Staff Corner - Pastor Greg Spires


Price Conscious
 
          People are always looking to get the best deal on purchases. There are websites designed to help you shop for the best price on hotel rooms.  If you want a pair of shoes, you can place bids through online auction sites to get a great buy. Homeowners looking to get some work done will try to get the best deal by soliciting several remodel project proposals.  Doing so allows the property owner to identify the company that provides the best value.

          When we need to negotiate a purchase, people want to feel like they got a great deal.  The book of Proverbs picks up on this in Proverbs 20:14, “‘Bad, bad,’ says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts.”  We have all seen this happen.  Someone haggles with the car salesman trying to get a lower price.  He points out every slight imperfection in the finish, interior, and engine compartment.  The salesman responds by highlighting the low miles and features not commonly found on this car model.  Finally, they strike a deal.  The car buyer goes home and shows off his new car boasting about how great it is; even though a few hours before he was trying to convince the salesman it had numerous problems!

          Similarly, when we consider our spiritual life, we should seek to get the best deal possible.  We should be motivated to get the most possible out of our spiritual life and relationship with God.  Romans 6 tells in, in a sense, that we have obtained two “bids” for life.  We must decide which bid offers the most value.

          Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

          Our first bid is from sin.  What does sin offer? Indeed, a sense of power and self-determination, not to mention the pleasures of sin (even if short-lived).  For many, if not most, the ability to do what we want, when we want, offers the greatest way to live life.  But what is the price charged?  As the verse says, sin’s wages are death.  That is a steep price.  However, it is a price most people are willing to pay.

          Our second “bid” is from God.  What does God offer?  He offers a relationship with Him that is defined by His glory, holiness, love, mercy, and grace.  He offers the profound delight of having a personal relationship with Him.  This relationship does provide pleasure of a sort, but it is different than sin’s pleasure.  Sin’s pleasure is obtaining a desire or fulfilling an appetite as defined by our own wants.  The definition of pleasure of life in God is being transformed over time to desire what God wants.  What is the price?  Surprisingly, it is free and comes with the gift of eternal life.  Sin offers wages to be paid: death.  God offers a relationship with Him that comes with a gift: eternal life.

          The question we must ask ourselves based on what the Bible teaches:  Why are we still sinning?  The tired arguments of “I stumbled, made a mistake, was weak” grow old.  We sin because we want to.  We sin because, in some way, we do not believe the Bible when it says sin brings death.

          Sin always lies.  It does not fulfill us the way it says it will.  And the cost is high for something so unable to satisfy our souls.

          God always tells the truth.  He always fulfills us more than we could imagine.  The cost is high, but He bore the cost of our sin on the cross and walked victoriously out of that tomb.

          It is not enough to merely decide to say no to sin, but that is a start.  We need to fill our hearts with something else since sin cannot fulfill.  Not only do we need to say no to sin through the power of the Holy Spirit, but we also need to say yes to a deep and abiding relationship with God, who gives us life.  The pleasure of abiding in God is not the same as sin.  But the pleasure of knowing God comes as we are changed to be more like Jesus.  The pleasure of knowing God comes with life that never ends.

I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together!  This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Romans 6:15-23.
 
Praying with you,
 
Greg
MISSION FOCUS
Peter and Debbie Dodd- WorldVenture, Taiwan
Pray for Jean and her husband, Teacher Shu. Jean attended English classes and accepted the Lord a few years back. Teacher Shu showed interest, but had been facing pressure from his family to not seek Jesus, but he came to a Christmas celebration and both he and his older brother trusted Jesus as their Savior.
Pray for their ministry of the Joy House. This is a place that reaches out to kids with the good news of the Gospel. 
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JANUARY 30
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