Aloha Friday Message – November 12, 2010 – A Good Aloha Friday to you!

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Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved! Today I am thinking about another memory verse: Romans 6:23.

NIV 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NAB 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature. For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness for lawlessness, so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 But what profit did you get then from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Economics of Sin

We all know it. There are times when the pleasure of sin keeps drawing us back to the same “besetting sins” no matter how hard we try to resist. Sometimes we convince our conscience that the reason we keep falling back into those constantly-repeated patterns of sin is because “it’s an addiction.” Perhaps that is true at times. The prolonged uses of alcohol, nicotine, pornography, heroine, methamphetamine, cocaine, and violence committed through “harmless fantasy” have all been proven to lead to addictions. They become “bad habits” because we are habituated to these things.

That means we have made ourselves familiar, comfortable, used to, even adapted to these things which are not good for us. “Everyone is doing it” is a common excuse. Here on Kaua‘i, the speed limit for residential areas is 25 mph. Then traveling at “that speed” means the needle on your speedometer is right at the little pointy-part of the 40. “Twenty-five is too slow, and besides, they to really expect you to go at that speed!”

Same thing goes for “shacking up,” or doing dope, or sneaking out at night, or marital infidelity. “It’s not wrong unless I think it’s wrong. What’s true (right) for you may not be true (right) for me.” Here’s a snippet from the March 5, 2001 AFC Message:

“There’s no way for you to know whether what I’m telling you is true unless you know what the truth is. And there’s no way for you to know what the truth is unless there is a truth that you can know. (If you’re searching for the truth, and there is none, then what are you searching for?) You’ve got to have a truth that true whether you believe it or not. It is a truth that is true whether you like it or not. It’s true whether you even know about it or not. It’s just TRUE: OBJECTIVE EXTERNAL ETERNAL TRUTH THAT STANDS IN AND OF ITSELF.”

— Frank Perretti http://www.frankperetti.com

So without an understanding of Absolute Truth, nothing has true value because nothing is distinguished from evil. What I think of as evil might be virtuous – or even worse, insignificant – to another person. Get a few billion people feeling like that, and pretty soon, truth, and virtue, and even common sense go out the window. And well before that happens, God is pushed out, too. There’s just no room for Him in our schools, our courts, our government, and sometimes in our families as well.

“I don’t believe in religion, I believe in relationships. That’s why I have a relationship with God. I talk to Him every day.” But such a life precludes worship and praise of God as a community – which is what He expects. “Church is not for me. Just a bunch of hypocrites kissing each others’ behinds. You’ve got the In-Group and the Inner-Group, and then there are the rest of us who are the Out-of It Group. I can do better on my own.” And many people sincerely try to do better. We all know of persons who claim to be antireligious or irreligious, and still they are kinds and generous and do many things that benefit many people. God alone knows the depth and breadth of their faith. I still hold that whatever good they do is only done because “all good things come from above.” (James 1:16-18 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.) The good we are able to do is possible because God put Good into the world through Jesus so we could understand how to worship God together. Moore and more the world is turning inward and worshiping confusion. Why worship God when you can worship yourself?

Pretty remarkable, isn’t it. Some folks “worship” The Universe, The Force, or Intelligent Design. Fact is, God is outside all of these because he created all of those. And He can “UN-create” them just as easily; He’s even told us He will do that.

Given the state of the World today – storms, volcanoes, earthquakes, famine, pestilence, poverty, terrorism, the advancing tide of evil in all things, the exaltation of sin, and the mockery of Truth – all I can say is what a mess!

It makes me feel deeply in my soul:

Maran atha! Marana tha!
He is coming! He comes!
“Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!!”

Based on 1 Corinthians 16:22 and Revelation 22:20 and something a little-bit edgy at http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Real-Meaning-of-the-Phrase-Maranatha

So, Beloved, as 1 Corinthians 15:13 says, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.” And the converse of that is “If there is not Christ, then there is no resurrection of the dead.” If all there can be is what we have now, then what a world this is for the hedonists! And yet, “the wages of sin is death.”

No matter what you do, without Christ’s salvation, there is death, because “all have sinned.” No matter what you do, the cost of sin is death. No matter what you do the effect of salvation is to pay the cost of sin. Salvation alone leads to holiness (holiness and goodness are often confused by The World).

So when you come right down to it, sin is a terrible investment of your, my, our life. It’s no bargain at all. But salvation? That’s a real bargain. Believe. Repent. Confess. Serve. That is your cost for salvation. Jesus already paid the Death Taxes.

FO, pray her doctors find a successful treatment for her cancer, and pray for her family, especially the grandkids.
• Jesus we pray for All the Peoples especially those suffering in Haiti (Daniel & Patterson), Pakistan, Chile, Darfur and in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indonesia and in other disasters both natural and man-made over the entire world. We pray for Christians and for people of all faiths who are being persecuted for their beliefs.
• NA – continued faith and strength in the face of many trials
• B R – Reconciliation and renewal
• CD – meaningful work closer to home
• PF – much joy in life in these waning years
• CA – strength and optimism to support exceptional skills at work; positive outcomes for current projects
• Many of us are still facing enormous economic pressures. Pray for meaningful work, a living income, food and shelter, and spiritual strength in these hard times.
• Send up a prayer of thanksgiving and praise for the people who have dedicated their lives to serving our needs: Religious leaders, healthcare workers, law enforcement, military, educators, government workers, and our parents.
• Please continue to pray for one another daily.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved! Make it a great week, and stay tuned for further announcements!

chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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