Monday, February 15, 2016

Lugging Luggage - Martin Wiles

Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins. Acts 3:19 NLT

As I turned the corner and squinted at the gate numbers, I knew I wasn’t through lugging. 

My wife and I and another couple were on our way to Nova Scotia for mission work. With an hour layover in Chicago, we imagined we’d have time to catch our breath before our last leg of the flight. The terminal of our arrival, however, was as far as it could possibly be from the terminal of our departure. Somehow, we missed the sign offering shuttle service. 

My friend and I slung our carry-on bags over our shoulders and carried our wives’ in our hands. Of course, when we finally arrived, our gate number was at the opposite end of where we entered. I heaved a sigh of relief when I was finally able to lay down the luggage. But no sooner had I than I heard, “We are now boarding for gate…” Lugging luggage isn’t any fun. 

Pentecost had happened. Thousands believed in Jesus as the Messiah. The disciples preached as Jesus had told them to do. Peter had healed a crippled beggar lying by one of the Temple gates. A crowd gathered to marvel. Peter saw his chance to invite the people to put down their luggage—the baggage of sin. 

Lugging around sin isn’t enjoyable. It’s heavier than any luggage I’ll ever carry. It causes my shoulders to ache, my feet to burn, and my hands to cringe. More than that, it infects my heart and ruins my relationship with a God who loves me very much. 

Peter invited the crowd to put down their luggage. All they had to do was turn from their sins and turn to God. Repentance is the theological term. Turning from one direction and going in another. The way to quit lugging around the luggage of sin hasn’t changed. 

Since God doesn’t like ugly, I have to quit being ugly. With God’s help, I can. Jesus bore my heavy luggage on the cross. When I give it to him and let him carry it, I don’t have to lug it around anymore.

Give your luggage to Christ. He’ll be glad to carry it for you.

Prayer: Father, thank You for allowing Christ to carry our sins away on the cross. 

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