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Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)
TITLE: The Gift Of Consequences
By Angie Ragg
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What happened when Eve took the apple from the tree the Lord said would kill her? She was abolished from the garden, lost communion with God, and released sin into mankind. What happens when you go faster than the speed limit? You get a ticket. What would happen if you got caught stealing? You would go to jail. What will happen if you refuse Godís free gift of salvation? You will be eternally lost and alone. You can be forgiven from any sin, but the consequence will remain.
Letís talk about the Ten Commandments, or Godís Rules, for a moment. Every command the Lord gave us covers every situation we will face in our lifetime. Have you ever lied? Have you ever been jealous? Have you had negative feelings about a friend or loved one? Have you ever disobeyed your parents? Have unclean words passed through your lips? Guess what? You broke the rules. What were your consequences? Did you learn a lesson, did it take you a few painful times or are you still practicing this behavior hoping youíll escape the result of your choices? The Lord gave us these guidelines so our lives would glorify His name, not ours. If we can really grasp that, it is easier to follow the rules.
Now, letís talk about consequences. The result of every decision you make will have a consequence. Whether it be painful or enjoyable, a consequence is certain. This is a gift that the Lord in His awesome wisdom gives us. As a mother, I understand the desire to protect my children from any pain or discomfort. But, if I were to cushion them from consequences, it would harm them eventually. God must allow consequences in order to draw us to Him. Have you ever thought what this world would be like without consequences? Look back at your life for a moment. Iím sure you have a list of mistakes. We all do. Arenít the mistakes you learned from the most valuable? They are meant to cause you to run into the arms of Jesus. Consequences have purpose. They make us more like Jesus.
With all this said, take a moment today to thank the Lord for this gift. Ask that He would give you the wisdom to recognize the consequences of your choices, so you will not make the mistake of blaming others. Seek what He is trying to teach you. Act upon the truth you have learned. Share your experience with all who will listen. Allow the Lord to empower you with the consequences you are facing right now. They will not last forever, but His mercy will.
A. Ragg ©2004