“Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:8-10 HCSB
Sin is an awful thing. It is saying “no” when God says “yes.” It alienates a person from God. It is the source of all rebellion toward God. It is at the heart of all self-centeredness. Sin is so bad that it always ultimately leads to death. And the really bad news is…we are all born into this world with a sin nature. We are born guilty, as charged. We will all die because of it.
We are in trouble. Sin should be taken seriously. It is not just an inconvenience to be tolerated. It is not just a bump in the road that needs to be carefully maneuvered around or over. It is not merely a stain that needs to be removed. Our sin is repulsive to God, separates us from God, and will be judged severely.
Jesus came to this earth knowing of our terminal problem. Repulsed by our sin, He came anyway. Jesus suffered a brutal death on a cross because our sin demanded nothing less. He did it because He loved us and we were without hope. Jesus was raised from the dead and now offers us a resurrected life. Unbelievably, after all that He went through, He still loves us. Amazing!
How do you view sin? Do you take sin as seriously as God does? As you and I consider sin, the Scripture says we are to “be miserable and mourn and weep.” It should affect us and turn our “laughter to mourning and joy to sorrow.”
It is only as we take sin seriously that we really appreciate the grace and mercy of God. It is only as we understand the severity of sin will we become desperate for God and appreciate the necessity of the Cross. The Gospel is good news because it provides the cure for our sin. “Fishers of men” are motivated to go fishing because they understand the severity of sin and its tortuous hold on men and women.
If “fishers of men” don’t go fishing, people will die in their sins never knowing that there was a cure. Now you see why today is a really good day to do some fishing.