New for Old

Woohoo! I just got a new Digital Video Camera delivered today! For months now my old video camera has been broken. It's just been sat on the shelf gathering dust because I haven't known what to do with it. I looked on the 'net for advice with the particular problem I had, but the prognosis was very bad. Then, about a month ago I emailed JVC directly to see if there was anything I could do. They put me in contact with an official UK dealer. He also said my camera's problem was going to be very costly to fix, but there was an alternative. Basically, I send him my old busted camera and he sends me a nice shiny new (reconditioned) camera as a "Service Exchange." Fantastic! For less than the price to fix my old camera, I get an even better and newer model. To top it all, my dad (the proud grandparent back in Edinburgh who wants lots of footage of his grandchild) has offered to foot the whole bill! How could I refuse an exchange like that? Now I have it, I'm wondering why I didn't do this months ago.

It reminds me of an even greater exchange I once accepted....

You see, humanity is broken. You don't have to watch the news for long to realise this is true. We like to pretend that it's just the minority, but the truth is that the divide between good and evil does not run along any partisan lines - be they geographic, cultural, or religious - but right through the middle of every human heart. As the song goes "There is good and bad, in everyone." It's not just the murderers, thugs and suicide bombers who have this problem - we all do. We like to pretend this is not so, that we are better. We make colourful excuses for our own actions, while seeing others in black and white. But right and wrong is not subjective, there is an absolute standard - God's standard. It's a standard we have all failed to meet. The "bad" within us that separates us from God is what the Bible calls "Sin". What's more this problem has a very bad prognosis. There is nothing we can do to repair our condition ourselves, and the price to fix us is very high indeed - more than we could ever pay.

That's the bad news, but the good news is that there is an alternative. God offers us a great exchange. We give him our busted old life, and he gives us a brand new life not only free from the problem of sin, but full of his wonderful power. To top it all, he has already paid the price in full. The standard we could never reach, Jesus reached for us, and the price we could never pay, he paid for us. He died on the cross to take our punishment, and rose again to give us new life

How do we accept such an offer? Well first we need to recognise our condition. If we don't know we have a problem we can't accept a solution. Next we need to do something about it. Knowing my camera was broken on its own did not help me, I had to do something about it. We need to go direct to the person who can help - God. Then we need faith. I had to take a step of faith to get my camera fixed. I had to send off my camera (broken, but still valuable) without seeing what I was going to get in return. Then I had to give my credit card details, again without having seen anything. Having confidence is what we have not yet seen is what the Bible calls "Faith". To accept our solution from God, we need to have confidence that he exists (obviously) and that he wants to help us. The rest is simple - acknowledge your problem before God, and surrender your life to him. Ask him to forgive your sin, and to give you his new life and power to enable you to live the way he indented. Then tell someone! "If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9) Once you have this new life you'll wonder why you did not do this years ago!

If you want to know more, please email me: chris (dot) hhodges (at) lineone (dot) net

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