Thursday, December 15, 2005

Do the math

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).

A father once took his small son to visit a huge cathedral. As the two were walking down the aisle, the boy pointed at the cross on the altar and said, "Father, what is that big plus sign up there?"

Anyone who thinks that the Christian religion subtracts something from life is mistaken. It is true that Christianity seeks to eliminate sin from our lives, but that is no loss. Sin is a negative. Sin fills our lives with angry words, violent acts and selfish pride. Sin adds no value to life; in fact, indulging in sin makes life miserable with addiction, broken relationships and years of wasted opportunities. Sin takes away from our quality of life.

Here’s a quick math review: what do you get when you subtract a negative number? When you take away the negative, the result is positive! And this is what happens when Jesus takes away our sins. Instead of our lives losing something of value, the quality of our lives increases! Jesus adds quality to our lives by freeing us from brooding over past mistakes. Jesus adds value to our lives by helping us to repair damaged relationships through the gift of forgiveness. Jesus adds value to our lives by freeing us from the fear of death, because we know that He will give life beyond the grave to those who follow Him. When Jesus suffered the penalty for our sins on the cross, He took that symbol of cruel death and turned it into an enormous plus sign that adds value to every life that embraces it. Please join me in praying:

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for taking the negative things in our lives and replacing their emptiness with Your blessings—blessings of forgiveness, blessings of love, blessings of wisdom, strength and life beyond the grave. Help us to see sinful pleasures as the negative things they are, and cause us to desire only Your goodness. Amen.

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