Daily Devotionals

Escaping Ordinary Week 5: Wednesday

Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened. Acts 5:11

The other day I caught my nephew telling me a lie. He called his little sister a name. I told him what he said was mean. He responded by saying he didn’t actually call his sister a name, but he had said something different instead. I knew that he was lying and was also not concerned about the mean name he had called his sister. I had to tell him that what he said was not okay and that I took it seriously. He needed to know that what he said to his sister was not just something he could shrug off but was serious and needed to be treated seriously. Now, he is six years old, but he is not the only one who bends the truth. We have done it, too, as adults, and it should not be taken lightly. Sin is an important matter to God. It cost Him everything, including His Son. Therefore, we are called to take it seriously.

Acts 5 tells us about a time when the early church learned just how grave sin is. They learned about a couple, Ananias and Sapphira, who lied to the apostles, saying that they gave them 100% of the proceeds when they only gave a portion to them. Because of what they had done, they dropped dead. As you can imagine, “great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what happened” (verse 11). They were seeing a first-hand account of the seriousness of sin. I am confident that observing the seriousness of sin made them understand the importance of obeying God and holding to the truth.

The truth is Acts 5 is certainly not the only place where we read about the severity of sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” In other words, our sin separates us from God. The good news is that Jesus came to bridge the gap between God and us that sin caused if we place our faith in Him, but first, we must understand our sin’s severity. Friends, every sin, even “little white lies,” are very serious to God and must be taken seriously. We cannot mess with it, like a child with a causal relationship with the truth. Instead, we are called to be honest.

Moving toward action

Take a few minutes to evaluate. When it comes to sin, do you take it as seriously as God does? Is there any sin that you have been minimizing? Take it to God now. Tell Him you are sorry for your sin and ask Him for help turning away from it. Thank Him for the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers.

Going Deeper

Romans 3:9-31 (NLT)

"Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,

“No one is righteous—
not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “They rush to commit murder.
16 Destruction and misery always follow them.
17 They don’t know where to find peace.”
18 “They have no fear of God at all.”

19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law."