Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lost, then Found

(The following appeared in the Greene County Dailies on Thursday, where I know am officially a devotional columnist--providing an "inspirational" thought for the week.  I'll post them here for those who don't get those newspapers.)

An old preacher once said that for the lost sheep to be found, he has to get lost first.  He meant that we will not seek God’s mercy and grace until we realize just how much we need it.  Our experience of God’s goodness will not be awakened and grow until we first discover how little we deserve it.
One hindrance to that awakening is a loss of the concept of sin.  When I do wrong, I prefer to think of it as a mistake, often due to inability or lack of knowledge.  I don’t want to see any moral ramifications of my actions.  But there is such a thing as sin—the violation of God’s moral law, summarized in the ten commandments and applied to our attitudes as well as actions by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
What comfort does that bring—to say I don’t just make mistakes, but that I sin against God in action and thought?  Simply this—it is only for those who are (by their own admission) sinners that Christ died. You can’t be found by him until you know you’re lost! Fortunately, “I once was lost, but now am found!”