The brown pelican is Louisiana’s state bird. Pelicans are known for their large bills. The lower mandible of the bill has a pouch that expands to hold a large quantity of fish. They scout for their fish by circling high over the ocean, diving headfirst into the water ,and with wide opened mouths, scoop up fish.

I read a story about a pelican with a crossed-bill. The upper mandible was pulled to the right and the lower mandible was pulled to the left. How this happened is unknown. Possibly it was a genetic defect. But possibly it was the result of diving into shallow water and smashing its beak into the ocean bottom. The result is a twisted bill.  If it happened that way, then this poor pelican must now live out its life with a permanent crossed-bill because of its reckless dive.

Our reckless actions in life are similar to the supposed reckless action of the pelican with a crossed-bill. What I mean is this. Our past sinful behavior and any present sinful behavior will always carry consequences. The severity and the longevity of those consequences depends on the severity of the sinful behavior. All of us carry scars of our unrighteous behaviors. Some scars are minor, and some scars are severe and affect us to our dying days.

Romans 5:8-9 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us … having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God, through Him.” God’s great love for humanity is demonstrated by sending  His Son to die for us while we were still sinners. And by His death we have been saved from the wrath of God because of Christ.

Although we carry the scars of our sins through life and often until death, we, who are in Christ have assurance there will be no eternal consequences for our reckless riotous lifestyle, if we are in Christ. Romans 8:1says,  “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So my friends, when you are tempted to sin, remember the crossed-bill pelican who all its life must deal with the consequences of a possible reckless dive. Someone once said, “One good reason for doing right today is to avoid the consequences of tomorrow.” God will and does forgive sin, but the consequences of those sins may last a lifetime.

A poet once said, “The bounty of God’s matchless grace is greater than our vilest deeds. Yet from the evil that we sow there may remain a crop of weeds.”  —- Tom