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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Everybody Does It"

May 9, 2007

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The result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. Romans 5:18b

Last year, Rutgers University released a survey that reported 47% of graduate students admitted they cheated. Even worse, 56% of college students who were taking advanced courses in business confessed to the same action.

With so many trying to break the rules, it wasn’t surprising when the Associated Press carried two stories last week telling how cheating can cost a student big time. At Colorado’s Air Force Academy, fifteen first-year cadets were expelled from the school for sharing answers to a test, and at Duke University, nine students faced expulsion for the same infraction.

Cheating will cost the Duke students close to $50,000 in lost tuition and incidentals while the disgraced Air Force Academy students are going home to face parents and friends who had been, only a few months ago, button-popping proud.

What can these young men and women say to try to excuse their actions? I think the most common explanation, “But everybody’s doing it,” isn’t going to do the job.

Scripture is clear. The Lord doesn’t think too much of the explanation, “everybody’s doing it.” On the contrary, when God’s great flood destroyed all of humanity, the only people saved were the eight folks who weren’t ‘doing it.’ The book of Judges repeatedly tells how the Lord ignored the excuse, “everybody’s doing it,” and punished the crowds who had decided to desert Him and follow the gods of the Canaanites.

This is why I’m sure that when Jesus returns to this world on Judgment Day, none of us want to be saying, “But Lord, everybody was doing it.” If those words are on our lips, we’re going to find ourselves with a one-way-ticket to a place where we don’t want to go.

It is far better for each of us to lay claim to the forgiveness that has been won for us by the Savior. Because of Jesus, who didn’t do what everybody else has done, we are saved. His unique life has fulfilled the laws that we have broken and conquered the temptations to which we succumb. His one-of-a-kind death has removed the penalty for our sins and His unparalleled resurrection guarantees that all who believe on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Today, we rejoice that Jesus has done that which no one else could. We praise the Lord for Jesus’ act of righteousness, which justifies us before the Father.

THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, in a world where everybody sins and every one of us stands condemned, we thank you for standing alone. You stood alone before Satan, before Your accusers, and before those who crucified You. By Your sacrifice, I am saved. May my life be a witness of appreciation. In Your name, Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 2-5    John 1:1-28

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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