Monday, December 29, 2014

A Line In The Sand

This is a picture of a line that has been drawn in the sand. The intent of such drawn lines is that we don't want people to cross them. They are somewhat like fences, only with little or no height. The only thing that keeps someone from crossing a line in the sand is usually a threat of some kind by the person who drew it towards another person. "Lines in the sand" are a visible representation of an invisible consequence.

Politicians sometimes draw lines in the sand. We did that to Syria last year. Didn't work too well. No further comment.

Lines in the sand are supposed to be ultimatums. "I dare you to cross this line!" The only thing about lines in the sand is that when someone crosses one, it is now OUR turn to do something . . . or not.

I heard something in church yesterday from my buddy Ron (our church's family pastor) that caught my attention and made my pick up a pen and take note. He challenged us to draw a line in the sand . . . BEHIND us. Huh?


He was talking about sin and how we humans tend to keep backsliding in our faith. How we tend to sin, repent of those sins, and then go back and commit the very same sins over and over again. An example of this can be seen in Jesus' incounter with the woman caught in adultery.

"Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

[Could Jesus have been drawing a line in the sand?]

9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
- John 8:1-11

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ we are in effect drawing a line in the sand for ourselves. The line represents the point in time when we began following Jesus. We draw a line in the sand, step over it. and we never go back. At least that's the plan.

Each time we sin we are supposed to repent, effectively drawing a line in the sand. We must never go back over that line. This is a process called sanctification, as we gradually strip of our old ways and live a new life style . . . in Christ.

What can we draw a line with today?

It could be an addiction. It could be premarital sex. It could be having a second helping of desert. There are so many things that get between us and God. All of them sin.

I don't know about you but I need to start drawing some lines. I need to draw a line between myself and the computer. There are many people in my life who could probably benefit from drawing a line between themselves and their phones.

The question is, where do we draw the line? And when.

We need to draw a line when our selfish desires get in the way of our relationship with God.

"I 'need' to check Facebook just one more time before I go to sleep."

No. Perhaps you should pray before you go to sleep. Draw a line in the sand! Do it today. Do it again tomorrow.

Here's a question for you. What if Jesus drew a line in the sand and told you not to step over it? Here's the kicker. He already did. It's that moment you came to believe. The line was drawn, separating you from the world. Romans 12:2

"2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, [line in the sand] but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2

What lines need to be drawn today in YOUR life? Pray about that. Seek God's help in drawing and maintaining those lines of defense. It is a command of God! "Go, and sin no more."

Or is Jesus Himself your line in the sand? If so, I would encourage you to step over that line and never look back. And if we do fall back across that line, let us stand back up today and step over that line towards Jesus.

Woman Caught In Adultery from Passion Of The Christ

[Thank you Ron, for your message yesterday]

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