TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, December 03, 2018:
Transgression of the divine law of God; falling short of God’s perfect standard; to commit an offense against God; a serious fault.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Many people today have a very nonchalant attitude about sin. In fact, very few non-believers have an understanding of what sin is. They have no concern or understanding that they are a sinner. This is because so many are living in what we call the “ME” generation. Everything is all about “me” and what me, myself and I want. This is the philosophy of do what makes you happy and it’s okay as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.
To these people there is no right or wrong. Whatever they feel is right is right and whatever they feel like doing is right. Therefore, in their minds there is no wrong so how can one be a sinner. Their rationale is that they are only doing what everyone else is doing. When this is their philosophy, they give little thought to there being eternal consequences to sin.
John the Baptist was God’s chosen messenger to announce the coming of Jesus to be the Savior of the world. John the Baptist saw the sinful hypocrisy of the people of his day including that of the religious leaders. He called on them to repent.
King Herod was fascinated by John the Baptist and liked to listen to him. John the Baptist was not afraid, as many believers are today, to call a sin by its name, no matter who the audience and no matter what he risked losing in the process. John was not afraid to speak God’s truth and publicly declared to Herod that it was a sin for him to divorce his wife and take his brother’s wife. Herod did not like hearing that and imprisoned John the Baptist and eventually John the Baptist was beheaded.
He died because he denounced immorality. Not just any immorality but sexual immorality. Most American Christians, a recent poll suggests would say, “it was none of his business and he should not have been so judgmental.”
But John the Baptist saw it differently. He viewed sin as something vile and toxic; something that harms not only the one who engages in it but also anyone who comes in contact with it. John believed that sin had to be identified when he saw it and then condemned and torn out by the roots.
John the Baptist was a man of extreme intolerance of sin. Jesus called John the greatest mortal man to ever live Matthew 11:11.
If you are honest and compare John’s attitude to how believers react today, you would have to call believers today spineless and gutless jelly fish.
Why do we say this? Recent polls in America tell us that over 80% of “Christians” and Churches see nothing wrong with same sex marriage, sexual immorality, premarital sex, cohabitation outside of marriage and even abortion. It would be one thing if a majority only struggled with these issues. The fact is that believers have yielded to pressure and that these things, listed above, are not sins and carry no consequences.
How do these “Christians” come to these conclusions? Are they just confused? Do they think that the Biblical teachings have somehow expired? Are they just ignorant? Ignorance does not explain it. The main culprit we believe is just plain cowardice. Cowardice is a disease affecting our churches as well as believers.
Believers today believe that they will receive “punishment” from friends and family if they speak out forcefully in defense of moral truth. Some think their friends will stop speaking to them. They feel they might lose their job. It will cause awkwardness in their family.
What do these concerns mean to you? God’s Word is clear and if you sacrifice the only eternal thing that God has promised you for things temporal and ultimately meaningless, is it worth it to you?
Many have allowed their faith in Jesus to be severed from normal life and the result is that many Christians have accepted a non-scriptural belief system. Satan is winning the battle in many churches.
There will be no resurgence of spiritual revival in America until there is a resurgence of courage among the faithful believers. As long as we continue to be cowards our faith will be gone.
When we became parents, it was quickly apparent our children did not have to be taught to do wrong. In addition, they had a natural inclination to use the same rationale the world uses today. They would often say, “I was only doing what everyone else was doing.” Every parent has heard those words of excuse and justification from their children.
What God calls sin is not understood by these people and whether they live in sin or not is irrelevant to them. These same people live for today only and have no thought about their future.
Unfortunately, for these people they do not understand that God sets the standards of right and wrong and not them. He has given His standards in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). To do wrong and break even just one of these commandments is sin against God. Everyone is a sinner and everyone must pay a penalty for their sin. The scripture is clear on this and the problem is that the people that are not concerned about sin do not believe the Bible is true.
We have no doubt that when the first man and woman sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, their relationship and fellowship with God was broken. Thus, began the suffering of man and woman and all mankind. From that point on, all of us will reap the wages of sin. We are all sinners with no exceptions.
The only hope for us as sinners in order to escape the wages of sin, which is death and eternal separation from God, is for each of us to accept by faith the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
We often get asked in an email the question, “What is sin?” Sin is going our own way, doing our own will and ignoring what God has commanded us to do.
There is a penalty that each one of us must pay for our sins; however, God in His mercy has provided a way for our sins to be forgiven if we will only ask Him to forgive us for our sins. Then by accepting Jesus as our Savior, because He is the One that paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross, we will have our sins forgiven and will spend an eternity with Him in heaven.
Sin is breaking God’s law. In I John 3:4 we read that whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Sin is unbelief in God, therefore calling Him a liar. In I John 5:10 we read that, “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe in God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.”
Sin is also falling short of God’s glory. In Romans 3:23 we read that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Sin causes human beings to fail in their most basic relationships. Sin is the reason we behave in ways that are destructive to ourselves and others. Sin is the ultimate addiction one can face in life. No matter how much we may want to be free of it, the destructive habit of sin is impossible for us to break in our own power because we were all born in sin as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve.
We will always be vulnerable to the temptation to sin. Satan knows this and knows our weaknesses. He looks for every opportunity to make us sin just as he did to Adam and Eve.
We have to pay a penalty for our sin which is to spend eternity in hell forever separated from God. But God has provided His Son who died on the cross to pay our penalty for our sin. All we need to do is ask God for forgiveness, then ask Jesus into our heart and we will be cleansed of our sins by the shed blood of Jesus and receive His gift of eternal life. It is up to you. Jesus is waiting for you. You alone can make the decision to accept or reject God’s gift of redemption for your sins.
Our memory verse for this week, Christmas month, is found in Luke 2:11.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Forgive me of my sins and help me to study Your Word so that I may know Your truth and be obedient to Your standards of righteousness.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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