Friday, August 1, 2003

God is For Us

by Blake Cromwell

Too often I meet people who doubt that God is on their side. Deep inside is a pocket of sad memories of personal failure or sins for which they have never been able to forgive themselves. They either don’t know or have forgotten that Christ was nailed to the cross so that they can stop constantly nailing themselves for mistakes and sins.

For all who struggle with personal condemnation, please help yourself by reading and re-reading Romans chapter eight in your Bible. This chapter starts with the wonderful proclamation, “Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” and ends with, “nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ.”

On the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” This means the debt for ALL sin was paid in full. Every other world religion is based on what you do to please God, but Christianity is based on what Christ has already done for you.

Towards the end of Romans chapter eight the writer ask the question, “Who would dare even to point a finger?” He is talking about the tendency we all have to feel guilty, condemned and accused even if we believe that Christ forgave our sin. This is because we haven’t dealt with the voice of accusation that is inspired against us.

Our inner critic agrees more with what the evil one says about us than what the Holy One of Israel says about us. Churches, Christians and even family members are too ready to condemn when someone has failed rather than being God’s instrument of acceptance and forgiveness.

Years ago Woody Hayes, the Ohio state football coach, was fired for striking an opposing player on the sidelines during a game. The press had a field day with his firing and really tarred and feathered the former Buckeye. Few people in America could have felt lower than Woody at that time. He not only lost control in a game and did a foolish thing, but he lost his job and the respect of the country.

At the end of that season, a professional athlete’s banquet was held for the top players and coaches in the league. Of course, Tom Landry, the famous coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was invited. Guess who Tom Landry invited as his honored guest? Woody Hayes, the man everyone was being encouraged to hate and criticize. Landry knew that although Hayes had made a mistake, it was not the end of the world.

My hope for everyone in the Kings County is that they could find a Tom Landry to help them in their time of need. Let me assure you that as you place your faith in Christ, He promises to take you as His special guest to a banquet in Heaven. Until that special day comes, why not visit one of the pre-celebration parties being held in the local churches in the Kings County.