Saturday Sermon: God loves us unconditionally
July 22, 2011 at 2:22 a.m.
By Charles Placker
The light turned yellow as I entered the turn lane, and I stopped. Tires screeched behind me, and I saw the pickup driver yelling at me. He wanted me to run the light, so he could run it behind me. Every morning, I see about six people run through red lights. It's against the law, and the law is there for a reason.
Laws are not meant for punishment; they're for safety. Light cameras and policemen are meant to protect us from harm. They aren't revenue builders for the city. When we get caught breaking the laws, we're subject to punishment. We don't like punishment, so we try to justify our wrongs rather than correct them. That's human nature.
God has given us rules and laws for living a moral life. To break God's rules is called sin. Our present society doesn't like the word "sin," anymore than traffic violators like red light cameras. Human nature sounds better than sin nature, doesn't it. We all have broken God's laws, and it separates us from God.
More people are accepting cultural changes no matter how wrong they are. We say, "It's just the way of the times," or "Everybody's doing it." Culture should never dictate right and wrong. We should love graciously, but at the same time, never accept sin as a norm. Culture should never replace God as our moral rule-maker.
In today's life, we don't feel the weight of sins like King David did. We rationalize and try to justify our wrongs. We make mistakes and mess up. Instead of sin, we say, "Nobody's perfect." We actually shrug off responsibility for sin against a perfect God. We accept things that used to bother us, because we have become too familiar with them. Familiarity makes us numb to sin around us.
David knew he couldn't change on his own, so he drew on God's grace and love in order that he might change. God's grace is the biggest difference of Christianity and other world religions. "Create in me a pure heart, O God. Forgive me O God, because of your mercy."
David drew on God's grace, and so can we. Don't carry secret sin around in your heart. God loves us and is always willing to forgive a truly repentant heart. Ask Him, and he will pour out His grace and forgiveness on you.
Thanks be to God for his unconditional acceptance of sinners like you and me.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2)
Charles Placker is a licensed minister who writes for the Victoria Advocate.