Links Daily Devotional

Blessed Exposure

The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. (Lamentations 2:14, NIV)

I am always amazed when successful Tour players speak of their need to improve. Even the best in the world are looking to get better. In fact, we may speculate that what makes a player truly great is a healthy dissatisfaction based on an honest look at oneself.

Believe me, I’ve seen the inverse as well—a rather mediocre player dreaming dreams of grandeur because he’s sure that if he can beat everyone at Podunk Muni, he must be ready for the big time. Uh, sorry pal.

One of the least comfortable themes of Scripture is that we will get nowhere in relation to our salvation until we fess up about our sin. Maria McKee once sang, “You gotta sin to get saved.” That’s true. But more than that, you must see your sin as sin to be saved. If you don’t, you’ll never call on Jesus.

In the little Old Testament book of Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah points to the captive condition of the Jewish people, the majority of whom had been driven to Babylon, while a few remained in and around impoverished Jerusalem. They had all been placed under God’s discipline for their love for idols and their disregard for his glory.

But when it comes to aiming the finger of blame at the source of their problem, Jeremiah points to the prophets before him. These were men afraid of calling sin sin. For whatever reason—cowardice, appeasement, self-preservation—they had let the demands of God’s Law sit over here and allowed God’s people to play as they would over there. They simply refused to realign the Jewish people to the will of God by being the true oracles of God they should have been.

It was not easy then and it is not easy now to face our sin. We are impure, self-focused people most of the time, even when we know God has better for us, even when we say we follow him. What we need in the midst of this are brave voices, true Christian leaders who “expose our sin to ward off our captivity.” You see, the only way to be released from sin’s besetting grip is to recognize its sinfulness, to admit that it is an affront to God. Then salvation can come, the washing of the Savior unto holiness rather than sin.

The adulterous woman of John 8 was dragged to Jesus by unmerciful accusers. But even in their heartlessness, they had pushed the woman to the brink we all must face: the reality of our sin. From there, Jesus can restore us, cleanse us, and charge us to sin no more. From there we may, like this woman, make a life of living freely and fully for Jesus.

Jeff Hopper

November 19, 2012

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