Strength for the Week: October 20th – 27th

Strength for the Week

STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Flood Church’s Weekly Devotional

SERIES 2: The Sin Also Known As

The Trespass


The Lord said to Moses: “When anyone is unfaithful to the Lord by sinning unintentionally in regard to any of the Lord’s holy things, they are to bring to the Lord as a penalty a ram from the flock, one without defect”. Leviticus ‭5:14-15‬

Everything we have is a gift from God. Every gift from God is good. Every good gift has been given for our enjoyment. The proper attitudes and actions towards each gift from God are gratitude, praise, development, and generosity. By being grateful for each thing, we acknowledge that we are recipients of it, not creators of it. Gratitude is an honest attitude about the true source of the good things in our lives. Gratitude should lead to praise, using our words to tell God that we give him all the credit for giving us what we have received. It should also lead to development, using our God-given abilities and energy to make our God-given resources increase both in quality and quantity, in order to put all the goodness God deposited in that resource on display for all to see. Allowing others to see this goodness should lead us to share it with them, so that they too can be a source of praise to God. But all of this begins with the act of enjoying God’s gift yourself, being grateful for it yourself, praising God for it yourself, and developing it to uncover its full goodness. To take a gift from God and to use it in ways that produce misery instead of enjoyment, entitlement instead of gratitude, complaints instead of praise, and exploitation instead of development, is to put yourself in a position to which you do not belong. That is called trespassing.
Among the gifts of God are those God himself sets aside for special usage in our relationship with him. God’s act of taking a gift he gave us and setting it aside for special use in expressing our special relationship with him is what makes the gift holy. The ability to generate income is a good gift from God for our enjoyment, but any portion of our income we set aside for special use to God as an expression of our special relationship with him is holy to God. Sex is a good gift from God and he has dispensed its enjoyment throughout nature, but setting our sexuality apart either in full by forfeiting the use of it in order to serve God more fully or in part by confining the use of it to a life-long heterosexual monogamous marriage in obedience to God is an act of worship, an expression of our faith that certain good things have been declared holy things. In fact, there is no good gift which cannot be set aside as a holy gift to the Lord to express the fact that we cherish him more than we cherish the gift. And once a good gift is set aside as a holy gift either by our decision or by God’s command, to take the gift and use it as a common gift either toward an ordinary purpose or by a cavalier attitude is to trample on holy things. That is also called trespassing.
Good gifts are given by God for the enjoyment of all. Holy gifts are good gifts set aside by God for the expression of faith, worship, and obedience by those who belong to him. Good gifts can be trespassed by abuse, and holy gifts can be trespassed by common use. When God says we have sinned and fallen short of his glory, part of what that means is that we have taken God’s good gifts and holy gifts and run away with them. Sin involves either taking the good things from God and using them for evil purposes or taking the holy things from God and using them for common purposes. In the end, those who run away from God with his gifts to do evil as they see fit are in the same predicament as those who run away from God with his gifts to do good as they see fit. Both groups have rejected God as the source and definer of what “good” is, determined not only to define it on their own, but to also take credit for it despite the fact that they use resources and raw materials given by the same God they claim to reject. The secular humanist claims he doesn’t need God to do good, yet there isn’t a single one of his acts of goodness that does not involve the use of good resources made by God. The sensual hedonist claims he doesn’t need God by rejecting that his lifestyle is evil, yet there isn’t a single one of the pleasures he abuses that is not a creation by God. There is nothing original about original sin, for every sin is either an act of theft or an act of sacrilege of God’s things. Even in our Declaration of Independence from the Creator, we remain creatures dependent on his creation. Our sin is not only an act of contradicting God, but also an act of contradicting ourselves. So we cannot say we are reconciled to God if we are still unwilling to participate in the reconciliation of all things to him. We are not only called to return ourselves to God, but to also return all the territory we occupy illegally.

Keep the Faith

 

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