Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good Advice vs. Good News

When I was just a kid, my parents had purchased some property out in the country from where we lived.  We all had dreams as to what life would be like on these overgrown acres of flowing fields...  all of my siblings and my dad.  My mom on the other hand had nightmares about it.
Regardless, we never ended up moving there.  The property was sold at a later date.

Although while we did own it, my dad had some pretty good plans in his head about what to do with it.  Across the back of it ran a creek with overgrown, wild blackberry's.  I guess the word "overgrown" would be an understatement.  We knew that there was a creek because we could hear the water moving through it, but we couldn't see it because of the overgrowth.  My dad's vision was to clear a path from one side of the overgrowth to the other.  This would be done with a machete and clippers and rakes and saws... well, you get the picture.

On one Saturday, he and I went out there to accomplish this task.  
Did I mention that I was seven years old at the time?  
He told me walk around the neighbors property to get to the other side and then we would start cutting the overgrowth, slowly working ourselves closer to the creek, to each other.

Needless to say, I was not doing my part.  I couldn't.  The blackberry bushes were not bushes - they were trees.  I couldn't manage to cut anything down.  Nothing.

My dad, ambitious as he was, was plugging along and doing great.  Cutting through those blackberry's as if they were spiders webs.  Periodically he would try to show me how to cut them down, but it was no use.  I couldn't do it.  I didn't have the strength.  I was only seven years old.  He did it all for me.

Now he could have given me great advice; 
"John, this is how you cut through this.  Use your forearm strength.  Swing harder.  Make sure the blade is in this direction." 
But the truth is, is that any amount of advice would not have gotten me any closer to the creek.

I needed good news. 
I need him to do it.

Friends, this is how it is with our walk with Christ.  

Good advice would say, "Be holy.  Do not sin.  Worship God alone."
Good news says, "Christ has fulfilled the law for you."

There is a difference between good advice and good news. The first can lead to death, the later to eternal LIFE.

Romans 8:3-4
 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.  By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.