Devotion - October 2, 2014
Hymn of the Week
Jesus sinners does receive;
Oh, may all this saying ponder
Who in sin’s delusions live
And from God and heaven wander.
Here is hope for all who grieve—
Jesus sinners does receive.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – Hymn 304, verses 1 and 3)
There’s only one thing harder than confronting somebody else when they’ve done wrong. It’s accepting correction ourselves. We aren’t good at that at all. I worked at a construction job for several years, and I experienced this firsthand. It was always easier to try to hide a mistake than to own up to it. But when the job supervisor would discover it, even then the first go-to-reactions would be to deny it or to make an excuse for it. It was never easy to simply say, “I messed this up. I cut the board too short.”
Why is this so hard for us? There are two reasons. The first is our pride. We don’t like to admit that we’re wrong. If that’s true for even the minor mistakes we make, how much harder it is for us to own up to all the sins that we commit! Indeed, in our pride we may be living in sin’s delusion, unwilling to acknowledge sin for what it is. In our pride we may wander far from God and far from heaven.
The second reason why we have difficulty accepting correction is fear. We may be afraid to own up to our sin. We may wonder if God will forgive us. We’re afraid of the consequences.
In the hymn, “Jesus Sinners Does Receive,” these hang-ups are readily addressed and overcome. The title alone tells us that our fear is misplaced! Jesus sinners does receive! That includes you and me!
Since Jesus does receive sinners, you and I have a different attitude towards accepting correction. We will welcome it. We will rejoice that there are others who call us back when we stray so that we may not lose our way. If they do that for us, it is really a demonstration of their love for us. They love us enough to point us back to our Lord Jesus. Returning to him, we’ll discover how true it is that Jesus sinners does receive:
Sheep that from the fold did stray
Are not by the Lord forsaken;
Weary souls who lost their way
Are by Christ, the shepherd taken
In his arms that they may live—
Jesus sinners does receive!
Lord Jesus, you joyfully receive sinners. Overcome our pride and fear. Give us hearts that willingly acknowledge and confess sins, turning to you for forgiveness. Amen.
From September through December 2014, the Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday are based on the Word of God expressed in a Christian Hymn selected each week. All devotions in this series are located here.
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