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Religion

Hand Caught In The Gumball Machine

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted July 24, 2014

RELIGION – As a young boy, I was always enthralled by the gumball prize machines. You know the ones where you put your 50 cent in and get a prize. They always had cool watches or glow balls on the front of the machine and after you put your money in you had to wait and see which awesome prize would come out! Except the prizes that came out were usually less than cool, which meant that as a child I would beg for more money in hopes of getting a better prize the second time. 

But because I had parents who had sense they cut me off after one chance. 

On one occasion I literally took matters into my own hands. My little sinful heart decided that I would simply steal an extra prize from the machine. I thought about a smash and grab, but I did not drive and with all the broken glass I would be busted for sure. So my other option was to use my little hands to see if I could shove them up the opening and grab another prize.
 
Well all seemed to go according to plan, until I encountered two problems. One, there is a trap door that flips down to keep little hands out! So if you are thinking about repeating my crimes don’t!  Second, getting my hand in was one thing, taking it out was another. My hand was stuck! My dad called for me to leave, but I could not. My attempted theft was found out!

They tried all the lotions in the store, but the hand would not budge. My dad, who was angry at my attempted theft and embarrassed by having an idiot son with his hand stuck up the gumball machine, finally took matters in his hands and gave my arm a good yanking and my hand came out, bleeding and bruised. I was elated to be free, but my freedom was short lived as a spanking and restrictions were soon to come!

So why do I tell you this? To highlight a biblical principal found in Numbers 32:23 “behold you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.” It is also articulated in Luke 12:2-3 “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. (3) Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”

We live in a society where we have public/private lives. The reality is that all our life is lived “Coram Deo.” This Latin phrase literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God. So God as a good Heavenly Father will not let us live in our sin forever. God refuses to watch us ruin ourselves and others by our sin, even if no one else knows but you.

My dad was angry and embarrassed, but he refused to leave me in the mess I had gotten myself in. But in order to free me he had to first grip me tight and cause me some short term pain. The reality is that our Heavenly Father will treat us in the same manner. Hebrews 12:5-11reminds us that “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?”My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  (6) For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."  (7)  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  (8)  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  (9)  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  (10)  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  (11) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

So in light of this and your secret sin, my advice is to repent and turn away from it. Failure to do so will mean the sin coming to light and your consequences being accepted. Jesus loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you just the way you are!

Thankful my earthly father freed me from sin and more thankful my heavenly Father freed me from sin by sending His Son Jesus to die my place!

Pastor Phillip




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