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November 21

Psalm 51:3-4; Romans 6:23

3 For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against You—You alone—I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight. So You are right when You pass sentence; You are blameless when You judge. — Psalm 51:3-4 

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 6:23 

Gone to Meddling

by Tony H. Nunn
Brentwood Campus

An old favorite story is about the preacher in a country church who was giving a rousing sermon about sin. An elderly woman in the back pew gave him a big amen when he railed against gambling! Another amen when he spoke against smoking! Yet another amen when he preached against lying! But when he addressed the ills of drinking alcohol, she didn’t say a word. When asked why she didn’t amen against alcohol, she said he had “quit preaching and gone to meddling.”

As this devotion is being written, our country is in the middle of a Supreme Court hearing. There are two stories of what happened, and they are in total opposition. At this moment, none of us knows for sure which person is telling the truth—but God does. We need to realize these sins (and all sins) are more than hurtful to just those involved. They also hurt God. In Psalms 51:4, David says, “Against you—you alone—have I sinned.”

It’s a struggle to understand how sin could be against God alone when so many people are hurt and even killed by the evils of sin. The accused speaks of how his reputation and his family have been hurt, and the accuser has told of how her life was altered and harmed. So how is this against God alone?

Well, I don’t know the answer, but here’s what I think. God created each of us, and we each have a choice when it comes to sin. When we sin, first of all it’s a sin against the perfect will of God. God intends nothing but good for each one of us. If we listen to Him and obey, then we will not sin.

Therefore, when we do anything out of God’s will, it is a sin against Him. As God’s creation, we belong to Him, and when someone harms us, they are harming God. My grandchildren are a part of me, and when they are harmed, I also have been harmed.

Every sin we commit is against God, but it also has unintended consequences, or in the worse cases, intended consequences. Those consequences impact our fellow humans, what in war is often called “collateral damage.” I would love to hear your understanding of that verse. You can let me know at nunnth@gmail.com

Here’s the best part: “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). In spite of all the sins we commit against Him and Him alone, God still loves us and has grace on us because of the perfect, obedient life and death of Jesus. Thanks be to God that He is “meddling” in our lives!

Praxis

  1. Have you accepted God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ?
  2. If so, what is your story about when and how that happened?
  3. Here’s an outline for your story: A) My life before; B) How I became a Christian; C) My life since.
November
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