Satan’s Jewel Crown, Spring, Sin & The Cross
With diamonds and jewels profound
Well, I'd rather know that I had salvation
Than to know my reward
Would be Satan's jewel crown
I've worn it so long but God for my
Soul has reached down
His love set me free
He made me his own, and helped me cast off
Satan's jewel crown
~Edgar L. Edens~
Recalibrate & Refocus
Spring is once again bursting out of the straitjacket of winter. Buds are appearing on trees. There’s freshness in the air as patches of green spread across the countryside.
Songbirds gather to greet each morning. Sunny days are welcomed by cheers. March Madness is in full bloom and bracketology is liturgy for those in the grips of hoops mania. These annual wonders occur during Lent, a season of soul-searching on the path toward Easter.
In the instantaneous gratification world of the 21st century, the whole idea of an inner spiritual journey may as well be presented in the verbiage of Klingon or some other make-believe language. It’s a foreign concept that we have no time or energy for on the whirlybird merry-go-round of our fast-paced lives.
There are always expectations or obligations staking claims on our attention. However, scheduling intervals for serious self-examination is a good thing because we have an enormous capacity for misguided or wishful thinking.
Making the effort to recalibrate our frame of mind is an extremely healthy choice—building those refocusing moments into the routine rhythms of life is how we stay emotionally balanced and spiritually renewed.
The ancients knew this, as do we, but then and now, denial often keeps us self-satisfied. We con ourselves into purchasing the age-old canard that we are self-sufficient and self-contained. We forget exactly who we are—we reject or gloss over our deeply flawed disposition and basest inclinations.
The reality of life on planet earth is too exacting, too depressing, and too blatantly difficult to weave into the happy scenarios we desire to shape around us. So we construct fictions that placate us. We fabricate the falsehood that we are personally incapable of the vilest examples of humanity’s depravity seen in daily headlines. We pretend there is no Enemy of our souls whose only purpose is to steal and kill and destroy everything good and honorable.
Sin & Sinners
Whether intentional or not, the songwriter Edgar L. Edens hit upon a universal truth. In Satan’s Crown Jewel, he penned lyrics indicative of the human condition: We are in desperate need of God’s love to reach down and help us cast off Satan’s Crown Jewel.
The Apostle Paul, elevated to sainthood in some circles, completely understood the desperation because of the blackhearted makeup of humanity: “Here’s a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worse. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”
We need to regularly, continually be reminded of who we are—to be human means that we are impaired by our sin nature. More often than not, we don’t want to admit or discuss it.
The concept of sin is so vexing that academia ties itself into knots of convoluted reasoning attempting to explain it away. In postmodern brilliance we engage in an ever-shifting sands definition of sin. We call sin anything except sin.
We train ourselves to blame sin and its consequences on everything and everyone rather than take responsibility for our actions, attitudes, and spiritual condition. Fact is, we each reflect the tragedy of Lady Macbeth. We endeavor to disguise our dementia, while cursing as we wring our hands and cry: “Out damned spot! Out, I say.”
Sin is ugly and disfiguring, which disturbs us, so we pretty it up a bit. We refer to sin as a bad habit while making excuses for our failings. We designate sin entertainment or recreation, and then indulge our passions.
We christen sin a culturally acceptable norm, only to be enslaved by the idols of consumerism, convenience, and celebrity. We dub sin a chronic social dilemma, then attempt to fix it with good works or by throwing money at it. We label sin behavioral adjustment problems and convince ourselves we can rehabilitate it with therapy and psychobabble.
James, a first-century leader of the church in Jerusalem, stipulated a rather broad characterization of sin that ought to be thoroughly contemplated: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
By that standard no one is exempt, which is the point—we are all sinners in urgent need of a Savior. If that awareness would be fully embraced, we might truly comprehend the frailties and weaknesses of our common humanity, and in doing so, become consistent grace-givers.
Oh, the life that I live so sinful and needless. Drinkin' and runnin' around. All the things that I do for the love of the devil. I know my reward will be Satan's jewel crown
Satan's jewel crown, I've worn it so long. But God for my soul has reached down. His love set me free. He made me his own, and helped me cast off Satan's jewel crown ~Edgar L. Edens~
In the same manner that we must constantly be reminded of who we are, we also need to repeatedly pound into our consciousness who God is—it needs to become an integral, automatic viewpoint.
God is the One who is intimately familiar with the deepest secrets buried beneath musty piles of self-deception in the darkest closets of our hearts. Even so, his response is never mean-spirited condemnation. Instead, while we are still breathing, he never stops extending love that is from everlasting to everlasting.
Neither our sin nature, nor its multitude of manifestations is new information to God—none of it takes him by surprise. On the contrary: God regarded the hopelessness of our helpless situation and provided a supernatural remedy. Despite our seemingly enlightened prescriptions, the treatment for sin and its incapacitating effect on us is really quite straightforward. It is the treasure hidden in plain sight that we have trampled beneath our feet with careless abandon.
The Cross that was silhouetted at Golgotha on a day that came to be known as Good Friday is the eternal solution to sin. Christ’s sacrificial death on that Cross gives us the opportunity for salvation, but since our arrogance knows no boundaries, we don’t want to hear about the Cross. We’d rather be deluded by intellectual heavyweights who proclaim that we can educate or legislate our way out of this mess, thank you very much.
We repudiate the Cross at our peril for it embodies God’s redemptive plan for humanity. It’s the centerpiece of the gospel and at the core of grace. It is our Creator’s expression of neverending love for us.
To experience his free gift of forgiveness, God requires repentance, which is where the stumbling block of pride comes into prominence: We cannot mask our nature. Genuine repentance means that we actually have to acknowledge our sinfulness, which we do not wish to do, so we go to extraordinary lengths to remove, replace, or diminish the Cross.
The Cross exists because of sin. Many regard the Cross as religious superstition that is far too simplistic. Philosophers endeavor to rationalize it away; theologians debate its meaning or try to reduce it to the lowest common denominator; social engineers sanitize its horror to make it palatable; politicians wrap it around themselves like a pliable cloak; false prophets twist and pervert it.
Nevertheless, by God’s grand design, the good news of the Cross is immutable. Nothing about the Cross has ever changed. It is considered “foolishness” to our world, but its reconciling and healing power remains undiminished “for the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”
The rebirth of spring aside, it’s easy to see that there’s a fractured quality across the landscape of life—broken homes populated by broken people. Sin is the culprit; sin is the sledgehammer that has shattered the bones of our soul to give us an internal limp that mars our outlook and relationships.
Only the Cross of Christ can rescue us from being Satan’s Crown Jewel. When we are redeemed, our perspective is transformed. Then, we ought to relentlessly press on encased in the optimism of springtime because the tender mercies of God are new every morning.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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