Each of us can remember a time when we failed to do something we said we would do. And then, somewhere along the way, our good intentions got sidetracked.
Sin isn’t a popular word. Most people think of sin as doing something really bad, like murder, assault, or robbery. But the word “sin” has the idea of missing the mark, not hitting the target.
The idea is that God has set a glorious standard and when we fail to live by it, we sin. We say, do, and think things that are contrary to God's standard, and the problem is that no matter how much we try and achieve change by ourselves, we just can't succeed.
The Bible teaches that our nature is imprisoned to sin. We miss the mark because we choose creation over the Creator. We look to succeed by our own strength, yet we never shake our own selfish sin. No matter what our education, religious heritage, ethnicity, or financial status, we cannot overcome the power of sin by ourselves. This is a problem.
Even though it’s difficult, even though the person being confronted may not respond as we hope, and even though we may be misunderstood, we must, nevertheless, do the right thing—in the right way”at the right time.
Realizing the beast of greed within all of us, Jesus chose not to ignore it but to expose it and to warn against its ravenous appetite. Every genuine disciple of Jesus Christ must come to terms with the question: Which master will I serve?
How can salvation from the power of sin become a reality? Being “saved by grace apart from works” is one thing, but being able to walk by grace…that’s quite another. How can we now live victoriously? What must take place in order for us to live free from sin’s control?
It’s true that the Bible is filled with thou shalts and thou shalt nots, which serve as a sort of preventative checkup. But it’s also a book of “hints” rather than commands, kind of like when our mothers tell us when us when we have a cold to get plenty of rest and to eat your chicken noodle soup.
Instead of obeying the clear warnings of their Creator, Adam and Eve deliberately and willfully chose to rebel. And we’ve been living with the consequences ever since—humanity is mentally confused, emotionally afraid, and spiritually dead. However, the good news is God didn’t abandon us in our rebellion. In mercy and grace He provided the way out of our self-made mess through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The ravages of war and the consequences of disaster are usually beyond belief or description. Few are those who can capture the tragic scene in words. Jeremiah was one of the few. His brief, biting journal of what he saw and felt following the fall of his beloved nation is contained in this short book.