Tuesday, March 13, 2007

(#5). Point 2: Don’t ever WASTE your (even innocent) suffering.

(This is part of a sermon. So first, read Luke 13:1-9, and then the previous posts).

Even "Innocent Suffering" is a moment not to waste. Even innocent suffering speaks to us. It speaks to us not of specific guilt, but of the general groaning of the planet.

Jesus is a Jew. And like all Jews he has knowledge of this: There is a intimate relationship between general sin and the groaning of this present world. So he goes beyond the Pilate massacre and talks about an accident V4:

Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.
A tower comes down, and 18 are dead. A tsunami moves toward millions. And hundreds of thousands die. All deaths: 18 deaths, or 300 000 deaths, or 1 death – each one is horrible. And each death, and each tragedy, speaks of the tragic human experience before God. And each and every moment of pain – even if not experienced directly by you – is a 'megaphone to rouse deaf ears', saying something like this:

Your mortality is real. Turn to God now.
GK Chesterton was asked by Time Magazine: "What is the problem with the world?" He sent in his answer: "Dear Sir, I am".

I am the problem in the world.

John Piper – the Baptist minister from Minneapolis – wrote an article on the eve of prostate surgery called 'Don't WASTE your cancer'. God has given you an opportunity, he claims. A door. He offers 10 ways not to waste your cancer. His ninth point is this:

Are your besetting sins as attractive as they were before you had cancer? If so you are wasting your cancer. Cancer is designed to destroy the appetite for sin. Pride, greed, lust, hatred, unforgiveness, impatience, laziness, procrastination—all these are the adversaries that cancer is meant to attack. Don’t just think of battling against cancer. Also think of battling with cancer. All these things are worse enemies than cancer. Don’t waste the power of cancer to crush these foes. Let the presence of eternity make the sins of time look as futile as they really are. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25).
Don’t waste these precious moments, friends. They are a door.

Before I go on to my third point, can I ask you to underline or lock in your minds one word from verse 2-5: The Word Perish. I’ll explain in a soon.

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