Monday, May 7, 2012

Message from Jennifer Pellish, High School Teacher

Worship and the Expression of Guilt (from Today in the Word)

Although federal prosecutors had taped conversations that clearly implicated Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, in federal crimes, he continued to publicly deny his guilt: "I don’t believe there’s any cloud that hangs over me. I think there’s nothing but sunshine hanging over me."

Sin has a track record of self-deception. We can be made to feel guilty when we’ve done nothing wrong or believe ourselves innocent when we’re guilty. Feelings are no fail-safe guide for exposing sin; the Bible is our only reliable authority when it comes to probing our inner motivations and arbitrating our actions.

Leviticus offers a thorough look at what is and isn’t sin. In our passage today, we see that sin isn’t only a descriptor for the evil things we’ve done intentionally. Sin can also include unintentional acts. Guilt or innocence is not weighed on the scales of motivation. To mean to do right while inadvertently doing wrong is still sin. Sin is the transgression, or betrayal, of God’s holy standards, whether we’re conscious of those standards or not.

We betray God’s law not only by doing bad things (sins of commission) but also by neglecting to do good things (sins of omission). In Leviticus 5, we see someone who refused to publicly testify about a situation which he witnessed. He was guilty because of what he failed to do.

Because sin wields such power of self-deception, it is our inclination to justify ourselves before God. We make excuses for why our sin isn’t really that bad. But all of our well-reasoned arguments don’t exonerate us. The good news is that God is always providing a means for atonement. It’s His gracious desire to forgive and reconcile people to Himself.

Apply the Word

We need the light of Scripture to shine in our hearts even as we ask, "Search me, God, and know my heart; . . . See if there is any offensive way in me" (Psalm 139:23–24). Make this your prayer every evening when you lie down or every morning when you wake up. Accept any conviction from the Holy Spirit, and then accept His forgiveness when you confess.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on our blog.