Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Today’s Scripture Focus: “Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:” (Amos 7:7–8).
We are focusing on sin recovery principle number five of 12: “We confessed to God, and when necessary, to people we have offended, the exact nature of our offenses.”
Is your life plumb with the Word of God?
I admit that this is an unusual question. Unless you are a tradesperson, the odds are that you have not even used the word plumb lately, mush less, in this context. But it’s a valid question nonetheless.
As my wife and I prepared for sleep last night, she asked me whether I was sure I had confessed all my sins. It was clear to me that she was working through the process of confession in her mind and how we know whether our sin record is clear from day to day. I told her that I have developed a habit (more so recently) of talking to God all throughout the day about our relationship and my sins. There are times that God reveals when I have sinned, and I talk to Him about it immediately. There are other times that I am wondering if there is some nuance in what I said or did that may have crossed the line. I don’t leave that up to chance because I want to live in harmony with Him at all times. This should be the desire of all believers, but I am particularly sensitive because I am a servant leader who has been entrusted with the responsibility of helping others stay connected to God. There are emergencies and crises of faith that come about suddenly, and it would be a shame if my unrepentance got in the way of helping someone through their crisis. We need to live as ready at all times to be of service to those who want a connection with God but are struggling to have it.
Imagine making an emergency services call because your house is on fire; your father is having a heart attack, or armed assailants are staging a break-in at your home. What if the line were busy? What if the dispatcher did pick up an asked you to call back in 15 minutes so she could see if any paramedics, police officers, or fire fighters were awake and their vehicles are gassed up? How would that make you feel? What if one of those whose job it was to be ready in case of emergency said that they needed to read a 30-page manual and get back to you? What would be the outcome?
The truth is that so many of us are not prepared for emergencies. What if we died suddenly and had no time for deathbed confessions? What if a friend needs prayer because they are being oppressed by evil angels as in Mark chapter five and literally destroying them? What if a loved one is headed down the wrong path and they need someone to intercede for them every day until they come to their spiritual senses? If we choose to continue to sin without remorse and let time pass before we confess our sins to God and accept His power to live according to His holy principles, the consequences are dire.
You may wonder how we are to know when and how to confess our sins. By what measure do we determine our next move? What is the plumb line or tool to measure how straight our lives are? Here are a few verses for your consideration: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4). “All unrighteousness is sin…” (1 John 5:17a). Here’s one more: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 1:8–2:4).
The principle standard of righteousness is God’s commandments. The Ten Commandments reveal right and wrong for those who are willing to see. In fact, the Bible says, “…I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” (Romans 7:7b). We do not need to grope around in darkness wondering when we have done right or wrong. We have the blessed Holy Spirit who brings sin and righteousness awareness to our minds according to the Bible plumb line (John 16:1-13). He also provides the power we need to do God’s will.
I ask again: Is your life plumb with the Word of God? If not, now is the time to accept God’s invitation to live in harmony with Him. Do not let another moment pass before you do. There is far too much at stake.