A Deadly Diagnosis

dt_140627_insulin_syringe_800x600Based on a report that was published September 8th in the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of Asian Americans and nearly half of Hispanic Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed.  The figures indicate that 51% of Asian Americans and 49% of Hispanics are afflicted with the disease, and they don’t know it.

When you read statistics like these, there’s a danger of misinterpreting them. The report does not say that 51% of all Asia Americans and 49% of all Hispanics have diabetes.  The study indicates of those who do have it, only above half of them are aware of the diseases’ presence.

There is an even more alarming and much older report of a significant and deadly diagnosis that has permeated both Asian American and Hispanic populations.  It is an actual worldwide epidemic that strikes young and old alike, and it is not confined to ethic groupings.

Please excuse me, but to name it and describe it, I’ll have to use a politically incorrect and unacceptable word: “Sin!”

In the book of Romans, Paul bluntly states that everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God (3:23).  Later in this same book, he said, “Where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

What do Asian Americans and Hispanics do when they discover that they have this diagnosis that can be deadly?  They seek treatment from a qualified physician.

What will you do now that know you’re also afflicted with an unmentionable disease?  Let me whisper the word….”sin.”

Because it’s a spiritual disease, you’ll need to see the Great Physician for a remedy:

  •  John 3:36: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
  • Romans 10:9-10:  “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Just like a diabetic needs insulin injections, you need to take your medicine as well. There are no side effects, and it will lead to eternal life:   “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”

Are You Fluent or Tongue-Tied?

640x360When Jesus was crucified, there was a message written in three languages that stated:  This is Jesus the King of the Jews. You may know these three languages were Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; but, do you know how many languages exist in the world today?

There are some 6,500 spoken languages in the world today, and the language most frequently spoken is Mandarin Chinese. Due to China’s large population it is estimated that 1,213,000,000 people speak this language.

There is a country much smaller than China and it lies just south of the equator, and 99 miles north of Australia. It is Papua New Guinea, and it is smaller than China in both land mass and population.  What’s interesting, however, is that with a population of just over 7 million, this country is incredibly diverse when it comes to languages.  The Linguistic Society reports that Papua New Guinea has 832 indigenous languages.

Even though there are thousands of languages spoken in the world today, there will be a day when everyone speaks the same thing.  There is coming a day when people will hear the name of Jesus and bow their knees to Him, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

There’s no need to wait for some future day to confess the goodness of God.  In whatever language you choose, you can follow the example of the Psalms, and do it now:

  • Psalm 7:17: I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
  • Psalm 9:2: I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
  • Psalm 30:4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Life: Infested or Invested

reflection-in-mirrorMy morning routine includes the couple of minutes I spend looking into the mirror.  This is not an exercise in vanity.  It’s just the best way to examine my wrinkled mug; apply the shaving cream; and wield the razor to shave my beard.

As I was checking the stubble on my face, I thought of Paul’s statement to the church at Corinth: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).”

When you think about it, there are several times each day that you take the time to check the quality of some item:

  • Bananas are checked to see if they are too ripe or too green.
  • Apples are examined to see if they are bruised.
  • When you buy something you check to make sure you have been given the correct amount of change.

How much time do you spend in spiritual self-examination?  The Psalmist said:  “I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies (Psalm 119:59).”  When he didn’t like what he saw, the author of the Psalm ironed out the wrinkles in his life by turning to God’s Word.

The methodology of the Psalms was the same message espoused by James (1:21-25):

Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

You have the freedom to look into the “perfect law of liberty” and to use it as a mirror to examine your life.  When you do this, what do you see?

  • Do you see a reflection of righteousness?
  • Is there an image of personal purity?
  • Do you recognize the features of faithfulness in the face you see?

A good mirror to use is a prayer in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”spic n span

Let me suggest this prayer as a daily test:  Does this mirror reflect a life that’s infested by the ring-around-the-collar filth of the world or one that is invested in the spic and span principles of God’s Word?

God Remembers to Forget

elephantI’m glad God is no elephant when it comes to remembering my sin. Hebrews 8:12 comments on this: “For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.”

It’s not a matter of God having a short memory, it’s the fact that when it comes to my sin He has amnesia. He has forgotten my sins; blotted them out; and, according Psalm 103:12, He has “removed our transgressions as far as the east is from the west.” God has done more than forgive my sins, He has forgotten them.

Listen to how Isaiah describes the work of God on our behalf: “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18).”

When God forgives you and forgets your sins, he changes your relationship with Him. He sees you as justified, glorified, and purified because of the sacrificial death of Jesus.
Because God gas forgiven and forgotten, He freshens: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).”

Here’s the good news: If your life is a mess, confess and profess. When you confess your sin, and profess Jesus as your Savior, God will bless.