Yesterday was a holiday here in the United States to honor those who have served in the military. May the Lord bless our military personnel for their service and reward them for their many sacrifices. I hope you all had a relaxing and restful weekend and are ready to jump back into James.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
James is making the point that we are responsible for following all of the Lord’s commands. We do not get to pick and choose which ones we will follow. A synonym for “stumbles” in the Greek is sin so when we sin in one area we are guilty of breaking all of God’s law.
Sin is something that we take too lightly in our world today. According to John Stott in “The Cross of Christ”, “The emphasis of Scripture, however, is on the godless self-centeredness of sin. Every sin is a breach of what Jesus called ‘the first and greatest commandment,’ not just by failing to love God with all our being but by actively refusing to acknowledge and obey him as our Creator and Lord.”
That quote sure puts sin into perspective – the right perspective. Every time we sin, we are “refusing to acknowledge and obey him as our Creator and Lord.” Not sometimes, not when we consider our sins to be “big sins”, but every time. We justify and rationalize our sins and try to make them seem less offensive to the Lord. However, sin is sin and we need to recognize our sin as rebellion against the Lord by choosing what we want to do versus what the Lord would have us do.
11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
Verse 11 continues to reiterate that breaking any of God’s laws makes us a lawbreaker. There are not degrees of being a lawbreaker, simply being one or not. We have minimized our sin in order to not feel so bad about what we do, but no where in Scripture does is say we are to minimize our sin. We are to acknowledge it fully, seek forgiveness from the Lord and then turn from our sin and walk in His Spirit. It is a three step process and it begins with acknowledging our sin as sin.
What sins do you need to acknowledge today? Allow the Lord to search your heart and mind today and reveal your sins to you. Then take the second step of seeking His forgiveness and being remorseful for your rebellion and self-centeredness. Really take the time to feel the weight of what our sin does to the Lord and recognize how much it hurts Him.
Finally we are to repent or turn from our sin. That means we must choose to follow His ways for our life and yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than following our own ways. What steps do you need to take today to turn from your sin? Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you in the ways the Lord wants you to go. My prayer is we would all take time today to acknowledge our sins, seek His forgiveness and repent of them. Don’t let another day go by where we are “refusing to acknowledge and obey him as our Lord and Creator.”
- Scripture references from http://www.biblegateway.com