Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Are you a Knut?

Do you sometimes struggle to do what is right? Of course you do. We all do. Sometimes it seems easy to make the right choices. At other times, it is much easier to do what is sinful. We all know the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, how may of us truly do this day in and day out?

You are not alone in this. Every person who has ever lived, has wrestled with sinfulness. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert. He passed the test, but He would not have been fully human had He not been at least tempted to take the Devil’s deal. We are certainly not better than Christ; therefore, we are also tempted by the lies of Satan.

Why do we do this? Our sinful nature inclines us to wander away from God. It all started in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed for the first time. Since then, it is in our nature to shun God’s ways for our own self-satisfying desires. The only hope for reconciliation with God is the salvation offered to us by Christ.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can take the man out of Edgefield, but you can’t take Edgefield out of the man?” (Well, maybe you didn’t hear it quite that way, but you get the idea.) It is true that left to our own devices, we will always regress to our evil ways.

I read a story recently about a polar bear named Knut that is a resident of the Berlin Zoo. He was born in captivity, abandoned by his mother and raised by the zookeepers. He was a gentle bear, but eventually grew to weigh over 300 pounds. Several weeks ago, Knut made headlines again, because he decided that the carp in the moat that surrounded him would make a tasty snack. He ate ten of them in front of a group of zoo visitors. An article by Aaron Hotfelder read:

Knut, the once-cute celebrity polar bear turned vicious killer, is at the center of a controversy over his brutal slaughter of ten carp at the Berlin Zoo. The massive polar bear, who has lived at the zoo since birth, apparently fished the carp out of the moat surrounding him and ripped them to shreds in front of several disgusted zoo patrons.

What exactly did they expect? As at least one journalist put it so well, “Umm...HE'S A POLAR BEAR!" Just because they put him in a zoo, feed him and love him, does not change the fact that bears like fish! Put fish in a moat around a polar bear and his nature is to eat them unless you can change the nature of a bear.

Unless something can change our nature from sinful to righteous we are always going to flounder. (Pardon the pun.) Fortunately for us, there is a life changing power that can change us. The love of Jesus Christ has made a way for us to make that change by surrendering our lives to Him. Only God, who created us, can change our nature, and He did it by dying for us. Because He died and rose again to defeat death, we can have a new heart, a new life, and a new nature through Jesus Christ.

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am made out of flesh, sold into sin's power. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me(Romans 7:14-20 HCS)

Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20 NKJV)

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