Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Snow Day!!

When I was young, I looked forward to Snow Days when school would closed and winter fun would begin. We would slide and skate and build snow creations. Better than boring school work for sure.
While I don't see snow with that same joyful perspective, with anticipation of free time and fun, snow can still change my outlook. Yesterday we received our first snow of the year, about 3 inches. It was not a lot but just enough to cover the earth and make it new, to make it "white as snow'. It covered all of the world’s little flaws and imperfections and left the landscape beautiful and fresh, pure and innocent. Snow is an amazing phenomenon. You probably know where I am going with this, but it is just as much of a humbling, encouraging amazing phenomenon when we are turned white as snow. As it is written in Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
We, like the world, all have flaws. We are dirtied by sin, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]. It may we practice idolatry as we worship money, prestige, or other of the world's temptations. It might be we are covetousness, that's a big one this time of the year as we celebrate Christmas, as we are bombarded with messages that tell us we need more, we need to have what "everyone else has". We may be murderers. I can almost hear the gasp, the "whoa now" Rick, you have crossed a line. We may have "little" sins but not murder or anything really bad. I agree it is good that you haven't murdered anyone this year, but if we hate, it is like murder. Hatred is murder in our hearts. Jesus taught that "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” [Matthew 5:21-22]. So as it is written in 1 John 1:8, ‎”If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
By now you are probably thinking, "Rick, how could you take such a beautiful thing like snow and make it such a downer?". .. but wait, here is the Good News. We CAN BE white as snow. When we confess our sins and surrender to Jesus, we are clean again, white as snow, our sins are as far as the east as from the west, he loves us enough to forgive ALL of our transgressions. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." [1 John 1:9]  Jesus doesn’t just deal with just the little ones, not just if they aren't too bad, but ANY of our blemishes, ALL unrighteousness. Perhaps you are truly racked by guilt or regret over something you have done in the past, your days are consumed by sorry and shame, please know brother or sister, relief is available not in a pill but in a promise. You do not have to clean up your act before you come to meet God, just come and he will do the deep cleaning.
Today the beauty of the snow is fading. Sure it's still kind of pretty and I remember how beautiful it was when it was pure and new, but the impact of the world has spotted it with dirt and corruption again. Yep, just like us. While I may have to wait for the next “act of God” to see the pure snow covered landscape again, I can see an act of God in me today by confessing once again and asking Jesus to wash me clean. He is faithful and once more I will be white as snow.
Isn't it simply amazing that through the ultimate, holy, pure sacrifice, by the blood of Jesus we are offered eternal life, we can be washed and made holy enough for a holy God? By God’s amazing grace, by his love, we are saved from sin, from ourselves, for eternity? Now THAT is a Christmas gift worth celebrating!
If you have not experienced a Snow Day in your life, if you have not experienced the freedom and forgiveness that comes from a relationship with Jesus, I would love to talk with you about that Good News. Please drop me a line at rick@theeyeoftheneedle.org.
May God bless you and your family this Christmas as we rejoice in the gift of life, the true reason for the season.

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