The Way In, Out, Through And Down

   Dad used to say, “The way in is the way out, the way out is the way through, the way through is the way down, and the way down is the way up.” Sometimes I still struggle with this riddle.
   With every passing day, life presents problems and difficulties to deal with. Sometimes we choose not to deal with them… perhaps they are too difficult, stressful, painful, or perhaps there are other things more ‘important’, or we just don’t want to be bothered. Usually we just hope the problem will go away and solve itself. Unfortunately problems are not solved this way.
    Mankind has a sin problem… it will not go away by itself. You cannot get rid of it by doing good or keeping the ten commandments… or being a good moral person. You cannot “balance the books” with God. Let’s look at the ‘riddle’…
   “The way in is the way out.” Since “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12), and as Paul said, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23), it remains that there is only one way out… the way is “in” Jesus.
   “The way out is the way through.” Sin is like a trap, when you are caught, that’s it. Sin opens the doors to guilt, fear, shame, depression, anger, bitterness and a myriad of other life destroying things. Trying to escape your own sins is like a dog trying to run from its fleas… it just won’t work. You can run from one end of the earth to the other… sin goes right along with you. The only way “out” of sin is “through” Jesus.  He once said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man can come to the Father but by (“through”) me” (John 14:6). It really is all about Jesus… His life, His work, His cross, His blood, His love, to receive His promises…
   “The way through is the way down.” You can’t come to Jesus with a boat-load of pride and selfishness. Give it up! Peter told Jesus when He was about to wash his feet, “No way Lord!” Jesus said, “If you don’t let me do this… you’re out!” Humility came quickly to Peter’s heart (John 13). Pride prohibits surrender to Jesus. Humility opens the heart to Jesus. Getting down is hard but being forced down is harder.
   “The way down is (truly) the way up.” Often times you get knocked down, and don’t want to get up. A reporter asked Muhammad Ali what he was thinking when he was knocked down by Joe Frazier. Ali said, “I was thinking about getting up!” James says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).  It must have been strange for the champ to be knocked down… For us, I guess we get used to it, and loose the desire to fight on. Friends, this is one fight you cannot afford to loose… and even though you may not be able to fight… the good news is we all have a “Champion” in our corner… His name is Jesus!

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