"From within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly." Mark 7:21-22
High above us and about the earth is the ozone layer that protects us against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. God, the Creator, planned a universe in which the forces of nature are balanced in such a way as to make life possible. Troubles ensue when people tamper with this balance. Floods, forest fires, droughts, the loss of living species, and other imbalances often result from our mismanagement of nature. Sending pollutants into the high levels of the atmosphere can lead to dire results.
Our natural world is often a mirror image of the spiritual sphere in which we as Christians live. The ozone situation is a case in point. The fall of the human race into sin resulted in total pollution. Think of what Jesus said, "Out of men's hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly" (Mark 2:22). As these sins proceed out of the heart, they create a wide-spread, high-rising contamination of human society.
To make it at all possible for Christians to survive in an immoral world, God in His wisdom and love made provision to shelter His people from the destructive "ultraviolet rays" of His Holy Law. This Law, so Holy Scripture testifies, demands, threatens, condemns, curses, and kills. It reflects the holiness of God. But God is not only holy and righteous, He is also merciful and gracious. He sent His Son, none other than our Savior Jesus Christ, to atone for all sin. For "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Gospel of Christ's reconciliation is our protective shield. It is our spiritual "ozone layer." As long as it is there and our faith in it continues, we are safe. Thank God for His saving Gospel!
PRAYER: Lord God, grant that I may have continued spiritual life through the cleansing, purifying Gospel of Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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