• Devotional

    The Cure for ‘Acceptable’ Sins

     Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at a host of so-called “acceptable,” or even “respectable” sins, and we’ve seen that, much to our fallen nature’s dismay, there is nothing acceptable about them at all. All sin is sin against a pure and holy God. All sin separates us from our God. All sin is an abomination before God. We’ve also seen that not one of us is exempt from committing these sins. We are all guilty, even those who have been graciously saved and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. That reality—our sinfulness—is what brings us to the cure for these not-so-acceptable sins. For while we were still…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Pride

    We are proud of our children, proud of our friends, proud of our homes, proud of…ourselves. We are proud of our accomplishments, proud of how we have averted disaster, proud of our successes. We are a proud people. Yet even as Christians we often forget that every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17). What has come to us, whether joyful or trying, has been handpicked and hand designed by God. While it may not be sinful to feel satisfaction in performing good works (Galatians 6:4), there is a pride that God hates (Proverbs 8:13). God hates anyone or anything that would set self above Him in order…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Worldliness

    Most Christians understand that worldliness is not something we are called to as children of the living God. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4) …You shall be holy as I am holy. (1 Peter 1:15) After all, we cannot be living a life of holiness if we are celebrating the sins of the world. This is why there is such a strong outcry from the church today on grievous social issues like abortion. Yet, is this the extent of worldliness? Does it stop…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Selfishness

    One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28–31) “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” For a group of fallen sinners, this is not an easy commandment to keep.…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Anger

    You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13) Well, that’s easy enough. After all, it’s one thing to be angry, annoyed, or irritated by someone, but it would have to be a really depraved person who would actually murder another human being. You and I, in all of our sinfulness, just wouldn’t dream of doing that, would we? This commandment is a simple one for most Christians to keep. Isn’t it? You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Worry

     Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6) Christians know they are not to worry and that anxiety should not overwhelm or consume them. After all, God is sovereign; that is why we make our requests known to Him! And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) Indeed, God, in His faithfulness, offers peace, comfort, and even joy in the midst of even our most trying circumstances. So it is simple, isn’t it? Just trust God, pray a few prayers, and everything…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Envy

     We have all had our moments of being “green with envy.” Whether we desired that fun, new purse our friend carried to church, or the latest smart phone or tablet; whether we grumbled over our coworker receiving a promotion instead of us, or silently griped over our friend who always seems to have more free time, or a cleaner house, or a less stressful life than we do, we have all been on the wrong side of envy. And that’s okay…isn’t it? I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Impatience

    The clock’s ticking…we’re waiting! Impatience. It is unbecoming in the tamest of circumstances, but, when allowed to fester as an ongoing pattern of life, it can take a far more dangerous turn. A spirit of impatience in daily life is ultimately a spirit of impatience demonstrated toward God, His timing, and His sovereign purposes. If we are honest, we come to realize that our impatience is a result of our desire to be in control of our circumstances. If we are even more honest, we admit that, at times, our impatience can lead not only to a lack of trust, but to unfounded irritability and even anger. Annoyed that the…

  • Devotional

    Acceptable Sins Not Excepted: Gossip

    In his sinfulness, man cannot help but defame others. It is intrinsic in his fallen nature. His pride, self-love, and disregard for God, God’s law, and his fellow man all result in a mindset of self-preservation that is often exercised through defamation and slander. Defamation and slander. These are two words that make most men shudder, for no one wants to be on the receiving end of such activity. But what about gossip? That isn’t quite as bad, is it? Gossip is one of those “acceptable” sins or, as it has been called, a “respectable” sin, that tends to be viewed less seriously then others. After all, such talk is…