February 19, 2011
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 2 Corinthians 8:8
One of my friends just loves investigating the history of everyday words.
Recently, he told me about the background of the word "sincere." He shared that sincere comes from two Latin words - "sine" and "cere," meaning "without wax." And just how did without wax come to mean faithful?
One explanation puts it this way: if a potter cracked a pot he was making, he could patch the pot by filling the crack with wax. Still, the pot had a flaw.
On the other hand, a perfect pot, one without flaws, i.e. without any wax, carried the stamp "sine cere," or "without wax."
This meant that, to his knowledge, there was no flaw in that work.
It's a great story. Too bad it's not true.
Even so, all of us sinners should constantly strive to be sincere, that is, not second rate, not people whose personalities are cracked and beyond repair. After all, nobody wants a friend who betrays or who is insincere.
That Jesus was sincere can never be doubted.
He was sincere as He continued to reach out to people who slapped Him away. He was sincere as He spent every moment of every day doing that which would procure our salvation. He was sincere in the things He said and the love He showed ...
... and the sacrifice He made. So that you and I might be saved, Jesus, the sinless Son of God, endured the punishment and death we deserved.
Looking to Calvary's cross, how can anyone doubt His sincerity or the sincerity of His words?
"... But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many"(Mark 10:43b-45).
This is why today as you see a lot of folks who aren't sincere, I hope you remember the One who is.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Father, keep our words and actions wholesome and sincere as we represent the Savior in all we say and do. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries