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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Check the gas and top off the oil please.

I can still remember my dad's words every time he would see a vehicle drive by with plumes of blue smoke rolling out of the exhaust pipe. He would say, "I bet when they go to the gas station, they say check the gas and add a quart of oil please." Rebuilding the engine is/was more difficult and costly than dropping a quart of oil in the engine every other day or so...

It is a miserable thing to know one's vehicle is in need of repair and knowing the cost for repairs is out of reach for the near future and so we set repairs aside and maintenance the thing. That is where I am right now. I leave little power steering oil puddles every where I park. I know the steering pump is leaking; the inspection station told me so about a month ago. In fact, I knew it was leaking about 4 months ago,,,it is a risky form of Russian Roulette. How long can I continue to add power steering fluid and keep the vehicle limping along until implosion occurs? And so, I keep putting repairs off...

Each of us play this game with our sin and God's desire for our repentance and confession. We put it off, deny we have done anything wrong, and continue to limp along. Everywhere we go, we leave drops of our life on the ground because we are slowly bleeding out. Some will even attend church services in order to get a band-aid for their gaping chest wound and walk out the doors leaving behind a tell-tale sign of impending breakdown. Why do we do this?

Facing facts for just a minute requires an assessment of the damage, the cost of repair, and the outcomes of addressing the problem. I know I have a leaking steering pump. I know the cost for my truck repairs is doable. I know the work involved will be strenuous. I know I will get dirty and skin a few knuckles.

Conversely, I know I am a sinner. I know Jesus Christ's death and resurrection has made it possible for me to have a brand new life. I know I need to simply accept His work and call Him Lord. (Which requires my obedience to Him) I am already dirty, tired, and skinned up from my sin and need help. Therein lies the avenue for God to heal me and set me on a course for living with vitality and performance in His kingdom.

How about you, have you noticed those puddles under your car or noticed a variation in engine perfomance or steering quality? If so, it's time for inspection and action. Have you felt as though your soul is getting weaker rather than stronger? It is time to pause and cry out to Jesus. He is waiting to stop the bleeding and heal our brokeness. Oh, and your bill will be stamped, "PAID IN FULL."

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We

died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized

into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through

baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the

Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:1-4, NIV)

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