Daily Devotional for Saturday October 5, 2013
(Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:9)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, in the Gospels, Jesus taught that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus also told a rich man to give all his wealth to the poor in order to become a Christian. Isn't it hard for Christians to be so strict in applying biblical condemnations of homosexuality and other issues while Jesus' very explicit teachings about wealth are not only not interpreted literally but are discounted almost entirely?
ANSWER: First, your reasoning is way off, since NOTHING the Bible teaches about wealth is "discounted" in any way. It IS harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom since those with financial resources tend to depend upon themselves and not the Lord. Like many, you don't understand his meeting with the "rich young ruler," since in His omniscience he knew that young man put his wealth AHEAD of his relationship with the Lord. THAT is why He told him to go sell everything, and for no other reason. What God states in 100's of passages from the OT thru the NT about those who CHOOSE to commit the sin of homosexuality is clearly a sin, just like the Biblical teachings about ALL sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
Today's Devotional is a powerful word about something we all do every day, fail God. Even though it is the goal of every follower of Christ to live our lives perfectly as He did, the Bible tells us that we all sin and fall short of God's glory. It also says that if we say we don't sin we are a liar. So accepting the fact that we all fail God at times, I want to focus today on how we respond when we fail. Listen to me closely, you will never be able to live this life victoriously until you learn the proper response when you fail God.
The most important thing you can do when you fail is to accept responsibility for your actions. We are masters at blaming others when we fail. As I share with you often, man has not really changed since the Garden of Eden. When Adam failed, he blamed Eve. When Eve was confronted with her failure by God, she blamed the serpent. Admitting you were wrong, accepting responsibility for what you did is the most important thing you can do when you fail. When you take responsibility for your failure, you become sorry for letting God down and go to Him with a broken and contrite heart asking for forgiveness.
None of us are immune from sin. That is why God gives us His special promise in 1 John 1:9. It tells us if we will confess our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We must trust His Word, know He has forgiven us, and move on to fulfill our purpose of serving and glorifying God with our lives. You see, we are no good to God when we allow our sin to strangle us, to paralyze us. The enemy loves to use our sin against us, to hold it over our head. But the Bible says that when God forgives us, He not only forgives, but forgets. If God forgets, then we need to as well so that we can move forward and live victorious, productive lives for the Kingdom.
Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that satan is a liar, that he is the father of lies. When he speaks, he speaks his native language, LYING. One of the lies of the enemy is to use your sin against you, to tell you that you are no good. He will tell you that you are not worthy of God's love and grace. Let me share this with you, on our own we are not worthy, but because of Christ WE BECOME WORTHY! You see, when you know Christ as your Savior it is not your righteousness that God sees, but it is the righteousness of Christ.
We try our best each day to live like Jesus. We are all faced with the temptations of this world. We are all faced with the traps the enemy lays for us. From time to time we ALL fall into sin. How we respond to our sin is critical. Running from God is a natural response, but the wrong one. We quit reading the Word, quit praying, quit going to church, which makes us an even bigger target for the enemy. Instead, we must run TO God, accept responsibility for our actions and have the guts to say, "I sinned."
I love you and care about you so much. The point I want you to understand today is not if we sin, but when we sin, what our response must be. I will pray for you today that when you fail, you will accept responsibility for your sins and ask God for forgiveness, stand on His precious promise in 1 John 1:9 and move forward with your life. God has much for you to do. He has a great plan for your life. Let me assure you today that He loves you. Whatever you may have done doesn't change that. Our failure DOES NOT change God's love for us!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,