When I was twelve years old, I was sitting in my room by myself and on this day I made the most important decision of my life. You may be asking yourself what kind of decision does a twelve year old sitting in the quiet of their mind make that is so life altering.
I don’t remember exactly the defining or deciding moment for my decision, I didn't hear bells go off or see light bulbs flashing, but I knew the time was right and I was in need of something more.
So what was this decision that I made? What did it mean? How did I go about making it? How did it have such an impact on my whole life? Why would I make such a vital decision at such a young age?
I remember sitting on my bed and deciding to pray the prayer of Salvation. I grew up in the church so I was aware of the salvation story and God's redemptive plan for I had heard it many times. I knew at that point in my life I was too a sinner and was in need of a Savior. I felt in my heart I had just came to the place where I was ready to make this decision.
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” What did this mean to a young girl? It meant that I was a sinner and there was nothing I could do to reach the Glory of God on my own. I fall short. Some of you that know me may be laughing and thinking I fell really short. At a whole 5 foot 1 inch tall. This, however, does not mean in posture it means in my ability to be measured up to my king; the One who is perfect in every way. What does this mean for you?
Most people have this impression that they are good. If they think about where they would go at the end of this life, most people would say, well I have lead a pretty good life; I have accomplished all of these things and start making a list. I have not done anything too bad, I mean you should see the guy I work next to, now that guy I am not so sure about him, or that group I saw on TV last night, I am nothing compared to them. I am a good person. At the end of this life I will surely… or maybe… or hopefully?… get into Heaven. I guess my list may be long but it is nothing compared to ___________ (and you begin filling in the blanks).
Look back at Romans 3:23, it says ALL. ALL have sinned. Even I, as a twelve year old girl, realized the path that I was on was due to my own sin. But what had I done as a young girl. I mean look at my list compared to… you may have pointed out lots of people. Romans 3 doesn't tell us to look around and compare ourselves to others when it comes to sin. It tells us to look up at God’s Glory, at God’s standard; this is where the top mark is. If you think you are “good”, what is the measurement being compared to? Paul, the author of Romans, tells us in this verse it is compared the top, the pure perfection of God Almighty.
You think to yourself, who could do that? Who could possibly live up to that kind of standard? You are right. No one can. Romans 3:10 tells us, “As the scriptures say, No one is righteous-not even one.”
Whew! That sure is a relief. We all sin, and not one of us is righteous. Doesn't that leave us all in the same sinking boat? Yes. Paul tells us again in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. The wages, the cost of our sin, all of our sin, is death. Not just physical death but also spiritual death. It makes us completely separated from His Glory. So here we all are on the same sinking boat.
When you look around at the world and see it in moral decline. It is because there is a cost. The cost of sin is death. You may say but what about that little boy I knew that had cancer or my sweet neighbor lady that suffered so much. She was so nice, she went to church every week and she always helped us out when we needed her. The harsh reality is the cost for ALL humanity is death.
Some people may be thinking, why is a God, that you claim loves me, that harsh? Why would He give death
to the innocent? I'm going to give this to you straight. First of all, we are not innocent. Secondly, God is fair and just and gives us what we deserve.
He didn't, however, leave us in this way. He didn't say the consequence of sin was death and leave us there. He had a plan, a plan from the beginning to rescue us from this death and from this sin. There is Great News that lies ahead so come back tomorrow for the rest of this rescue story.