Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jesus is better

One of sin's greatest weapons against believers is how good it looks, how good it feels, how good it tastes. No one would choose anything that look or feel or taste good, whether in the soul or in the body. The reason this is such a big weapon against us is that we were made to feel pleasure. Made to feel happy, made to feel good, made to be delighted. We were made to find our purpose and our meaning and our pleasure outside of ourselves.

And this can take such a wide range of expressions. From the obvious like sexual immorality, to the less obvious like the clothes we wear or the compliments we fish for, to the individual things that cause us to stumble, like what we do in our spare time, what we watch on tv or see at the cinema. And that's different for everyone in the details, but the basic facts are the same for everyone. It looks good, so we do it.

So the battle we need to fight against sin is the battle to prefer something else. Something better. To teach ourselves and believe that there is something better out there. And praise the Lord there is. His name is Jesus. The greatest and most ultimate relaity there is. People, pretty much from the day He started to minister wanted to put Jesus in a box. But it was for Him and through Him that the world was made. How do you out Him into a box? How do you sanitise Jesus? You can't. But anyway, back to the point of this, how do we choose Jesus over sin? How do we convince ourselves and remember that Jesus is better and that sin is awful?

The answer from Proverbs 5 seems to be look at the long game. Proverbs 5 was the last talk that Mo gave at Relay 3, and this is all from his handout (except anything thats wrong, which is me) It looks good, but it isn't seems to be the message from verses 1-6. It looks like fun, it might feel like fun at the time, but it's bitter in the end. Sin always leads towards death, it calls us and tempts us to do what we want without pondering the path of life, without paying any regard to the Lord. Sin makes us all gods in our own little worlds. Here the father is pleading with his son not to chase after the forbidden woman, She looks good, but she'll kill you. And God pleads with us, choose life, choose my Son...choose Jesus.

In verses 7-14 the father tells the son to not eveb nearly do it. Don't even go near her door. Don't bring shame and dishonour on yourself by going to her door. Stay well away. How often after we have consciously sinned do we think to ourselves ro tell God that 'i only meant to go so far'...don't even go that far. How east it is to waste our labours on sin. It's a thin tightrope over the fires of hell. And how close we come to that tightrope, how often i dance on that toghtrope every day. How blase to get about sin...our consciences's get cut off, our fire for the Gospel gets dulled, our neccesary burden for the lost eased, but not in a good way. Sin is stupid. Stupid to let all that we've learnt of God, and all that we know of God and waste it. Adultery, whether spiritual or physical is cruel and merciless. Sin is a harsh master. Come to Jesus whose yoke is easy, and burden light.

The father finishes by exorting the son to enjoy the wife that God has given him. Enjoy what God has given you. If it's singleness, enjoy being single and don't waste it, use your singleness to glorify God. If it's marriage, then be married to the glory of God. Be satisfied in God, be satisfied in what God has given you. Don't be chronically ungreatful, drink deeply from your own well, because what Jesus has given you is enough. How do we do this though? When that rush of adrenaline goes through your blood and you visit that website, buy too much, say too much, don't say enough, when you try and elevate yourself abouve your peers, when you fail to trust in God for everything? What do you do then?

Fear the Lord. Thats the way to life. His paths are best.
Guard your heart. Don't entertain sin in your heart, go to the cross, tell yourself that God has given you enough to drink. Isn't God a gracious God in doing that?
Trust God. God is trustworthy. There is none like Him. He is good, and He is soveriegn. His promises are staggering. His commitment to His own glory is the best news in the world. Ask Him and trust Him to satisfy your heart for His name's sake.

This is pure Christian hedonism. Choose whats better. Follow Jesus' commands. Don't listen to the world. That way is death. Jesus is life. Glorify God with your body, with your soul and with your life, because that is the way to life, and peace and satisfaction. Prepare yourself for an eternity enjoying Jesus in Heaven. Get ready for that, and shine brightly in the world.

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