March 10, 2017
Thus says the Lord GOD: If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. . . .
And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. Ez_18:21-28
Funny thing about justice. It all seems to be relative. And the relativity of it has to do with the primary premise of WHOSE justice it is. If WE were calling the shots – I think a common consensus would be that if someone did atrocious things all their life, they should certainly have to pay for all those “sins,” even IF they suddenly decided to “be good.” The old “eye for an eye” philosophy. Or just good old revenge.
And if someone was good their whole life and suddenly flipped out and did something bad, there should be some modicum of lenience in their judgement. You see, the primary premise for our justice is – US. If they hurt us – they should pay. But if we hurt others – “OH they probably deserved it anyway!” Little bit skewed, you think?! And that kind of justice is probably the source of most of the problems in our world today.
But you see, beloved, WE are really NOT calling the shots, God is! And God’s premise for EVERYTHING is LOVE! And there is no TIME basis for God’s justice. Love is love all the time and at every moment. There are no ‘green stamp’ collections of good deeds or bad deeds, even though later Scripture writers talk about a final judgment when the “books” will be opened and there will be an accounting of every last thing we’ve done. And if we just happened to die with Alzheimer’s, then, does that mean we’d fail the test, because we couldn’t remember much of anything from that past life, and maybe even peed in the potted plant at the nursing home because we didn’t know any difference?
The whole point, is that every single moment of our lives is a judgment in itself! Would that very last sane thought of mine, cause me to burn in hell, or to fly up to heaven? You see, Jesus came to clean the slates, so that we can have an infinite number of chances to make that last moment, that last choice, that last thought be the right one – LOVE! The unknown in the whole picture, then, is WHEN that last moment will be. So we have to make sure that every moment is right. And if we do slip up, we need to IMMEDIATELY ask God’s forgiveness. Sometimes I feel as though every other thought in my mind is “I’m sorry Lord!” Hmmmm??!
Well, it’s Lent, beloved. And maybe this is a good challenge for our Lenten sacrifice this year: trying to see how long we can go without having to say “I’m sorry Lord,” because there will be nothing to need forgiveness for – when it’s all good, when it’s all rooted in LOVE!
And you know what, beloved, the truth of the matter is, that being Good is certainly not EASY! Especially when we never seem to get paid or recognized for it. Especially when bad either keeps coming TO us or keeps knocking on our “get even” or “feels good” door. Just hang in there, beloved, ’cause God promises it’ll ALL be worth it! Hang in there and trust, in Faith. And constantly pray for the Holy Spirit’s help too. It’ll always be there when we need it!
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