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Getting What You Deserve

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted October 29, 2014

EDGEFIELD – I got in a little mess with the military police this week at Fort Gordon. I love Craig’s List and I often buy from soldiers who are moving. Most of my gym at home has come from these great guys. I have a rowing machine that came off a nuclear submarine, a weight set that did two tours in Iraq, and several other items as well. I enjoy meeting the young men, talking with them and getting a good deal. This past week I was given directions by a young solider to come to Gate 5 at Fort Gordon as he lived right inside the gate. I did as he instructed.  But I did not have a visitor pass and I could not enter the base by Gate 5.

The solider at the gate just asked me to leave the base and give the guy a call to meet him at a shop across the street from the base. So again, I did as I was instructed. I turned around and called the guy on my cell phone. The moment my cell phone hit my ear, I heard sirens and saw blue lights. I am rolling in a 2002 Toyota Mini-Van mind you, so I pull over and wonder what I have done wrong. I never even went any further on base than to turn around at the entrance gate.

I was pulled over and told that I was violating base policy of using a cell-phone while driving. I politely protested my ignorance of the rule, reminded him how I did not even call until I was leaving the base and asked for a warning. My request was denied and I was given a $50 dollar fine. Now this was the day after the Terrorist Attacks in Canada and New York City, I am sure the base was on high alert and the MP was simply doing his job.

The reality is that I had broken a rule that I did not know, but my ignorance did not excuse me. I had a good excuse for why I did what I did, in fact the other solider told me to call the guy, but my excuse did not change the facts. My infraction seemed very small, but it was enough to be punished for. I asked for leniency, but I was not owed or entitled to it and did not receive it. The Military Policeman faithfully did his job and I learned a $50 dollar lesson.

I tell you this to remind you of James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” You see because of this, the smallest infraction makes us worthy of judgment before God. There is no disputing from any sane person that we have failed to do the right thing, even by a loose personal morality apart from the powerfully holy standards of God. So if you can see that you have sinned and because of that you will be accountable before God, then it becomes paramount to find a solution to your problem of an eternal guilty verdict. You can choose to pay for your sins; this takes the form of far worse than a 50 dollar fine, but eternal judgment in hell.

You can pay for your sins for eternity, or you can accept the payment of Jesus on your behalf. Colossians 2:13-14  reads that “you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  (14)  by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Your debt of wrong was punished, it was just placed on Jesus, the one never sinned or did wrong. God hated that sin, but loved you enough to suffer the loss and hurt of His Son in your place.

I would have been glad to have gotten off the hook and taken my 50 dollars to take my wife out to dinner. I would have been thrilled at a warning. But justice was served. How much more should we be glad that our infinite sin debt has been paid on our behalf by Jesus?

The debt has been paid. Will you take Jesus’ offer, or wait to pay your own debt?
Phillip Howle 

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