January 2
One Long Search for God
For reading & meditation: Mark 7:8-23
"For from within, out of mens hearts, come evil thoughts ..." (v. 21)

We need to be reminded that there is in life a dark and terrible problem - the problem of evil. Herbert Spencer in Natural Law in the Spiritual World defines physical life as "inward correspondence with outward environment." When we take in food, air and water, we live. When we don't, we die. There must be a response to our environment. But there is also a spiritual environment to which we must respond, and when we are in correspondence with God we live spiritually. The facts of life fairly faced proclaim with heart-breaking obviousness that human beings are out of touch with their spiritual environment. To be out of touch with God means, inevitably, that we will be out of touch with ourselves and with others. But the history of humanity is, as one historian put it, "one long search for God." We stand beside our altars, we breathe our prayers, we make our vows, we repeat our ceremonies, we crave with inexpressible yearnings of the inmost heart, we long for fellowship with God. Yet something dark, dreadful, and sinister stands between us and God. We realize God is pure, and because we are conscious of our impurity we hardly dare ask for fellowship with Him. We are separated and guilty. The object of all religions is to bring those who long for fellowship with God into correspondence with Him. But how is that achieved? Christianity says it can be done only through the cross. Other religions point to other ways, and claim their way is as valid as the Christian way. But God says the cross is the only way.
O God my Father, what way could You have dealt with my sins except through the cross? My sins needed something more than disinfecting; they needed incinerating. In the flames of Calvary that is what happened. Now I am free. And how! Amen.
For further study:
1. What did men change God for?
2. What was the result?