Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (11/21/13)
TITLE: White Washed Mahogany
By Dan Wilson
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Some of the town’s older residents had mentioned to me this hotel was the place where celebrities would stay. One such celebrity was Theodore Roosevelt. This revelation made me ponder what was hiding behind that awful paint. I assigned two maintenance men to find an inconspicuous area to gently remove some of the paint since we did not know what was underneath it. After several hours of painstaking work we were totally astonished by what we found. Hiding behind this despicable white paint was the most beautiful, richly-looking, reddish wood panel of solid mahogany.
What do we try to white-wash or cover up so no one will know the truth? The truth about an imposter is his true nature. He is what he is. He is corrupt from within. The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (NKJV) Not only is an imposter corrupt, but he will coerce himself and others to believe he is the real deal. Those who do not know the truth will be captured by his appeal and persuasion. A counterfeit may not consider the cost of his escapade. What will be the ultimate expense to himself or his victims? Does he really care? This person’s only concern is the benefits he will receive from his dubious actions.
Jesus tells the story of the hireling who has the responsibility of watching sheep. A hireling is a person employed to perform a service. He has no invested interest in the sheep. In other words, if the sheep die or get lost, so what, he figures he will still get paid for his services. When trouble comes, in this case the wolf, the hireling only cares about himself and runs away leaving the shepherd, the owner, to cover the cost of any lost sheep. (John 10:10-16 NKJV).
God created us in His image, Satan did not create us. Satan has no invested interest in us. He is the imposter, the counterfeit, the liar. The devil is corrupt, the coercer, the destroyer. But he does know what the cost is going to be. He will capture any unsuspecting individual with his appealing nature and persuasion. He lies to us by telling us we are not as evil or bad as God says we are.
Mankind is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Solomon said in Proverbs 27:19, “As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” (NKJV) Paul told the Romans: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NKJV) The beauty that God created in man was corrupted by the arrogance of Satan. One deceptive lie Satan uses to persuade man he can reclaim his original position with God is to perform good works. However Paul tells Titus in Titus 3:4-6:
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
Because God made us and loves us, He was willing to pay the consummate price for our redemption, to make us a new creature. God sent His only Son to die on the cross, shed His blood for our sins. The prophet says in Isaiah 1:18, “’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’” (NKJV)
We never removed the white paint from the mahogany panels because the labor and materials needed to complete the transformation was financially prohibitive. However, your sins can be forgiven no matter how great they are because they have already been paid for. Forgiveness is a gift given to you from God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son.
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