"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
James 4:8-10 (New International Version)
There are two times that I know of that Scripture commands us to mourn and weep. One of those is when someone we know is mourning over something that has happened. Because we are one body, their sorrow is to cause us to grieve with them. The other time we are to mourn is over our sin.
I don't hear a lot about sin anymore. The worship movement has brought about some wonderful things. God seems to be much more approachable somehow. That, in my opinion, is not all good. Let me clarify. Jesus Christ has provided a way for us to approach an otherwise unapproachable God. God the Father, in His perfection, cannot look at sin. Without Jesus Christ's death on the cross, we cannot come to Him because of our imperfection. We must still grasp the concept of how detestable our sin is to a holy God.
One of the biggest headlines yesterday was the killing of the pastor of First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois. A gunman walked down the aisle yesterday, fired four shots at the senior pastor, and fatally wounded him. The suspect's identity was not disclosed, but from what I read, the congregation did not seem to recognize the killer as someone they knew.
This is not the first church killing. What, girlfriends, is happening to us as a nation? When we as a nation do not believe in absolute truth, it is everyone for him or herself. The problem with not believing in absolute truth is the result is never order, but anarchy and destruction.
I am mourning today. Mourning over what is happening to us because we as a nation take sin so lightly. We don't even believe it is sin anymore. We don't want to repent of our sin. We want to know how to live with our sin. I am crying today over the horror of the future because of that apathy.
Jesus, the wages of my sin is death. I can sugar coat it as much as I want, but Your Word never lies to me. Sin brings death in so many areas of my life. I must have a reverent fear of You. I cannot live my life any way I want to Monday through Saturday and ask for forgiveness for it on Sunday. There is a huge difference between repentance and being sorry that I got caught. Repentance is always mine for the asking, but I must make a heart change and turn away from my sin. Anything short of that is a mockery of Your holiness. Being sorry that I got caught means that I am not really sorry at all. I cannot fool You, even if I fool myself. Help us, Jesus, help us to humble ourselves and turn from our sin so that You can heal our land.