Monday, December 19, 2016

Greater Than

December 19, 2016

One of the signs of a healthy adult personality is the ability to recognize one's shortcomings and failures for what they are, instead of blaming someone or something else and inventing excuses for our often less than stellar behavior. Unless we are sociopathic, we all have been brought up short at one time or another, caught in behavior that doesn't befit a child of God. It would be bad enough if it only happened once or twice, but we humans have a seemingly endless ability to fall into sin.

Over the years, I've had plenty of conversations with people who were distraught because of guilt they carried. That Christ had forgiven sins committed prior to their coming to faith they could believe, but their daily struggles and failures somehow in their minds didn't fall within the confines of God's grace.

This morning's scripture speaks to this. Speaking of our human frailty, the Psalmist says of us, "though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for The Lord upholds his hand." And Micah nails it when he challenges his enemy, "Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication" (7:8-9).

I love Micah's confidence. He doesn't say, "IF I fall," but "WHEN I fall," but adds, I shall rise," I think with the emphasis on the 'shall.' He acknowledges his sins; he doesn't prevaricate or minimize whatever it is he had done, but trusts that God is for him, not against him; that the God against whom he had sinned was the very One who will bring him into the light and vindicate him. Can you imagine that? The very one he had violated was the One who would come to his aid. Scripture has a wonderful way of meeting us at our point of need. The Enemy of our souls has no ground on which to rejoice over us, for The LORD our God is also our Redeemer, Savior,  and Forgiver, not only for sins committed in ignorance before our salvation, but also for those since then committed in weakness. In less than a week we will celebrate the birth of our Savior, God's gift of love to us. I am grateful tonight for that grace that as the song goes, "is greater than all our sin."

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