Easter Travail

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Jeffrey R Holland is one of our most gifted ministers. Here he testifies of the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and its cost. He postulates that when God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son who gave his life and shed his blood that we might live, look down on us from above it must look pretty much like the playing field is level. That should give us hope because the infinite Atonement IS infinite in power, hope, and scope.

WE ARE NOT FORGIVEN ONLY ONCE! For as many as 70 times 7″ is actually quite inadequate in number, when you think about it. Personally speaking, I need a thousand times more. Being redeemed is but a step forward.  Early or late, redemption is but a preparatory plateau, a new way of life, a new way of looking at life that empowers us to see what the struggle is for. This gift teaches us that while struggling to be forgiven is laudatory and pays handsome rewards, we must concentrate on moving forward and struggling less. We must choose the road leading infinitely upward and brings infinitely more peace.

Throughout any week I find myself doing damage to one or another of the covenants I have broken. Repenting lets me pinch my way upward. Clamping that foot down gives me a safer look at my world’s Greatest Treasures.  It isn’t alone the miracle of forgiveness that lets us transcend this life. It isn’t even enough to duck our heads a few times; it is more like we should be searching for this secret source of joy and sacred peace.  

Here on earth Man is constantly enjoined to speed up in order to win the race to obtain earthly success. “Make it early and and we will have MORE!” Isn’t that wonderful? Why, if we speed up then shall we have yet more pearls to cast at the feet of swine. 

Christ shall forgive us for as long as there is enough breath left in us to breathe our petition. Even for as many times as we truly repent. But after each atoning sacrifice, I must rise up from my knees and try again to be more like Christ.  

“Even if Christ gives up on me and says I shall have no life beyond that cold and clammy grave, I would still rise up from my knees and try again to be more like Christ. That is my earthly goal, that is my earthly reward of living” Repenting shall flavor my life and make it worth living. It shall help us gain a new vista from which we can see more vividly as God does see.

There is that old story about death-bed confession still going through its rounds at the saloons and other congregations. HE CUT HIS CONFESSION SO CLOSE THE PRIEST WAS STILL SAYING THE LAST WORDS WHEN HE DIED ON HIS PILLOW! Repentance unlocks the secrets of living an earthly life better. There are rewards unlocked that would render our body and mind more capable of living well. 

Almost 50 years ago I asked forgiveness the first time, and then again dozens of times each week. As one year passed into another I have learned that We can’t see, we can’t know how many of our sins do lie hidden from our eyes so well even from our most earnest inner inspection until we learn to be more perfect, but as I said nearly 50 years ago when the water began to cover my head, “All of them, Lord. All of them.

I still ask that regularly because no matter how far I have recently fallen I would want with all the feeble yearning of the born again butterfly that I have persuaded a single, solitary soul to move forward and live this life in the light of the Lord and love the beauties of this world that were meant for our enjoment here on earth.

There is no forgiverance save upon condition of wholehearted repentance. Repentance does not hide our sins from other people, it gives us the strength needed for the walk through the valley of godly sorrow. As we walk by a kinder light, by our example we persuade others to seek that same, kinder light by which they can see the upward path that makes life worth living. This life is a hard one and every pebble that is strewn in our path will give us more strength to be like Jesus, our perfect exemplar.

If I had waited until I was on my death-bed to sincerely repent I would have entirely missed the very best part of my life.


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