EARNED? Part 2

I was reminded yet again- less than a week later- that not only does the military share the worldly mindset of everything being earned, but so does the nursing profession. This bumper sticker read “eaRNed,” with the e, a, e, and d being in lower case, while the r and n were capitalized for emphasis and the obvious reference to nursing.
As in Part 1, I am not at all downplaying or undermining the honorable roles of nursing or soldiering, or the important and absolutely necessary work that they do for everyone. It is no wonder, I suppose, that they share this idea as well since they help make up the world. It is just a further demonstration of the prevailing attitude that we are responsible for the work(s) that we do and are, as such, deserving of the merits, rewards or accolades that come with it.
Let me address this in two ways. Firstly, this is really not true. Yes, we do the work physically and set our minds to do it. But, it is God and God alone who gives us our breath every morning. And everything else we do relies on this single breath continuing second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” This is from the very first book of the Bible!
Isaiah the prophet says in the forty-second chapter and the fifth verse, “…the Lord who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it…” And the prophet Ezekiel tells us in 37:6, “And I will lay sinews” (muscles, tendons) ”upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So it is the Lord God who gives life and the ability to do everything else by which breathing is simply the foundation. We should wake up grateful everyday instead of taking it for granted.
Secondly, and this is a widely observed trait among humans from our earliest years (two and upwards) and somewhat of a curiosity to those who don’t know the Word of God: Why is it that we humans are so quick to take responsibility for things that are good or that go well, while simultaneously quicker to escape accountability and to assign blame to someone else when we are responsible???
Not surprisingly, we can find the answer in the very first book of the Bible as well! Genesis chapter three tells the true account of the very first sin of mankind- the act of disobedience. While the book of James chapter four alludes to the why, Genesis 3: 8-13 explains the initial what. It shares, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God” (accountability) “walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’ God said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman who you gave to be with me’ (blame) ‘she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said (blame), ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate.’”
The very first creatures who were created and were perfect (blameless, innocent, without guilt or sin) chose out of the freedom that the Creator endowed them with, to disobey. That’s called SIN. That’s a word we don’t like to use today because it reminds us of our guilt before God, our Judge. When we sin, we do earn the consequences. That is something, however, we should embrace and not to hide from. Why? Because Jesus Christ was sent on purpose by God. He left Heaven. He subdued His divinity. He took upon Himself humanity. He, not us, took and endured the penalty of our sins upon Himself. Did He earn or deserve that? Absolutely not! Should we accept our own punishment of death for our own sins? Yes. Thank Almighty God that His love (entirely different from ours) and mercy outweighed His judgment. We have “earned” Hell by both our nature and our deeds. Thanks Jesus the Redeemer that we don’t have to get what we deserve because He willingly got what He didn’t deserve. It’s not too late to repent, be forgiven and receive the salvation we can never earn. He is coming back any day. All prophecies have otherwise been fulfilled. Look at the world around you. What will you choose?

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