Monday, March 6, 2017
Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 3-4; Psalm 36; Mark 13
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 36:1-2
1 An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.
(Ps 36:1-2 NIV)
In this psalm David says he has something in his heart that just has to be said about wicked people: In their conceit they do not even recognize their own sinfulness, and do not fear any punishment from God.
This psalm of David speaks directly today to much of American society. Reverence for God, or even belief in His existence, has waned greatly over the course of my lifetime. People have always had sinful tendencies—there has always been wickedness in the world. But the
United States of America,
while never being exempt from the conduct of evil, has mostly been overtly
good. We the people of the United
States of America have generally been known
as a Christian nation; our people have mostly been identified as exemplifying
godly Christian values. Sadly, those values seem to be fading away with greater
acceleration each year. Behavior and ideology once clearly identifiable as
wicked is today not merely tolerated, but encouraged, celebrated and promoted
as good and desirable.
One of the greatest ploys of the enemy of human souls is to bring us to the place of not recognizing our sin. Further than that, if Satan can get you believe that sin is not sin at all, but something good that has been withheld from you, all the better. There is no need to repent of a sin one does not even recognize as sin. Even better yet, if it is God—or a belief in God—that has kept that “forbidden fruit” from you, get rid of Him!; and the trap door is slammed shut! Blinded by your own conceit you become livestock for Satan to feed upon.
Thus, the challenge is greater that ever to lead people to recognize and accept their real need of relationship with God through Christ Jesus.
Almighty God, as the task of making disciples becomes increasingly difficult and persecution against those who still have the audacity identity themselves as Christians escalates, grant us supernatural courage, wisdom, resolve and love to effect change once again toward You. Through Christ. Amen. -AP