Ancient Words For Today - 87

One sure way to understand God's ways and learn the paths He would have us to walk on is to read the Word of God regularly and meditate upon the instruction that God has given us in the Bible. Then we need to incorporate God's precepts into our manner of living. God has made clear to us the attitudes and actions He detests, which are called sins, and the contrasting godly values and behaviors He cherishes and desires to be evident in our lives.

To sin means to miss the mark or fall short of the required standard. This term comes from a competitive game of olden times where archers would, in turn, aim at a distant target. If they hit the target, they were allowed to continue to the next round of the competition. But if they missed the mark (the prescribed target), they were called sinners, and were immediately eliminated from the competition.

We miss the mark spiritually, and are accounted by God to be sinners, when we fail to keep the commandments God has given us. Jesus is the mark, the standard of perfection, that we are to aim for. Jesus kept all of God's commandments perfectly, always. If we fail in just one instance to keep God's commandments, we become guilty before God. James, the brother of Jesus and a leader in the early church, instructed as follows; If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:8-10

All Christians have missed the mark and are sinners, saved by God's grace - there are no exceptions. In fact, we are born with a fallen nature that is in rebellion against God's laws, and by nature we instinctively do that which is contrary to God's perfect standards. Consider back when you were a child and your parents set rules that you were to obey. Did you ever break those rules? And when you were caught, did you try to make an excuse or even lie that you didn't do it or blame someone else? Children don't need to be taught to do what is wrong - they do so quite naturally all by themselves!

No one has kept God's commandments perfectly, but Christians have received God's grace and forgiveness when we responded to the Gospel by receiving Jesus Christ, God's perfect Son, as our Savior and Lord. Having been saved and received God's gift of eternal life, our response to God's grace should be to walk in the ways that are pleasing to Him. We can do this by keeping His commandments, loving the things He loves and forsaking the things He hates. God is a Holy God and hates all sins. His children should also hate sin and remove all vestiges of it from our lives. We cannot do this alone, but God will help us to do so. God has commanded us to be holy, for He is Holy. Here is how Peter put it:

Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears. Behave like obedient children. Donít let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be. Always live as Godís holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. Thatís why the Scriptures say, "I am the holy God, and you must be holy too. 1Peter 1:13-16

Rejoice in the Lord always - for He loves you, has chosen you, redeemed you, and sanctified you (set you apart for His service and purposes). As His beloved children we will spend eternity in his presence! Aren't those great reasons to be HAPPY and Rejoice!!!!!

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