Have you seen the new AT&T commercials “ok is not ok” where the surgeon pops his head into the patient's room and remarks "Are you nervous?" The patient replies, “Yes.” The doctor then responds, “Me too.” As he walks out of the room, he throws over his shoulder, "Its ok we'll figure it out." I don't know about you, but if I am having surgery, I don't want ok, I want the best! The statement “it’s ok” simply implies, it will do, it’s not great but whatever, and in general settling for second rate. Sometimes I feel like maybe we are being lackadaisical in our faith toward the Lord. Are we offering the Lord our best, or are we like the commercial "its ok.”? I want to remind you today, as God has reminded me, why it is so important to take your faith seriously and evaluate your life as we head into 2019.
This week I was studying my Sunday school lesson about the Passover. It was specifically speaking about the first Passover the Israelites experienced. If you are not familiar with the story, the Lord was freeing His people from Egypt, but Pharaoh was not cooperating. The Lord had sent plagues displaying His awesome power in order to give Pharaoh the opportunity to change his mind, but to no avail. The final plaque would be one of great sorrow and loss. God issued death over every first-born son in the household. In order to protect those who believed and served Him, God instructed the sacrifice of a lamb and blood to be placed above the doorpost. The death angel would pass over the houses with the blood, knowing they were children of the Lord. You see the Israelites were sure to follow God’s directions to the letter because their child’s life depended on it, yet in other times we find them in open rebellion. So, what made this time different? Often whether or not you obey depends on what you feel you have at stake. I love how the book framed it. "The Lord brought judgment on every house in Egypt, both Jew and Egyptian. That night every household either had a dead lamb, or a dead son. For those who placed their faith in God and took shelter under the blood, the lamb took what the son deserved." I cannot even read this without getting chills. This was simply a foreshadowing of what Christ would later do for us on the cross. Jesus would shed his blood on the cross to pay a debt that wasn't His, but mankind.
If you have taken shelter under the blood of the lamb (Jesus), are you living like someone who has been spared his or her life, or are you flippant and casual about your salvation? Have you told anyone about Jesus lately? Have you shown an unnatural grace to those around you? Is getting the next material thing more important than doing God's will? Just as God sent judgment to the people in the Old Testament, one day He will send judgment again. If you are not under the blood you will spend an eternity in hell, but if you have taken refuge in Christ you will have eternal life. However, as Christians we will still stand before the Lord to answer for every word and deed. I just wonder if you stood there today would you be confident in your words and deeds. I can assure you the thought makes me shudder. My point is to be urgent to share the gospel with others, and to be diligent in your actions. If you found an amazing product, I am sure you would share it right away. Why then hold back the greatest gift, which gives eternal life? Our Youth Pastor preached, "to choose our own way is to reject the Lord." Let those words sit heavy on your heart. Every time we choose what the flesh desires; we are making a choice not to follow the Lord. The Bible is clear you cannot serve two masters. "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24 I pray that you will read the familiar scripture John 3:16 over again, and allow its meaning to wash fresh over you. Salvation cannot be earned, but freely given. Because Christ loved you so much, he sacrificed His only Son. What would it mean to give up one of your children? I dare say you would fight tooth and nail to keep them. How it must have broken God’s heart to turn his head away from His Son as Jesus bore all of man’s sins upon the cross. You were bought with a very high price because you are loved. I pray that God would allow His deep, agape love to consume you, that it may allow you, as well as myself, to become more urgent about living a life pleasing to the Lord.