Tag Archives: Sin

One Nation Under God

July 23, 2014

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Did our country's greatness come from God?

Did our country’s greatness come from God?

Doing what is right makes a nation great,
but sin will bring disgrace to any people. – Proverbs 14:34 NCV

I wrote about this verse a few years ago when some extraordinary things were happening here and around the world. The things that were happening then seem pale by comparison to some of the events today. What will another few years bring?

This country was founded as a country that recognizes the God of the Bible and her founding documents refer to Him numerous times. If we continue to allow “separation of church and state” to mean that God is not allowed in our government, I’m afraid He will go ahead and leave.

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Cover Ups

July 1, 2014

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Hiding from God didn't work for Adam and it doesn't work for us.

Hiding from God didn’t work for Adam and it doesn’t work for us.

How much time needs to pass before an unforgiven sin no longer counts against us? Is that even possible? The Proverbs writer answers for us:

If you hide your sins, you will not succeed.
If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy – Proverbs 28:13 NCV

Sins can’t be hidden and they don’t expire when we just ignore them. What are the ways we hide and “forget” our sins?

  • We deny them
  • We extenuate them
  • We diminish them
  • We dissemble them
  • We blame others for them

Sometimes we get good enough to quit thinking about them at all. Look at what David wrote when he was hiding from a sin:

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah. – Psalms 32:3-4

People by nature “groan” when they are in the wrong – when they need to be forgiven. This is for our own good!

because …

people are by nature sinful.

God hears the repentant Christian’s call for forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) He wants us to lean on him, not hide from him. However, hiding our sin leaves us in a dangerous state (1 John 1:10)

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Sly Grins

May 29, 2014

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...and the one who grins is planning something wrong...

…and the one who grins is planning something wrong…

Someone who winks is planning evil, and the one who grins is planning something wrong. – Proverbs 16:30 NCV

I once heard a story – I don’t know if it was an anecdote or a real event – about the employee that brought his boss information he had stolen from a competitor. He was fired because, as the boss said, “If you will do this for me, you will do it to me.”

Christ saw this problem in his people and had a solution (Matthew 13:15). He planned his ministry around helping the heart be more sensitive to sin.

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How Doing Nothing Can Be Sinful

March 11, 2014

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Ecce Homo - 1871 - Antonio Ciseri (1821–1891)

Ecce Homo – 1871 – Antonio Ciseri (1821–1891)

It is hard to avoid feeling compassion for Pilate. (Mark 15:1-15)

In some respects, he tried to do the right thing. He knew Jesus was innocent. He attempted a few things to get the Jews to release him. He took the time to talk to Jesus personally. He even discussed it briefly with his wife.

But where it counts, he failed miserably. He might even be representative of weak people in general.

  • He was the leader – Nothing could really stop Pilate from declaring Jesus innocent and setting him free
  • He was free to not grant the mob’s wishes – Just because a mob demanded it did not mean he had to rule in such a way. He even had the military strength at his disposal to break up the crowd
  • He had the legal system as reinforcement – Even if his personality was too weak to stand up to the Jews, Pilate knew there was no legal reason to execute Jesus.

Once Pilate washed his hands of Jesus’ fate, he contributed as much to Jesus’ death as the Jews’ illegal trials or the person that drove the nails.

“Washing our hands” of something we know to be wrong is usually as bad as assisting in the sin. We often know someone close to us is sinning, but we say nothing.

It is difficult to rock the boat.

It is difficult to go against the crowd.

It is easy to hope it “just works out.”

Washing our hands of something we can influence – just hoping it will work out – is as good of a strategy as waiting for something different to happen without making a change. It is our duty as the “salt of the earth” to be an influence for Christ.

What did Jesus say about salt that has lost its ability to influence the taste of food?

It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. – Matthew 5:13

Sometimes we have to be strong enough to face the crowd to set things straight.

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When We Deny Christ

February 11, 2014

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The Denial of Peter - ca 1610 - Caravaggio (1573–1610)

The Denial of Peter – ca 1610 – Caravaggio (1573–1610)

What if we were to lump a decision not to act on behalf of Christ, into the same category as Peter denying Christ? (Matthew 26:69-75)

When we hear others make disparaging remarks about our Lord, isn’t failing to defend him the same as agreeing?

When consciously we do something sinful, isn’t that like turning our backs on him?

What if the Lord were to turn and look at you every time you deny him like he did to Peter that day? (Luke 22:61)

How would that feel?

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