Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chief of Sinners (and chapstick)

As I've been studying Galatians, I'm more and more aware of my status as a sinner in need of a Savior. At our first River Stone on Campus, I introduced myself as the Chief of Sinners at River Stone Community Church. I said it partly to get a laugh, but partly out of reality. Our church is a church full of sinners, and I'm the lead sinner. For example...

This week I was making a grocery run. The line I was in was moving slowly (fyi - if the line wasn't moving slowly before, it would've diminished in speed the moment I stepped into it - it's a gift I have) and got long fast. When I was the next up for check-out, the manager waved me over to the register next to where I was. I backed up my cart, headed for the register and noticed in this motion that I forgot to get Chap Stick that my lips were screaming for. I grabbed the Chap Stick and proceeded to unload my groceries onto the conveyor belt (does anybody remember when you just pulled your cart up to the register and the checker unloaded your basket for you? - I digress.). I paid for my groceries and went home. After I unpacked them, I proceeded to empty out my pockets, and what did I find in my pocket but the un-paid-for tube of Chap Stick. That's right. I stole it. My heart sank. Immediately my flesh and the Spirit began to wrestle. "It's only 95 cents, and they've probably over charged you that much before", or "you've spent so much money there they owe it to you", or "God must've wanted you to have that Chap Stick." The Spirit quickly won and I was convicted to pay for the Chap Stick. I couldn't go right them, but the next time I went to the store, I had the guy scan a Chap Stick and then I put it back on the shelf. I then explained to him that I stole a tube a couple of days ago, and I'm not real sure what response I was expecting, but the one I got was, "Oh yeah, man that happened to me before." I was in good company.

Needless to say, I didn't think twice about accidentally swiping that Chap Stick, and I know you're saying, "A whole blog about a 95 cent tube of Chap Stick, really?" However, it made me more aware of my sinful nature. That one 95 cent sin is enough to eternally separate me from God. It was enough to invoke the full wrath of God on my life... if I didn't have a Savior who already paid for my sins with his blood. I'm so thankful to be a child of grace. It should've been me hanging on that tree, but Jesus took my place. He extended to me Good News... on my own, I'm a sinner in need of a Savior, and there's nothing I can do to save myself. God rescued me from my sin, my guilt, my fear, and my shame. It was a complete rescue that covers my stupidity and incidentals. I'm covered, I'm forgiven, and I'm free. It's a good thing, too, because despite my best efforts to stop, I keep sinning.

I'm just thankful, I guess, that God loves me enough to not only save me from death, sin, evil, and hell, but also from myself. After a whole lifetime of following Christ, I'm still a sinner in need of the Gospel. A tube of Chap Stick helped me remember that.