2016-04-09 / Religion

Your life matters

What then? Are we Jews any better off ? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:9-20 ESV)

Some precious truths that ought to be inculcated thoroughly into every human’s thinking are that we are made in God’s image, knitted together by his own hand and precious in his sight. (see Genesis 1:27, Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:14)

At Youth For Christ Roxboro, for example, we so fully believe in the importance of these truths, we named one entire arm of our ministry “My Life Matters” because we deeply desire children and students abide in the realization they are created by God, known by him and valuable in his sight. These children do matter to God. You matter to God.

In concert with the above beautiful truth, it is of the utmost importance for us to communicate the difficult truth that sin has ruined us all. Yes, each one of us and every one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We were born dead in our trespasses and sins and are by our very nature children of wrath. (see Ephesians 2:1-3)

It’s very easy for us to look at rapists, murderers, terrorists and madmen and think “I’m not so bad.” However, when we look upon the holiness of God, it is not a question of whether we are as bad as some other person, but of whether we are as good as God. Are we holy? Are we without fault?

We could easily say that today’s passage is a logical conclusion for what the Apostle Paul began saying in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

Here’s the point. We are all made to know God and to love him and to serve him, but no one even seeks after him. None of us are righteous. No one, of their own volition and love, seeks after God.

We are made by God, and accountable to God. We are precious to God, but we are broken, and by our own hand and through our own nature.

Thanks be to God that our ruin does not have to be the end of our story. Thanks be to God there is rock solid, anchor-in hope to both buoy our soul and keep our lives from drifting.

Paul says, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” (Romans 3:21-22 ESV)

Yes. Praise God. Beloved friend, our lives matter so much to God that he sent his only begotten Son to pay our sin debt, loose us from the bondage of Satan, deliver us from darkness, quicken us from spiritual death, defeat the grave and grant us his very life in our bones. Our lives matter so much to God that he looked upon our pitiful condition, though none is righteous — not even one — and entered our reality to set captives free.

I would be a pitiful preacher if all I did was tell you the easy-to-hear stuff.

Imagine a doctor who knew you had a terrible disease but only smiled and told you everything was all right. How would you feel about such a person?

Friends, everything is not all right. We need Jesus.

Do you know him today?

Tim Bowes is executive director of Roxboro Youth For Christ. Questions and comments may be sent directly to Bowes at twbowes.lightsteps@gmail.com.

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