I guess it's true for us all that as we grow older the things that give us pleasure change... and quite significantly. For example, I used to think that having to spend a Friday or Saturday night at home was the absolute pits! And yet now, I enthusiastically welcome a 'night in'. I also now relish the opportunity for a long, leisurely, lingering bath... especially listening to the 60's music I've downloaded from i tunes to my i pod. And if it's a Saturday afternoon I'll plan to be watching the Raith Rovers match updates on... yes you've guessed it... my i pad. I've even been dragged kicking and screaming into acquiring an i phone!
But of course there's another batch of 'i's that are much more serious and important to me than 21st century gadgetry. For a start I must admit to be suffering a great deal of...
The American evangelist DL Moody said that throughout his life, the man who had given him most trouble... was himself! And I can readily echo this statement as I'd have to admit that it's also true of me. I'm far to pre-occupied with my own well-being. I'm all too aware that the central letter in the words 'pride' and 'sin' is the letter 'i'. Whether it's self-indulgence, self-centredness or self-satisfaction, I have to battle against them all... probably stemming from my pre-disposition to self-preservation. And yet the Lord warns us of the perils to which this outlook can lead...
'Do not love the world... for everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.'
Of course I hate to admit all this, even to myself. And although I'd like to be known to be a
much nicer person than I am, the Lord knows me completely... warts and all. He knows me, and even loves me, not for what I am, but in spite of what I am. Yet because He's also a God of justice as well as love, all my selfishness and pride, as well as all my other forms of wrong-doing, have to be punished. And mercifully and graciously He has taken His righteous wrath out on His Son, Christ Jesus, on the Cross of Calvary. We're told all about this by those who were eye-witnesses to the events of that first Easter weekend...
'For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring you to God.'
1 Peter 3:18
Nowadays of course, much of the Easter story is considered to be just that... 'eye -wash' a story from bygone days. And yet millions throughout the world today would profess to having come to a saving knowledge of that one true God... and can go on to say...
'...he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour...'
Of course although it's simple, it's not easy to become a true follower of the Lord Jesus. It can be really painful to admit all our faults and failings... as well as being ready to face ridicule and rejection. And yet, we'll not know what we're missing, until we've met the Lord!