Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Big Sins, Little Sins

I grew up in a Christian home. Don't misunderstand me, I am truly grateful that I had a father and a mother who loved God and Jesus dearly. They devoted their lives to service in the kingdom. My father was a minister for many years until he received an advanced degree in English. After that, he spent another lifetime teaching in Christian schools. Then, preaching never left his blood. In the summers and on the weekends, he preached often for small, rural churches.

It was not part of my life to rebel, take drugs, drink until I was drunk or any other type of "terrible" sins. I just grew up knowing that Jesus was my Redeemer and that He died for me on a cross and rose from the grave so that I might have a new life.

But the question is, "What kind of new life?". I marveled as I grew up at speakers who told of their life before they came to know Jesus. They were horrible, cursing and swearing and doing all the "bad" things. It was almost like a badge of honor. They seemed to boast of their incursions into the world. It made me feel so....well, like I never did anything wrong. I'm not saying I've been perfect all my life. (Or even now, for that matter!) But when we sing, "Years I spent in vanity and pride; caring not my Lord was crucified....", I can't really join in.

When I, however, examine my life, I realize my sins have been great. Oh, I can't tell of finding myself in a drunken stupor only to find myself pulled up from the depths into a new light. No, I can only tell you of my doubts. Is God real or am I living this life in vain? Do I preach because I desire the accolades of those who hear me or because I want to hold up Jesus? Do people see the jealously in my life when things go their way and they have "things" that I don't have? I can only tell you of the arrogance I have felt when I felt I was better than others.

Now, define for me a big sin and a little sin. My only plea is "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." As the writer of the old gospel hymn said, "Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling." There is nothing special about me. I'm fortunate to have had the advantages I've had. But I've had to come to my own faith and the journey has not always been easy. My prayer is that I continue to seek His face. Paul said, "All have sinned and fall short of God's glory." All. That's pretty inclusive and the result is still the same. I need Jesus to forgive those sins.

So let's be honest with God. Let us invite Him into our hearts for a daily audit. Allow Him to enter as He pleases and let's not try to hide anything from Him. It's useless to do so anyway.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in my, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:24

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