August 6, 2013
For whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. James 2:10
He was a squirrel.
That's right. He was a squirrel who had no greater aspiration in life than to gambol and frolic amongst the beautiful flora and fauna of California's Angeles National Forest. He was a cute, little ground squirrel who would never intentionally hurt anybody.
The key word in the above paragraph is intentionally.
You see, our little, furry friend was recently captured and, when tested, proved to be infected with bubonic plague. As a result, three campgrounds in the forest: Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow, and Pima Loops were closed until the area could be sprayed to eliminate the fleas that spread the incredibly nasty disease.
Sometimes I'm amazed at how seemingly innocent, harmless things can be dangerous.
Consider Adam and Eve. When Satan told them to take a gander at the forbidden fruit, just about all they could see is something which appeared appetizing ... and, if the snake's words were true, something which would also be enlightening.
You know how that experiment turned out.
As near as I can tell, it is an experiment which humans have repeated numerous times in Scripture and innumerable times throughout history. Moses hit the rock rather than speaking to it as the Lord commanded. That little bit of disobedience kept him out of the Promised Land. Then there was Achan who took a bit of silver and gold from the fallen city of Jericho. His actions saw him being stoned by the people of Israel. Although this list could go on, space for this devotion doesn't.
Let us merely say that humankind has always wrongly believed that "small sins" of disobedience are inconsequential. It is an opinion which isn't shared by the Lord. Speaking by inspiration, James wrote, "For whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it." In other words, there is no such thing as a minor sin, and there is no soul which is almost perfect.
Either you are or you aren't.
This is precisely why we need Jesus. God's perfect Son was exactly that: perfect. He didn't make big mistakes, and He didn't make small ones; He didn't sort of keep God's commandments. He did the job, and He did it without flaw or fail, without a stumble or slip.
Just as importantly, He did it for us.
Now, because the Savior has kept the Law and defeated death, all who believe on Him as their Savior from sin find their own transgressions have been erased, and they can stand before the just Judge without fear of condemnation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that nothing big and nothing small can separate believers from Your love, which comes through the victory of the Savior. In His Name I give thanks. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries