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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Truth About Sin

JEAN SAID:

Lord, I'm plowing my way through the book of Romans (in the Bible). For me it's like cutting into brick-hard clay & finding clumps of rich, black soil turning over with each row. Romans is about Your righteousness & the power of salvation to radically change my life. But it's difficult for me to understand. I want to reach into the overturned earth and crumble it between my fingers. But it takes back-breaking work, sweat, & tears to find the richness that is buried under the surface of big words & complicated sentences.

This much I understand so far from Romans: I am a sinner. You gave the Law of the Old Testament to show me - to hit me in the face with - the truth that I cannot achieve righteousness on my own. It comes only through Your Son, Jesus.

Until a year or so ago I thought that everyone in our Western culture understood what sin is. I thought that people in our Judeo-Christian society basically knew the difference between right & wrong. Even though we often choose to do wrong or choose not to do right, I was convinced that the huge majority of us basically know the difference & know when we are doing wrong.

Now, I'm not so sure of that, Lord. More & more people I encounter really do not know how You & Your Word define what is right & what is wrong. The people living & working & dying around me are trying to figure out the best way they can what is right & what is wrong through their own intellects & spirits. That's a terrible responsibility to assume. You didn't design or equip us to figure out for ourselves how to be good, moral people. Or how to define wrong behavior by our own intellect or our own spirituality.

Lord, without reading & knowing & exploring Your Word we're helplessly floundering in the sea of social behavior. Thank You that Your Word gives us a reference point. Your Word draws a line & says, "On this side is right. On that side is wrong." But we have to do some heavy plowing to find that line.

Lord, help me - little ole me - to unearth Your Word & Your truth & expose it to the people living & working & dying around me. Help me to preserve Your Word in my own heart, then sow it all around me so that You can make it grow.

GOD SAID:

When every person does what is right in his or her own eyes the world becomes a crazy, confusing place without a solid foundation. A foundation of truth. My Word is truth.