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New Room

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted July 30, 2015

RELIGION Ė I have had some fun the past few days! We planned our last little family trip of the summer to Helen Georgia. We were going down on Monday to tube and play at a water park and then spend the night in Helen and meet the Youth Group from Antioch the next morning at Tulluah Gorge (One of my favorite places!) But we ran into a big problem! When we got to the hotel, I had mistakenly booked a smoking room.

When we walked in, the smell of the room was crushing and oppressing. Before smokers light up Wondering Minds like a Christmas tree, Iím not a smoker, but if you donít mind the health risks, are 18, and can afford to do so, it is your legal right. After all, it is better to smoke here than in the hereafter!

But to my family of young boys, this room was not going to be an option. It smelt like someone was trying to shove an old ashtray up my nose! So I went back to the front desk to talk about the situation. It was my fault; I had booked the wrong room. I had saved money getting a last minute booking from an online site and there was nothing they could do. They were booked and I was not getting my money back. The lady was kind and she offered a little personal sized can of spray to help the odor. I am not hating on smoke, but it would have required new sheetrock to get the smell out! Still, it was kind she offered the little bottle of spray to mask the odor.

I tell you this because it taught me a few lessons.

One: when you do something long enough you just get used it. The room would have been fine and completely inoffensive to a smoker. They would have just gotten used to the smell and enjoyed the activity. Repetitive sin in our life becomes the same way. We just get used to it. Even though it is hurting our walk with God and relationships with others, we forget what life it is like without the sin.

Two: You canít mask something when it has such prolonged exposure. That room had been used as a smoking room for years. A little spray was going to be ineffective at removing the smell. I did not need some spray, I needed a new room. We canít remove the stain of sin from ourselves. We canít try to cover over our sinful hearts with good behavior, because it is not enough! We need a new heart! While the hotel could not give us a new room, Jesus will give you a new heart if you will only ask! Ezekiel 36:26 says that ďAnd I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.Ē

Back in Ezekiel 8:11-13 we read about a time when Godís people had rejected Him and were worshipping false Gods, but they still were playing church. ďStanding in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel Ö each man with his censer in his hand and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising. Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, 'The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.'"

They thought that by offering incense God could be fooled and not smell the stench of their sins. But they were wrong. If you think you can cover over you sins, you are wrong! The good news is that you donít have to! Christ took the punishment for your sins. The cross would have been a violently smelly place: the smell of the blood that had been spilled; the smell of the incontinence that would come on the men who were hanging there as their bodies began to shut down; the final smell of death that came as Jesus breathed His last. This smell was the reason the ladies were bring 75 pounds of spices to care of the body!

Jesus took the stench of the cross so that your prayers can ascend to heaven like sweet incense and be heard and answered from the Heavenly Father above (Rev 5:8)! Be thankful for that and seek to live a holy, pleasing life that is an attractive aroma of Jesus to all around you (2 Cor 2:16).

Pastor Phillip

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