... The heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. Ecclesiastes 8:11b
You've heard the question: if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear the sound, does it still make a noise?
Yup. It does.
How do I know? I put a tape recorder in the woods.
Here's a new question. If a man robs a bank but forgets to take the money with him, has he still committed a crime?
Yup. He has. I know because the law says anyone who "attempts to take any property, money, or thing of value in the care or custody of a bank has broken the law."
Just for the record, you should know this last question is not hypothetical. Recently, a man entered a Michigan Avenue bank in Chicago and told the clerk he was carrying a bomb. He handed a bag to the teller and demanded she fill it up. She started to do as asked, but the robber turned around and left before she could give back the bag.
Now here's where the story becomes pertinent for us.
There are times when all of us think about committing a sin. We think about it, but we don't put that particular sin into action. So, even though the sin hasn't been actively committed, is it still a sin?
Yup. It is. Like Ecclesiastes says, "the heart of the children of men is fully set to do evil."
That sinful nature, that corrupt heart, is part of all of us, which is why we need a Savior.
We need a Savior whose heart was pure and innocent, a Savior whose will was always aligned with that of the Heavenly Father, a Savior who could resist every temptation.
We have that Savior in the Person of Jesus. He has done all that we could not do. And, in so doing, He has managed to forgive our sins, change our eternal home and, by the Holy Spirit's power, create in us clean hearts.
And that, dear friends, is cause for our hearts to give thanks.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, my heart thinks of sin, relishes sin, and occasionally shows its sin in action. For all I have done wrong, I offer a plea for forgiveness. For all the Savior has done right, I offer a song of praise. In Jesus' Name, I give thanks for my salvation. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries