Monday, August 19, 2013


BACK IN THE DARK AGES OF PERSONAL COMPUTING our choices of monitor capability were pretty limited. You could get a black background and then a blinking cursor of white or green or orange. It was the day of monochromatic screens.  Then wonder of wonder, miracles of miracles a new day arrived when our computers could produce 64 different shades of gray. Wow!  How could things get any better? The answer to that question is not the point of this Shepherd’s Staff.

The focal point of my writing today is sin. Of course, you already knew that because supposedly that’s what pastors write about, talk about, pray about, well you get the point.

It used to be that sin was a pretty black and white affair. You were either sinning or you weren’t, and for those of us born with a sin nature (that would include you and me) we are mostly sinning. In fact, before a person surrenders their life to the sovereign Lord and Savior, Jesus, we are only able to sin. As Isaiah the prophet writes, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we are all shriveled up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

Now, sin is not so black and white, like our computer monitors of the 1980’s we see our sin in 64 shades of gray. Yet we are called to remember that apart from Jesus,  all our works are sin. We can’t point the finger and say, “At least my sin is a lighter shade of gray than that other person’s.” Once again, God’s Word declares, “There is none righteous, not even one. There is none that understand God, there is none who seeks God. . . .(Romans 3:10ff) Doesn’t sound like much good news today, does it?

But take heart, even though our sins were (are) black as the deepest cavern, yet when we allow the Light of the World to shine into our lives, that darkest place becomes filled with His holy presence. Sin is atoned for, forgiveness is granted and life begins anew.   The Apostle John writes, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live in the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)

Do I hear an “Amen!?”  
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