How Great the Sin?

Job 13:23
How many are mine iniquities and sins?
 
Have you ever really weighed and considered how great the sin of God’s people is? Think how heinous is your own transgression, and you will find that not only does a sin here and there tower up like an alp, but that your iniquities are heaped upon each other, as in the old fable of the giants who piled Pelian upon Ossa, mountain upon mountain. What an aggregate of sin there is in the life of one of the most sanctified of God’s children! Attempt to multiply this, the sin of one only, by the multitude of the redeemed, “a number which no man can number,” and you will have some conception of the great mass of the guilt of the people for whom Jesus shed His blood. But we arrive at a more adequate idea of the magnitude of sin by the greatness of the remedy provided. It is the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only and well-beloved Son. God’s Son! Angels cast their crowns before Him! All the choral symphonies of heaven surround His glorious throne. “God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.” And yet He takes upon Himself the form of a servant, and is scourged and pierced, bruised and torn, and at last slain; since nothing but the blood of the incarnate Son of God could make atonement for our offences. No human mind can adequately estimate the infinite value of the divine sacrifice, for great as is the sin of God’s people, the atonement which takes it away is immeasurably greater. Therefore, the believer, even when sin rolls like a black flood, and the remembrance of the past is bitter, can yet stand before the blazing throne of the great and holy God, and cry, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea rather, that hath risen again.” While the recollection of his sin fills him with shame and sorrow, he at the same time makes it a foil to show the brightness of mercy-guilt is the dark night in which the fair star of divine love shines with serene splendour.


Formula for Personal Growth

James 1:22

Growing in Christ involves far more than just attending church, tithing, and listening to a sermon. In fact, many believers do these yet remain stagnant in their walk. There are two elements necessary for us to become more like Jesus: instruction and involvement.

The first of these, learning truth, is vital to a healthy walk with God. Our Savior proved the importance of instruction by devoting much of His time on earth to it. The apostle Paul is another example, as he wrote letters to educate Christians about godliness.

So how can we gain knowledge and understanding? One of the most important and effective ways is to read the Word of God. Scripture instructs us that just as newborns crave milk, we are to desire His Word so that we might grow. I pray your spiritual thirst will become insatiable.

Yet simply listening to the truth does not mean that we’ve acquired it. I know many people who love attending Bible studies and expanding their knowledge base, but their lives remain unchanged. Just as today’s passage teaches, we have to apply the Word to our lives. Even so, actual growth requires more than merely inputting information. It requires action. James 2:26 states, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”

Are we careless hearers, deceived into thinking that we’re growing? Or are we listening intently and abiding in the truth? If we’re truly maturing, our lives will be increasingly Christlike, and our desires will align more closely with God’s heart. Make sure that you are listening and responding to His truth.



Leaving a Lasting Impact

Matthew 5:13-16

On this Independence Day, consider the question, How do you use the gift of freedom? God gives all believers true liberty through His Son Jesus Christ. Do you squander that blessing or share it with others? The problem is, some people are so focused on their own needs and desires that they fail to impact even their closest neighbor.

Think about the people you see every week. Do you know how many of your neighbors are sick? Are there people in your church who struggle to make it from day to day? Do you know if any of your coworkers are going through hardships? Most likely, there are individuals all around you who could use assistance. But being self-focused limits our ability to notice those people, let alone reach out to them.

Jesus taught His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13). In order for salt to remain useful, it must maintain its purity and potency. Likewise, we must endeavor to lead holy, humble, and loving lives, focusingon the Savior’s will rather than our own.

God has prepared the good works that we are to walk in (Eph. 2:10). Our job is to choose to do so.

Whether or not we affect our world positively depends on the focus of our heart. Do you look inward to consider how you can do more to get ahead and add to your lot in life? Or do you look outward and think about ways that you can do more to serve others?



Love is Blind and..

by Heather Tietz

And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

Love is blind, so the saying goes. I would add, new love, is blind, deaf and can’t smell as well. Anyone who’s newly “in love” knows the truth behind these words. That new baby, with gorilla hair and bright eyes, that perfect first crush, that adorable pet, they are unlike anything the world has seen! Though others are quietly bothered by diaper smells, flirty eyes, or urine scented carpet, you just don’t “see.” Your lovestruck nose, ears, and eyes no longer function as everyone else’s.

Love covers a multitude of sins. All love, not just new love, but old love does too. Mature love though recognizes sin, yet is gracious. It kindly confronts. It’s eager to help and heal. It forgives. It prays. It encourages change. It supports the weak spirit under the corrupting body because it recognizes that it too is imperfect.

Do you have the love for your fellow Christians? Can you love them in spite of their sins?