The Check Engine Light

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I would like to add to what was written in a previous post, “Shame On Us.”

Every single person living on planet earth has a problem with sin. What do I mean, “has a problem”?

Well, I DON’T mean people have a problem sinning; like they can’t find a way to sin! Not at all! It is so much a part of our nature, we have a problem trying to keep from sinning.

No one has to be taught to do wrong. There’s not a child born that won’t, someday, disobey their parents at least one time. And they don’t need instructions from an older sibling, either.

It all started in the Garden of Eden. Man disobeyed, and suddenly, they knew something was wrong. Maybe they felt guilty. Maybe they were ashamed. And why not? There certainly are consequences associated with sin.

Below I’ve listed 4 words: shame, conviction, ashamed, and contrite; along with their definitions. Please note, there is not much difference between any of the words.

Shame: a feeling of responsibility for wrongdoing.

Conviction: the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth.

Ashamed: a: feeling shame, guilt, or disgrace b: feeling inferior or unworthy

Contrite: feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming.

Shame can be likened to the “check engine” light on a car’s instrument panel. It’s an indicator of a possible malfunction, not the problem itself. It means, “you better have a mechanic inspect your engine and fix whatever’s wrong.”

Conviction is basically the same thing, except it may give a code with the light; something to indicate exactly what the problem is. God’s Spirit will convict our hearts of sin; but unless we are a trained mechanic (or have learned to recognize the Spirit’s voice), the “code ” means nothing. We only see the light, or sense the shame.

Two meanings for the word “ashamed”. The first, basically the same as the word shame. The second, well, let me explain it like this. It is true, God loves and values every human being! There isn’t a soul in Heaven, earth, or under the earth He doesn’t love and value. To Him, no one is inferior or unworthy. How can I be so sure? Because God proved it!

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 ESV)

He loves us! He values us! Yet, He is separated from those He loves until we receive His gift of eternal life. And WE are separated from Him! All have sinned, and fall short of God’s standards (Romans 3:23). All of us ARE inferior. All of us ARE unworthy. Without Him, we are nothing more than a mess, trying to navigate through this life and into the next without a clue!

Look at this next verse from Isaiah. The Lord declares what it takes to have a relationship with Him. He dwells in a place so high above our reach, without His help we could never, ever know Him.

Look at the requirements: contrite and lowly. Or, crushed and crumbled!

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15 ESV)

The Hebrew word for “contrite” means: to crumble; transitively, to bruise (literally or figuratively):–beat to pieces, break (in pieces), bruise, contrite, crush, destroy, humble, oppress, smite.

So, verse 15 speaks of someone who’s already been crushed, or crumbled, like a rock would be crushed to a fine powder.

The sad thing is: WE ALL DESERVE our crushing and crumbling. There’s no merit in our abasing ourselves; without Christ. Just being crushed and crumbled doesn’t get anyone into the High and Holy place. One only gets into the High and Holy place by special invitation! And there is only One Who is invited. Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – every one – to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6 ESV)

Jesus was crushed and crumbled for us! God crushed his Son in order to pay, once and for all, for our high treason; our rebellious nature.

But if we will receive God’s payment, Jesus Christ; humbling ourselves under His mighty hand, Jesus’ invitation to the High and Holy place will include us also.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 ESV)

When it comes right down to it, we really are a pitiful lot! We have nothing to be proud of, and have every reason to feel shame. The check engine light inside us should be on all of the time, at least until we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

We are nothing without Jesus! We can’t function like we were created to function without the One Who was crushed and crumbled living in us. No way! Impossible!

If your check engine light’s on; if you feel guilt, shame, conviction or contrition, make an appointment to visit with the Master. Call Jer 33:03 (toll free).

‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 MSG)

He knows the problem, and has the cure

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