Points to Ponder: Straighten Up and Fly Right

Points to Ponder
Straighten Up and Fly Right
by Pastor Dennis Whitmore

Author and former Pastor Dr. George Sweeting shares an insightful experience.
Several years ago our family visited Niagara Falls. It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river. As I viewed the large blocks of ice flowing towards the falls, I could see that there were carcasses of dead fish embedded in the ice. Gulls by the score were riding down the river feeding on the fish. As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls.
I watched one gull, which seemed to delay and wondered when it would leave. It was engrossed in the carcass of a fish, and when it finally came to the brink of the falls, out went its powerful wings. The bird flapped and flapped and even lifted the ice out of the water, and I thought it would escape. But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice. The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss. (From Special Sermons for Special Days)
As you read this, perhaps you are realizing that you have been conducting yourself as the lingering (and now dead) seagull did. If sin did not look so good, feel so good, or taste so good or seem so right, we would not do it. I am reminded of the passage in Hebrews 11:24-26, which speaks of Moses' choice to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoying the "passing pleasures of sin" for a season. When you are living in the midst of a "season" of pleasures, enjoying the comforts and satisfaction of the moment, you do not think to look downstream at the slowly approaching abyss. At some point, if you have lingered in that sin long enough, it will grab you with such power and weight, that you will not be able to pull out of it under your own power.
It is a good thing we have the Lord ever ready to extend His hand toward us, to empower us to repent and to get out of the mess in which we have become stuck and settled. If you are reading this and you know this article is speaking to you about your life, it is not too late to call on the Lord for help and make your move. Do not linger--lift off! Fly out of there!
"Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (II Timothy 2:19)
Many of us need to seriously evaluate where we are and what we are doing--and then walk our talk. In some cases, you need to run.
"This is the message He has given us to announce to you: 'God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God, but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.'" (I John 1:5-10 New Living Translation)
God's grace is free, but it is not cheap. It cost Him a painful death on a cross (from which we get our term "excruciating"). Jesus took upon Himself our sins and died. The penalty has been paid for you and me. Freedom from the grip of sin can be ours.

This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.