I’d like to begin with a statement concerning a problem we all face today, whether we all want to admit it or not! When I use the phrase “we all” I’m referring to the entire human race, which includes you, if you’re reading this, and myself. There is a problem so fundamental that it’s at the root of all the other problems we are now facing. My beloved, our human predicament is simply called sin. You see, we’re all born sinners. If you doubt my words:
(1) Pick up any newspaper and read about killings,
(2) Children being kidnapped and abused,
(3) Prominent leaders convicted of bribery, fraud, and perjury,
(4) School shootings,
(5) Husbands and wives cheating on one another,
(6) Stealing, lying and dishonoring parents.
The great theologian Augustine said, “That the beginning of knowledge is to know oneself to be a sinner”. Maybe you’re thinking that you are beyond God’s forgiveness because of your sin? Maybe you’re thinking that you’ve really blown it with your life and you can’t shake the feeling that God won’t forgive you! If this is true of you, the place for you to go is to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
The church where the great American businessman Samuel Colgate was a member was holding evangelistic meetings for a week. At one of the meetings a prostitute came forward and confessed her sins. She wept openly, asking God to save her soul. She also asked if she might join the church. The preacher hesitated to call for a motion on her request to join the church, and for a few moments the silence was oppressive. Finally, a member in the back of the sanctuary stood up and suggested that action on her request be postponed. At that point Mr. Colgate arose and said with a note of sarcasm, “I guess we blundered when we prayed that the Lord would save sinners.
We forgot to specify what kind of sinner. We’d better ask Him to forgive us for this oversight. The Holy Spirit has touched this woman and made her truly repentant, but apparently the Lord doesn’t understand she isn’t the type we want Him to rescue.” Many individuals in the sanctuary were convicted. They had been guilty of judging, like the Pharisee in the temple who exclaimed self-righteously, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men … extortioners, unjust, adulterers” (Luke 18:11). A motion was made and the woman was unanimously received in the membership of the church.
While writing this devotional my thoughts was of Rahab and recorded for us in the book of Joshua, which speaks of God’s love for sinners. Even in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees considered themselves to be righteous, and they hated publicans and prostitutes, regarding them as sinners to be avoided at all cost. Such “righteous” people have no need of Jesus. But Jesus came as a friend of sinners. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. The truth, according to God’s eternal Word … we are all publicans and prostitutes, for we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Only in Jesus Christ can we become truly righteous and children of the heavenly Father.
My beloved, Joshua tells the story of God’s love for wicked sinners as seen in the life of Rahab the city prostitute. To be saved all sinners must go to the cross of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul understood the significance of the cross. He had done many things in which he might have found personal satisfaction and pride (2 Corinthians 11:16-12:13). However, in his letter to the Galatians he wrote, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). As we understand what Jesus did for us on the cross, we too will be humbled.
Our feeble efforts are nothing; His work is everything! The Scriptures tell us that the shed blood of Christ at the Cross of Calvary is the only way to remove our sins, for it is written “… without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”.
No gift is more needed by a dying world than a living Savior.