The Old Man and the Boy

11/14/2005

“What does God want MOST in your life?” questioned the old man of the youth.

The well-instructed boy replied passionately, “God wants me to live a life free from sin.”

The man nodded his aged head and agreed, “Yes, this is indeed true. God is pained to see you enslaved by sin and living in the darkness of its fruit. Yet, nevertheless, living without sin is not His greatest desire for you.”

“What? My dear man, what can you mean? Are you telling me God doesn’t care about sin?”

“No, my boy. You know me well enough to know that’s not what i mean. Yet, as ugly and deadly as all sins are, they are still not God’s deepest concern, directly.”

The boy, perplexed, pondered all he’d been taught and all that he’d ever seen. “It seems I can think of nothing to rival a hatred of sin as God’s heart’s desire for me. What is it?”

“It’s simply a fact that even sin cannot keep you from God, if you reject it and appeal to Him. Instead it’s a RELATIONSHIP with you that He wants above all else in your life .”

“How do you know this, old man?”

Smiling, with warm tears running off his worn face, the old man peered into the boy’s eyes and said, “Because every time I applied one of His immutable laws to my life, and began to see sin lose its grip, if ever unconsciously I put my hope in this new knowledge, God made knowledge fail so that I wouldn’t go on without HIM!”

The moral of the story? Instead of letting whatever sin you are working to overcome steal the limelight of your life, make Jesus the center of all your thoughts. Even your current battle is up to Him.

Pharisees and muslims and radicals do all kinds of impressively sacrificial and radical things. The one thing they never do, without change in their hearts and lives, eyes opened to Reality, is to turn their unwavering, fully trusting attention to JESUS, alive and well, empowered to change those who love Him and will release both fears and ambitions in order to know Him.

—lsc

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