Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

A Good Non-Stick Frying Pan

Today we went to Bed Bath and Beyond shopping for a wedding present. I must confess after being involved with a hundred or more weddings through the years I am not very good at picking out good presents.  I saw what I thought was a great bathroom scale. Nope, not according to my wife.  Next I saw a nice light-weight floor sweeper.  Nope, not according to my wife.  I tried one more time when I spotted one of those “as seen on TV” tough-grade 12 inch ceramic red copper plated frying pan that defies scratches and is non-stick.  It even has a stay-cool handle.  I scored.  It’s a beauty.
It reminds me of us.  Since we made Jesus the Lord of our lives we also are non-stick.  Guilt and shame just slide off because according to I John 1, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   Please don’t miss the words “cleanse” and “all.”  Now this does not mean we can go around deliberately sinning and harming others and ourselves.   That would be stupid because sinning is poisonous.  Sin is harmful and leaves scars on our psyche.  This is where we are different from the frying pan.  It is non-scratch.  Even though Jesus forgives us the scratches remain.  But, I do have more good news.  According to Paul in I Corinthians 15 a day is coming when this mortal puts on immortality and this corruption puts on incorruption.  The scratches are removed.  Christians should be the most psychologically healthy people in the world.  We are provided with so much security and hope.
I should have started this with a spoiler alert.  The groom often reads these devotionals and now he will know what we are giving him.

We Are Better Than We Are

Monday’s New Yorker Cartoon features a man walking with five Fitbits on each arm.  He says to the woman walking with him, “People pay me to put steps on their Fitbits.”  Just as we cannot exercise for another we cannot diet for another.  We cannot learn for another nor sleep for another.  There were days when I wished another could and would take chemotherapy for me. However, there are some things we can do for another. We can pay another’s debts.  We can drive another’s car.  The list is infinite.
My favorite “what someone can do for another” is found in Romans 5:7-8.  “Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”
How about that!  Isn’t that the best ever?  Just as the man in the cartoon put steps on another’s Fitbit so Jesus puts righteousness on and in our characters.  That makes us better than we are.  I realize that statement borders on nonsense. But, the truth is it works.  We are in God’s eyes as perfect as Jesus is perfect the moment we accept the gift of God’s grace.  That makes us better than we are.  However, we will not be content to remain as we are.  The quest for righteousness begins.  We are justified by His grace and by His power we are sanctified as we grow into His likeness.  This is a mystery – the mystery of righteousness.  How is it that God could take someones like us and make us perfect?  I don’t know, but I will not argue about it.  It is just too wonderful.
Oh, by the way.  I put ten thousand steps on my Fitbit today.

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