As I read various devotional materials, I am always looking for that encouraging message to aid a middle-aged “young man,” who finds himself in jail. My own spiritual life has been enriched as I search through the purpose-driven author’s wise counsel and deep spiritual truths taken from the Word of God. Paying a visit to the young man in jail, twice now, has been a privilege even though I live several states away. My visits are met with some unexpectedly encouraging interactions. This last visit generated a refreshing, joy-filled 15 minutes as I sat and listened through the video monitor how a group of inmates are studying David Jeremiah’s book on James. Not only studying it, but they are putting it into practice by choosing their words carefully in speaking to one another. The book of James has one of the most vivid chapters relating the pitfalls of the tongue. As the young man pointed out there is often some hard-hearted individuals around. He recounted a story that his locker had been broken into and some items stolen. Since he knew who had pilfered from him, he approached the thief and let him know he knew and that he would be praying for him. That takes courage! It certainly doesn’t manifest itself apart from the working of the Holy Spirit. I love how the Lord works in a believer’s life whether our sin was premeditated or accidental as He lovingly pursues us, bringing conviction, and ultimately correction. Because He is Holy and loves us so much, there are ALWAYS consequences to our choices.
The grand delusion of every act of sin is that we can be disloyal to God and everything will work out in the end, says Paul David Tripp.
There are moments when we are tempted to give in to the delusional logic of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (see Genesis 3). In the mundane moments of our daily lives, we buy into the fallacy that we can step over God’s loving and wise moral boundaries without consequences. In myriad little moments, we’re morally disloyal to the One who is our wisdom, righteousness, and hope. And what’s important about this is that the character of a life isn’t set in three or four big moments of life, but in ten thousand little, virtually unnoticed moments. These acts of disloyalty expose the war that still rages for the rulership of our hearts and the depth of our ongoing need for rescuing and forgiving grace. Isn’t it good to know that that grace is ours in Christ Jesus?*
As I marvel at the power of the Word and how every Word will be accomplished, I pray for this young man who just happens to be my nephew. If you would be so led, say a prayer for him today!
What loving and wise moral boundaries are you sidestepping today?
*Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional