Friday, December 8, 2017

Advent 2017 #8: The Love that Saves Us From the Maggot Bed


Isaiah shocked me this morning with a very unexpected bit of information (Isaiah 14:9-11). Those in hell are excited to have more people join them and, when new residents arrive, the "spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth" are aroused to greet them. 

This is not likely to be a warm and happy greeting, if for no other reason than the facilities for rest. In hell, maggots are spread out for beds and worms are the covers. Visualize that in your mind for a moment, if you can stand it.

Yeah. I'm having a hard time with it, too.

Since this week's Advent candle symbolized LOVE, I intended to write about the love of God today. I was completely stymied by the worms and maggots, though. 

"Lord," I prayed, "Where's the love in this writhing bed of grossness?" 

Immediately, Romans 3:23 came to mind. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Those words reminded me of Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." 

I memorized those verses together when I was in Girls' Auxiliary a lot of decades ago. Today, I gained a deeper understanding of them. 

We've all done wrong things, we all sin, and we all deserve hell. It's a place of eternal torment and the only rest you get is lying on a bed of maggots with a bunch of worms covering you. The fire would be torment enough for me, but the worms and maggots take it to another level of horrible.

We'd all end up there, too, if not for the love and grace of God. Romans 5:8 tells us that God showed His love to us by allowing Christ to come to earth as a little baby, live a sinless life, and die on the cross in our place. 

At Christmas, it's easy to focus on decorations and gifts, but they aren't the point. The point is Jesus. The Holy Baby was born to show us God's love in the flesh, a love so fierce that, even though we deserved the worst He could give, God gave us His best, His Son. 

Our course, sin is so entrenched in us that we couldn't see His good example and follow it to a sinless life. We're hopeless on our own. It's only through Christ's goodness, sacrifice, and resurrected redemption that we're able to escape the consequences of our choices.

Only Jesus sets us free from ourselves and our sinfulness. Only He can give us peace with God and an eternity with Him.

It's more love than I can fully comprehend, but, this Christmas, I intend to embrace it. Today, let's pause long enough to ponder our great sinfulness and the massive, hell-shattering love that sets us free. Let's not stop at pondering. Instead, abandon ourselves to the only One who loves us enough to save us. 

If that isn't love, I don't know what is. 

"But God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 esv
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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: #7: Finding the Safe Place in a Crazy World

Here are the links to the other posts in this series:#6: The Preparation of God's Love, #5: When Joy Flowed Forth and Splashed Into My Heart , #4 The King Who Will Not Let Us Down., #3 Preparing for Transformation#2 Preparing for the King with an Humble Heart, and #1 Getting Ready for Jesus

#advent2017