I was reading through chapter 5 of Martha Peace’s  Book Attitudes of a Transformed Heart.  And this chapter introduction was so good that I decided I was going to use it to introduce our time of confession of sin Sunday morning.  Therefore, I also needed to post a blog on it in order to prepare myself and those of you who read this blog.

 

She wrote.

“He just “crossed the line!”  You may have said that to yourself concerning your child who is misbehaving.  Or perhaps you have tolerated a neighbor’s loud, noisy parties until one night when there were partygoers out in your yard making loud revelry outside your window.  You call the police because by coming into your yard, they have “crossed the line.”  This “line” that you set is arbitrary.  What one neighbor or parent would tolerate another may not.

 I have found that Christians have a “line” that they will not cross regarding their sin against God.  Most of us would not rob a bank or have an abortion.  Most would not commit adultery or take illegal drugs.  Most would never even think of going on a drinking binge until they passed out on the floor.  Yes, unfortunately there is a line that we will not cross regarding sin.  The reason I say “unfortunately” is because there are sins that we will commit as long as we do not cross the “line” of our own standard.  God’s standard, however, is far more pure and holy than ours.  He also has a line, but it is not arbitrary.  It is the straight edge of His Law.  All sin cross His line, not just the big ones.  It is not all right with God for us to not commit adultery but to gossip.  Neither is it acceptable for us not to get drunk, but to worry.

 God’s standard is not arbitrary, nor is it graded on a scale.  It is completely pure and righteous.  All that we do or think (including everyday, mundane actions such as eating or drinking) is to be done exclusively for the glory of God Most High.  God is the King of glory.  He is (because of who He is and what He has done) worthy of all honor and praise.  To glorify God means to call attention to His worth and to proclaim His excellencies.  We are to do this as we are to love Him – with all our heart.  God’s glory should be our supreme delight and is our highest good.  It should be something that we seek and greatly desire.”

 

As I thought about this concept of “crossing the line” it struck me that this was in fact the Pharisee’s heart.  The purpose of drawing our own line is always and only self-serving.  We may draw the line in order to tear others down.  We may draw the line in order puff ourselves up.  But either way, we draw the line because we disagree with God’s line.  So while I might give token lip service to God’s line, I would rather live by my line.

 

But God’s line leaves no room for us.   In fact Romans 3:23 says I have fallen short of God’s glory.  This strikes at the heart of my sinful nature.   We would rather pray the Pharisee’s prayer, “Lord, I thank you I am not a sinner like those people,” than to pray the sinner’s prayer, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”    Jesus compared these two men in Luke 18 and said in verse 14, “I tell you, this man [the sinner] went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

We grow in humility and grace when we compare ourselves to God’s perfect “line” rather than our own.  This is why the Psalmist wrote in 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

 

God’s law is good.  Let us delight ourselves in it and in our Savior who enables us, by conviction and transformation, to grow in holiness.

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