“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:8
Higher than the Stars
Rivalry is natural. We all like to think our talents, team, stadium, fans, coaches, players, city and way of doing things is the best. In conversations before and after games, everyone argues about why their team, conference or region is the best.
For example, West Virginia is known for mountains. In the mountains, people learn to deal with lots of snow and ice on the roads during winter. They live on a high plateau and learn to breathe thinner air than people living down below. Mountain dwellers can see for miles in every direction as they look out their windows. Spruce Knob Mountain is 4,863 feet above sea level. It is the highest point of the Allegheny Mountains.
If someone lived in the mountains, they might start thinking they are better and stronger than people living on flatland. For example, Charleston, S.C., is only 19.69 feet above sea level. Though coastal areas enjoy warmer weather and beaches, they also deal with hurricanes. If anyone dealt with Hurricane Hugo, then they are probably just as tough as people who live in the mountains.
People are people wherever we live and whatever we do. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Everybody does well sometimes but we all do wrong sometimes. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, KJV). Since we all have faults and fail sometimes, it is unwise and wrong to think we are better than anyone else. “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12, NKJV).
When Jesus dealt with the Pharisees, He showed them they weren’t near as great as they thought they were. Their righteousness might have been as high as a mountain, but Christ’s righteousness is far beyond the stars. Therefore, we should stop focusing on the faults of others and find a way to make peace with God. “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:4, NKJV). The good news is that God provides a remedy. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1, NKJV).
When we realize that God’s goodness is greater than the distance from the earth to the stars, then we humbly bow before Him and cry out for mercy. Thankfully, God is ready, willing and able to show infinite mercy. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NKJV).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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