Written by His Grace,

Kevin K. OíConnor

Sep. 29, 2004

 

Main thought: to examine the fact that though we may know Christ, there are many times we need to face the consequences of our actions or lack thereof

Coping with Consequences

 

Galatians 6:7 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Whole Chapter: Galatians 6 In context: Galatians 6:6-8

 

Isnít it great when we donít reap what we sow? Unfortunately though, for many of us, we will. Poor eating and exercise habits will cause us to be unhealthy physically, Poor mental activity will make us weak mentally. Poor spending habits will make us poor. It seems that the human heart, soul, mind and body were meant to be continuously stretched to new growth. And, if weíre not working the various parts of our being in accordance with Godís Word, weíll soon be facing the consequences of those decisions. Oh we would love not having to work hard for a healthy body, loving relationships, and financially sound bank accounts but unfortunately, many of us will wait until these need our immediate attention and then weíll find ourselves learning how to deal with the consequences of our actions or lack thereof.

 

Making right the wrong. It seems that just because God may cleanse us from all of our sins with Faith in His Son, there is still the processes of making right the wrong that has been done. What in the world am I trying to say? In other words, we may stand clean and forgiven of our sins because we are now in Christ, and yet, weíre still having to live here below in this world of sorrow and suffering. The reason?, to proclaim the righteousness of Christ by living His Word through our lives. It seems that in all things there must be balance. Just like in a teeter totter where perfect balance is where neither side outweighs the other, so it seems that this balancing truth is relevant through all things. Take Godís Word concerning those who used their hands for stealing; Ephesians 4:28 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. And take the man after Godís own heart (King David) who allowed his guard down and listened to satanís lies concerning finding fulfillment in another manís wife. Although God forgave him there was still the consequences of his sin that followed him all of his life. And again take the father of faith Abraham who God was well pleased with but who also allowed his guard down for a very short moment and slept with his wifeís hand maiden who bore a son whose linage has been waging war with the linage of the son from his wife ever since. And again there is Moses who led Godís people out of the land of Egypt and who was used mightily by God to deliver His people Israel and yet even he found himself not holding tightly to his heart Godís Word that says not to strike the rock but only to speak to it and then found himself being left out of the promised land. Numbers 20:7-12 7 The LORD said to Moses, 8 "Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink." 9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them." Many people confuse the consequences of our sin with punishment, which is not totally correct. It is merely the fruits/consequences of our own wrong decisions. Did God not forgive David for his sin with another manís wife? No, He did, just as He forgave Moses and Abraham but there were still the consequences of their actions that they had to deal with.

 

There are people today who feel that because Christ took our punishment for our sins that we no longer have to deal with the consequences of our bad choices and decisions. And yet as I look around I still see thorns growing and men having to work by the sweat of their brow. Iím still seeing sickness and disease and men dying and their flesh returning to the dust from where it came. Iím still seeing pain in childbirth, and yet there are those who feel that because Christ came and bore the punishment for our sins that He also bore the consequences of our bad decisions.

 

Godís Word seems to speak clearly to us that we havenít arrived yet even though He has given us precious and wonderful gifts, they still are not the fullness of Godís blessings for us;1 Corinthians 13:8-12 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. Iíve seen God oppose the natural law that is in existence around us for the purpose of bringing Himself Glory, Honor, and Praise like when the people of Israel followed Moses to the Land of promise and wandered in the desert for forty years and their clothes didnít wear out; Deuteronomy 8:3-4 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD . 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Or like when Daniel opposed the edict not to pray to any other God but the True God and was thrown into the lionís den and the many other wonderful stories God has left in His Word for us to read. But, just as God performed great and mighty miracles, He will also allow those that He loves to go through the fiery furnace. Oh how we love the stories of the miraculous where God intervenes and gives bread from Heaven or delivers us from the lions teeth. But Just as He is in the miraculous that lifts us from our physical trials and tribulations, so is He in the depths of our deepest sufferings. God bless the soul that sees that God is not only in the lack of suffering while weíre in this world of brokenness, but He is also in the midst of our sorrow and suffering along with every heart that looks beyond the suffering into His Heart of Love. God Bless every heart that focuses not on this existence, but on the Life to come. 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. Sure God is able to perform great and mighty miracles but the greatest miracle is not the absence of pain and suffering, but the presence of God in the midst of it. God Bless every heart that seeks Him for a miracle and receives one and God Bless every heart that seeks Him for a miracle and doesnít receive one. The three children of Israel that were to be cast into the fiery furnace had it right; Daniel 3 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Our God is able to deliver us but even if He chooses not to our hearts should be set on serving him even to the final breath we breathe whether in sickness or in health Matthew 24:23-25 23At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. 25See, I have told you ahead of time. Have you ever wondered why there were those who prayed so hard for a miracle for a loved one and their loved one died anyway? Sometimes our focus is too much on the healing rather than the healer. Then there are those who seem to receive a healing with hardly any effort. Oh that our hearts would grow in love with Him whether we suffer or whether we donít.

 

Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your Love, which is better than the healthiest body, the wealthiest bank account, or the smartest mind. Teach me how to love you more with each breath of Life you give me. Unto Your Glory, Honor and Praise in Jesus Christ our Lord and King. Amen!

 

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