May 20, 2007

Congratulations - You've Just Been Elected President

Can you imagine hearing those words whispered behind you and when you turn around, there He stands. God Himself. And after you fall to your knees in trembling, He gently helps you up and shares with you - "Marc, there's one more thing. You're not only President for the rest of your life, but for all of eternity".

Now imagine yourself as a janitor down by the docks at the Naval shipyard in Annapolis, MD. You've spent your whole life there, toiling away, lving in debauchery. You'd shown promise at one time, but you threw it all away so you could party, have sex, drink, steal, and get high. And in a hungover, lethargic day of work, the Lord of the Universe reached down from heaven, stood next to you, and whispered those loving words in your ear.

You might think "Well was I elected?". "Yes you were, but not by man, or by popular vote, but by ME" God says. He then says that no matter what you do, how bad you screw up, how wrong you get it, you still get to be President. You begin to think to yourself "Hey I can't do this, I'm just a janitor".

God whispers in your ear "I know, and the great part is that I'm going to sit right beside you as you do this and all you have to do is what I tell you to do. Really, I'm going to be running the show, but I'm going to use you to do it" You look around the docks and see the squalor in which you've existed and you question God. You tell Him "Surely you must have the wrong guy. I think you must be mistaken".

God says back to you "Nope, I know just what I'm doing. I want you and have wanted you ever since I created the world." Despite your many protests, God takes you to the White House where you get the first real good shower you've had in years. A butler walks in and sets before you a tremendous feast of steak, lobster, potatoes, sparkling water. You're entertained by an orchestra as you eat, and when you've finished your meal, you retire for the evening to find your bed has been turned down for you.

As you lay down to sleep, the bed is the softest you've ever slept on. The pillows are so fluffy and as you pull the comforter over you, it is so warm and soft you feel like you're sleeping in the clouds. You turn the light off, but you remember before you fall asleep that there is one more question you forgot to ask God. You hit the intercom to summon him and before long He is standing in your room.

You ask him the question that's been haunting you all day long, ever since you took the drive from the docks to the White House. You ask God why He did all this for you, and His answer is "To show you how great I am, and because I love you".

Your face becomes quizzical as you look back at God and press Him "Yea but I don't deserve this". God then lovingly reaches out to you as he opens up the nightstand. He opens a book and places it in front of you. He softly says to you "I know you didn't deserve this, what you really deserved was:

To be bruised, wounded, crushed, chastised, smitten, afflicted, flogged, oppressed, slaughtered, judged, cut off, and killed.

You reach out to God and question Him "Why didn't I get that? Why did you spare me? Why did you not do any of those things?"

As God reaches into his wallet, he says to you "Oh I did those things, it just wasn't to you. See someone had to endure that, so I took it out on my Son. And because he took that punishment for you, I can now have you in the White House and give you all that I have to offer."

"Now all this is yours on one condition. Never forget what my Son did for you. Never forget what I've done for you. Love Him and Me with all you have. And trust that because my Son did that for you, that it is the only reason I was able to come to the docks and drive you over here. You're not here because you were great on those docks. You're here because He took your beating"

I want to ask you something: What would be your response to God?

While the story is overly simplistic I know, it is how I envision Ephesis 2: 11-22. Put yourself in the story and think about tomorrow being instantaneously elected President of the United States. Think about the analogies here and how this passage of Scripture impacts our sanctification?

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