What I read today;

2 Peter 3 & 1 John 1; John 18-19; Micah 5-6; Proverbs 16; Ecclesiastes 6; Deuteronomy 19

When we were kids, my Dad always told us that if we told him the truth, our punishment would not be as severe as if we lied to him.  I’m a Dad, I’ve been a youth leader, and today I have to supervise people, and I have to tell you that I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than having a person stand in front of you and tell you a bald-faced lie.  That breach of trust is so hard to take that the relationship between you and that person will take a long time to overcome.  You simply can’t trust them after that. In the back of your mind, you wonder if that person is telling you the truth or not.

It’s worse when you think a person is a friend of yours, or you’ve done a lot to help that person, and now you find out that what they told you to your face, wasn’t what they were saying behind your back.

While that is bad, it’s even worse when we are lying to ourselves.  When we convince ourselves that we are holy and sinless when, in fact, we are not.

That’s what John is telling us in 1 John 1 vs. 5-10:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

I become nervous when I hear people say things like, “I’m not doing anything wrong.”  The problem today is that we have become so self-absorbed that we don’t take time to look inside ourselves.  When Jesus gave the sermon on the mount, it wasn’t to provide us with a rulebook to follow.  It was to provide us with a mirror to look into our own souls.  It was to point out the fact that we are, indeed, sinful and unclean.  Jesus was telling us that we were not able to take part in our own salvation.  When you hear someone say that they are, “A Good Person,” that’s code for I want to make my own rules up.

God sits in heaven and shakes his head.  Even after Jesus clearly came to save each one of us through his work on the cross, we still want to establish our own righteousness.  We still don’t get it. We stare in the mirror and lie to ourselves.

The older I get, the more I come to realize my need for a savior.  The more I come to understand that I am a sinner in need of Jesus grace and love.  Maybe it’s growth, or perhaps it’s just life beating me up.  Either way, the words of 1 John come back to me telling me that since God knows who I am, I should make peace with who I am also.  I should understand by now, that I am not one who can stand before a holy God, without Jesus standing there next to me.  That’s the message of 1 John chapter 1.

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