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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
May
22

Setting Fire To My Future

Jon Burgess

Scripture

19Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.20For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. 21But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:19-22

Observation

Like a plumb line that reveals the beam on the house is crooked so too does the law reveal every one of us crooked apart from The Cross of Jesus Christ. The longer we are saved the easier it is toforget what Christ has done. The longer we are saved the more we tend to paint a softer hue on our past sin. Paul makes it clear that we are all condemned to death by our sin. Apart from Christ, we would be eternally crushed by the weight of the 10 commandments. We love our excuses. We love to excuse away our guilt before God. We tend to paint God as a giant Santa Clause who will "ho, ho, ho" away while ignoring our sin. That is not the God we serve. If not for the Blood of Christ the guilt of every horrible thing we've ever said, every destructive deed we've ever done, every wicked thought we've ever had would be upon our heads. That's something we could never repay or recover from.

Application

I came across an article yesterday that describes in vivid detail what would happen if the law was all we had to live by. An Oregon judge ruled Monday that a 15-year-old Washington state boy must pay nearly $37 million for starting a major wildfire in the scenic Columbia River Gorge this past September. The teen admitted to sparking the blaze when he threw two fireworks in Eagle Creek Canyon on Sept. 2. The fire caused evacuations, an extended shutdown of a major interstate highway and devastation to a major outdoor tourist attraction. The boy pleaded guilty in February to reckless burning of public and private property and other charges. Judge Olson sentenced him to 1,920 hours of community service and five years of probation, and the boy had to write more than 150 letters of apology to those affected by the fire that burned 75 square miles. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area attracts more than 3 million tourists a year and holds North America's largest concentration of waterfalls. The fast-moving blaze ravaged popular hiking trails and marred stunning vistas. I tried to picture the crushing blow this was to a 15-year-old boy who saw his future go up in flames because of five-second decision to throw some fireworks into a canyon. Those five seconds of foolishness would now define his the rest of his life. This is exactly what would define my life if Jesus had not taken my sin and served my sentence and paid my debt for the many places I have broken the law.



Prayer

My future would be up in flames if not for your Forgiveness Lord. The crushing weight of a debt I could not pay would be my lot in life if not for Your sacrifice. I could write a million apology letters and never come close to repairing the damage of my sin to the beautiful lives of those around me. Thank You for the law that reminds of the need for Your sacrificial love. Forgive me for the excuses or places where I have softened the impact of sin. To downplay sin is to downplay Your sacrifice on my behalf. Thank You Jesus for restoring all that my sin has destroyed.


Devotions for May 22

1 Kings 8
2 Chronicles 5
Psalms 99
Romans 3

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