Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sin kills -- Devotion from Mike MacIntosh

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

Years ago, I remember being involved in a situation where a guy with a gun was trying to kill himself.  His wife was right next to me, and I was trying to talk him out of it.  It was an ugly scene.  When the gun went off, I held his wife in my arms.  Her husband was dead.

I didn't sleep for 9 weeks after that.  I didn't want to be a minister, and I didn't ever want to preach or teach again. 

One day sometime after the incident, I started running down by the beach for about 3 miles, and when I got to the cliffs where there was nobody, I unleashed and started screaming.  "Why God, why?!  I can't take it!"  I was grieving.  My heart was in deep mourning, not just because I'd witnessed a tragic loss of life, but because in one horrifying moment, the Lord had rattled my world and shown me first-hand that sin kills.

We've all mourned during times of painful loss.  When a loved one dies, we mourn.  When we are faced with tragedy, we mourn.  But there is an even deeper kind of mourning -- a mourning not over physical or emotional losses, but over sin and spiritual depravity.  When Jesus says in Matthew 5:4 that those who mourn are "blessed," and that they will be comforted, He is talking about those who are mourning over sin -- who grieve over their loss of innocence, righteousness, self-respect, virtue, and ethics.  Blessed are those who mourn over their own distance from God.  Literally, "happy" are those who are unhappy with the sin in their lives, and in the lives of those around them.

King David mourned the sins of the people when he said, "Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law" (Psalm 119:136).  That's the king.  That's the guy sitting on top.  You see, if there aren't people mourning over sin, then God can't work in a city, or change a church, or strengthen a household.

We tend to think we always have tomorrow.  But our life is very short.  It is "even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).  You only get one chance at life.  Maybe you've wasted time in your life, living for the wrong things, your eyes focused on yourself instead of God.  Maybe you are distant from God.  Today, Jesus promises comfort to those who mourn the condition of their own soul.  Cry out to Him, and take Him at His word.

New King James Version ®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version ® is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.

This devotional message is provided by Horizon Christian Fellowship.
© 2009 Mike MacIntosh. All Rights Reserved.

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