Don’t you just hate the refund and exchange lines after Christmas? Sometimes it’s easier to keep something we don’t like rather than stand in that line. Maybe that’s why we work so hard to find the perfect gift for those we love.
Although, there are moments when we fall victim to a great marketing plan, salesman, or impulse and pick up the worst possible gift. Then we pay for it twice: once at the cash register and again when we stand in the returns line.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, made a purchase that I’m sure they’d like to return. When they succumbed to the serpent’s persuasion and ate the fruit sin and death entered Eden and remains with us today. They would one day physically die, for the wages of sin is death. (Genesis 3)\
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” – Romans 5:12
They also experienced spiritual death. When they chose to sin, they were separated from God who is holy and cannot abide sin. We are born spiritually dead, separated from God, and living under the influence of our sin nature.
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins… By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.” –Ephesians 2:1-3
It may look fun, living apart from God, after all, who wants the continual conviction of falling short of God’s holy standard? We all want freedom to do what we want. But true freedom is not being able to do what we want; true freedom means not living with fear, guilt, worry, or shame. True freedom is being able to stand in the presence of God cleansed and forgiven.
We can’t return to Eden, nor can we return the sin nature that’s born in each one of us, but we can exchange it! And, amazingly, the line is not long, nor is the process difficult.
Actually, you are the only person in the line, and Jesus is waiting for you to step up to Him. When you come to Jesus, it’s as easy as saying “I have nothing to bring, I cannot clean myself up, nor change my own heart. I believe that you are the One and only way to the Father, and I ask you to wash away my sin and enter into my very being. I freely choose to submit to you as my Lord and my Savior.”
You were dead because of your sins and because your sin nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” – Colossians 2:13-14
What a way to start the year! Cleansed. Forgiven. Spiritually alive. Freed from sin’s power. Freed to live for God. Have you made the exchange? If not, why not today?