This content is part of a series.
NOTE: This sermon is part 9 and 10 of a 40 part devotional series. Two sermons outlines are included in this download.
Ninth Day (9 of 40)
Series: Lenten Devotion
‘‘I know all about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me.’’ Psalm 51:3-4
Sin. We are not very comfortable dealing with questions of sin. Well, our own sin, anyway. We are much more comfortable dealing with the sin of some unidentifiable mass of people without names or those whose actions have personally offended us.
We can easily decry an unknown, unidentifiable mass who systematically kill unborn babies. We can decry the destruction of the family and the way divorce has damaged so many lives. We can paint sin out most any way we choose, especially when we are removed from the individuals struggling with hard choices. When we identify the face of a friend or family member in crisis, issues suddenly take on a different hue. When hard choices come down to my life, my situation, and my family, circumstances suddenly look vastly different from mass murder, escalating divorce rates, and corporate greed. We weigh issues differently when we are personally involved.
Tenth Day (10 of 40)
Series: Lenten Devotion
‘‘You know the commandment which says, ‘Be faithful in marriage.’ But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts. If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to end up in hell.’’ Matthew 5:27-28
We would much rather compare ourselves to the standards of the society around us than the standards of Christ Jesus. It is much easier to compare our failings with the worst examples we can find around us. Jesus just does not allow for that kind of evaluation.
We like to grade sin. We have our scales for things like genocide, murder, abortion, homosexuality, adultery, pre-marital sex, pornography, slavery, racism, intolerance, theft, greed, and degrading others. There is some validity to the scale in that there is greater harm from some actions than from others. Perhaps we should say there is more direct or visible harm from some than others. Maybe that is the real problem with our grading scale.