As we become more like His Son, our walk with Him becomes one of a deep relationship rather than a simple acquaintance. In the book of Job we are told that God longs for us. Think back on the few facts Genesis sheds on the experience Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden before the entrance of sin. We are told the God would come down in the cool of the day and talk with them. What must that have been like?!
Point Number Four: Ya gotcher public restroom. (Philippians 4:8)
In short, I view public restrooms as nasty and vile places. I avoid them at all costs. I understand that they are a necessary part of the human existence, but I don’t have to like them. I understand what life would be like without them. I am old enough to remember actually using an outhouse out on the farm. I absolutely hated it as a kid. All those spiders and bugs. And the smell was unbelievable on a hot summer day. Restrooms are filled with holes that serve a very needed purpose. They exist so that the remainder of our day can be cleaner and better.
So it is with our walk with God. Our purity toward Him is a big issue. If we recognize the truth that we belong to God and are owned by Him, let us present ourselves to Him in an honest and pure attitude. Remember 1 John 1:9, and keep a short list between us and God. To tolerate sin in our lives would be like stopping up all of the holes in a restroom. It wouldn’t take long for things to get very much out of control. Enough said.
Point Number Five: Ya gotcher dead skunk. (II Corinthians 6:17).
As a young boy growing up in Kansas out in the country, I learned a few things about the wildlife in that area. First, wild animals do not normally come out during the day. They are nocturnal and any deviation from that is suspect. Skunks fall into that category. A skunk out during the daytime is one of two things. Either stupid, or rabid, or both. It was my self-appointed job as a teenager to control any animals that came around during the day uninvited. Skunks were always a suspected carrier of rabies, and therefore targeted for elimination before the dogs would find them and reap a generous reward from them that I would have to deal with later. Armed with a 22 caliber rifle, so that there would be a smaller hole, I targeted them carefully for a clean kill shot that would not spread the dreaded smell everywhere. I always knew there would be some, but by placing the shot carefully, and using a small caliber round for the smallest entry hole possible, the risk could be controlled greatly. And then they would be carted off and buried quickly. Those creatures were to separated from humans whenever possible.
We are to be separated to Christ. The goal of our lives should be to distance ourselves from the world and draw as close to God as we can. God wants a relationship with us, not just an acquaintance. There is a big difference. Relationships require time and effort on our part. We must be willing to set our wants and wishes aside and look towards Him for direction in our lives.