Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
So I went to a football game last Friday, up in Moscow.  It was a perfect game capping a perfect season. I was proud of the coaches, the players, and my home town. Why? Because regularly, when they saw an opposing player make a good run or a tackle, they applauded them.  I love my town. But that's not what I want to talk about. Something else happened at the game that profoundly affected me. 
So there's this little boy. I'm guessing him to be about 8 yrs old, I could be wrong. He is infatuated with the attractive little red box on the wall. Yea, you guessed it, the fire alarm.  He fidgeted with it until it happened.  It went off.  This is where he caught my attention along with the balance of the crowd.  Can you picture him frantically trying to "stuff the genie back in the box"?  He can't get it to shut off. It is incessant, annoying, and testifies to his guilt for all the world to see. In frustration, he ran from the scene of the crime, just a half a section and two rows down, where he sat and began to cry.  Nugget:  He didn't run to his father (the next person in our account; I think he was his dad, but don't know; for our purposes I'll refer to him as dad).  Spiritual Switch:   When we have done wrong, and know it, we seldom run to our Heavenly Father. When I sin, I don't necessarily want to be around Christians, Church or Churchy people.  I want to fix it first. I want to stuff it back in the box. Enter Dad.   Remember, everyone is watching by now. There is palpable peer pressure on the child and the father.  "Is he going to hit him?  Will he get the scolding of his life? After all, some action is required - the fire alarm is still screaming!".   Here's where I began to cry.  The Father came over with other kids in tow, and put his arm around our hero. He hugged him up tight and reassuringly.   If I could describe in one word the look on dads face, it wasn't shame, it wasn't disgust, it would be -- Pride.   You see, there was nothing to be done. The child felt as bad as he could. He was sorry. He was repentant.  And so  dad did what our Heavenly Father does to us when He finds us in that state. He forgives.  "Thou O Lord, art a shield about me; you're my Glory, you're the lifter of my head".  Most of us can't have our head lifted, cause we're too proud to bow it.  Not our hero. The sacrifices that are acceptable to a Holy God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.  This child was already there, so his father did the best thing, and restored his son.  Jesus is ever at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf.  It's a big job.  If our hero grows up to be like his dad, he will do well. If we are "conformed to the image of His dear Son", Jesus, we will do well.  One final point;  The dad sought out his son.  That's what Jesus does with us - "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.......".     What a game.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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