Day 1 - Who’s Responsible?
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Genesis 3:1-13
One of the most exciting and beautiful things in the world is snow. Do you remem- ber when you were a child and the weatherman said it would snow during the night? You probably had no trouble bounding out of bed the next morning to see the freshly fallen snow. What’s truly remarkable is how the fresh snow covers up what is o en unsightly in our world.
I can only imagine what Adam and Eve wake up to a er their first day on earth. God had put Adam to sleep and when he wakes up he finds Eve, whom God has made from his rib. Can you only imagine how beautiful and pristine the world must have looked to them? There is no smog, no garbage, and most importantly, no sin.
We don’t know how long the earth was perfect without sin. But in Genesis 3, Satan tempts Eve and Eve tempts Adam, and when they yield, sin enters the world. Who is responsible??? When God later asks them about their sin, Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the Serpent. But who is really responsible???
I think you know the answer. James tells us we are responsible when we sin (James 1:13-14). While we may influence others and they may influence us, each of us is responsible when we sin. Will you accept responsibility for your life and your sins? If you don’t, no one else will.
Today I will...quit blaming others for my own shortcomings. I will take responsibil- ity. I will own up to my sin and seek my Savior for forgiveness!
Day 2 - Will I Be Touched by It?
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Romans 3:1-19
We enjoy special days. We love birthdays, Christmas, the 4th of July, and many oth- er days dedicated to something positive or meaningful to us. Then there is “World Cancer Day” in February. It’s a day we don’t plan family gatherings around. Instead, it’s a day to raise awareness of one of humanity’s enemies. According to the Ameri- can Cancer Society, 1 in 7 people around the world die of cancer. That doesn’t even come close to identifying the number of people who will be touched by it.
There is a man I know who goes to a poverty stricken area of Central America at least once a year to help the homeless. He says that each time he goes he returns home with “traveler’s sickness.” He explains that no matter how hard he tries he can’t avoid contacting germs.
That’s really how sin is. No matter how hard we try, we will be touched by it. Paul says, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). He says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
But here’s the problem. Sometimes we don’t recognize that sin has personally touched us. Jesus acknowledges this in Matthew 7 when He tells about a man who has a “log” in his eye trying to help someone who has a “speck” in his eye. When Paul writes the letter to the Romans, a similar problem exists. Many of the Jews recognize the sin of the Gentiles (Romans 1:18-32), but they don’t recognize their own sins (Romans 2:1-16).
The point is none of us is above sin. It touches all who have begun to understand right from wrong (James 4:17). And like cancer, without the right treatment it will kill us (Romans 6:23).
Today I will...examine my life and be honest with myself about my sins. I will admit if I have a “speck” or a “log” in my eye. I will seek Jesus and pray!
Day 3 - The Fantastic Feeling of Freedom
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Romans 6:1-18
Have you ever been locked up or tied up? If so, you know the value of freedom. I remember accidentally getting locked into a bathroom at church when I was a little boy. I thought no one would ever miss me and I’d die there. Then five minutes later, my parents found me. Yes, eight-year olds are a little dramatic!
Ironically, many people don’t go to church because they want to be “free.” They don’t go not because they fear getting locked into a bathroom, but because they do fear they’ll get locked into a life where they believe they aren’t free.
But like with most things, the Bible presents a di erent view of “freedom.” Actually, the Bible’s view of freedom is the complete opposite of the view of most people. The Bible actually teaches that a life of doing what one wants to do is a life of bond- age and only doing what God wants us to to do can set us free! Paul reminded the Roman Christians that sinners really aren’t free; they are in bondage (Romans 6:12). Only when we obey God and are baptized into Christ can we enjoy the new life, which is “freed from sin” (Romans 6:3-7).
If you’ve been baptized, remember the “freedom” you felt that day? If you’ve re- cently repented of a sin and prayed to God for forgiveness, isn’t that a wonderful feeling? But freedom is more than a feeling; it is a blessing to be enjoyed from God. Don’t let sin take away that blessing!
Today I will...thank God for my freedom from sin! If I have sins I need to repent of, I’ll be honest, inspect my life, and seek God’s forgiveness through His Son’s blood.
Day 4 - David Is Confronted with His Sin
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 2 Samuel 12:1-7a; Psalm 51:1-17
It’s inevitable! Someone that you admire will fall. It won’t be a graceful, admirable fall. It will be ugly, loud, and disgraceful. You won’t believe it. You’ll say you never thought it was possible. You’ll even find out that all those years while you thought “Brother ______” or “Sister _____” was so godly, that they had actually been faking it.
But then, if we are all honest, we realize we’ve done it too. Maybe our sin was not as public, but, if we are being honest, it was just as pathetic.
The question is not, “Will I sin?” The question is, “How will I respond to my sin?”
King David’s sin with Bathsheba and his attempt to cover it up must have been the “sin of the century” back in those days. How in the world could a “man a er God’s own heart” do what the Scriptures say he did?
But what’s more important is to realize how he responds to this sin. Psalm 51 is believed to be David’s response to his sin. First, David throws himself down at the merciful feet of God (vs. 1-2). He acknowledges his sin and realizes its gravity (vs. 3-4). He seeks forgiveness from God (vs. 7-9). He prays for a renewed heart and hope (vs. 10-17).
Today I will...be more “shocked” at my own sins than the sins of others. I’ll follow David’s example to be forgiven and renewed!
Day 5 - How Bad Is Sin?
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 27:31-46
One of the most consistent things about human beings is our inconsistencies. It shows up regularly, but never more than when we evaluate “sin.” Have you ever noticed how your sins don’t seem quite as bad and repulsive as the sins of others?
Jesus tells a story to help us see how silly this inconsistency really is (Matthew 7:1- 5). Unfortunately, we may know that story better than one that occurs later in Matthew 27, the crucifixion.
To know the purpose of Christ’s crucifixion is to know how bad sin really is. But there is a specific point when Jesus is hanging on the cross that illustrates just how ugly our sins are to God. It’s when Jesus cries out the words, “Eli, Eli, lema sabach- thani?” Matthew tells us these words meant, “My God, My God, why have You for- saken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
2 Corinthians 5:21 says that God made Jesus “to be sin who knew no sin.” Many translations add “for us” which implies that God put our sins on Jesus when He went to the cross. Think about this. When Jesus cried out to God, He felt forsaken at the time He most needed His Father. Is it because God couldn’t stand the su ering? Possibly. But it seems it might have been because God couldn’t stand the sin! That sin is my sin and your sin. That’s how bad sin really is!
Today I will...try to understand the seriousness of my sin. The next time I’m tempt- ed to brush my sin aside, I’ll recall that it is my sin that caused Jesus to feel forsaken by the Father as He was crucified!