Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cleaning the Slate - Martin Wiles

So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us. Ephesians 2:7 NLT

If something wasn’t done, he would be remembered as the son of a slick lawyer who helped a gangster during the Roaring Twenties.

Artful Eddie ran dog tracks for Al Capone. He ensured Capone would win by overfeeding seven of the dogs and then betting on the eighth. He had everything he could ever want, but one thing convinced him to turn himself and Capone in. He wanted his son to have a clean name—a choice that cost him his life. 

Though Artful Eddie never lived to see it, his son, Butch, was appointed to Annapolis, commissioned as a World War II navy pilot who once downed five bombers and saved hundreds of crew members’ lives, and honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor. And finally, an airport was named in his honor: Chicago O’Hare. When Butch O’Hare’s name is mentioned, people don’t think of him as the son of a gangster, but as a hero. 

Like Butch O’Hare, my name was tangled up with an unpleasant situation and had the potential to ruin me for life. I wasn’t the son of a gangster, but I was a creation of God who was entangled by sin. I may have been God’s son, but I was acting like the child of the devil. And if something didn’t change…if my slate wasn’t cleaned, my future would include a dishonorable name. Scarred with a lifetime of betting on the wrong things, hanging around with the wrong people, and delving in things that would be better left alone. 

Christ did for me what Artful Eddie did for his son. He squealed on sin and then defeated it on the cross. Like Artful Eddie, Jesus’ cleaning of the slate cost him his life. Satan delivered a death blow—but it wasn’t fatal. God raised his Son from the dead and in the process gave me the option to live with a clean name: saint. Now I can be remembered for my clean living and for the positive, godly impact I make in others’ lives and the world. 

When you’re gone, what will others remember you for?

Prayer: Father, enable us to live with a clean slate so the world will see You through us. 

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