April 20, 2017
1 John 1:8-9 - If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You've seen it; I've seen it: people who are driving their cars and trucks while they are texting.
We noted these drivers because there was something "off" in the way they handled their vehicles. Maybe they were driving too slow or too fast; maybe they were weaving from side to side; maybe they kept sitting at the stop light after the red light had turned green. There was always something which gave us a warning.
That was the way it was for the anonymous female caller who phoned two Texas counties to report a driver who continued to text even as his white pickup swerved from one side of the road to the other. The police dispatched cars to intercept the dangerous pickup, but it was too late. Even as the squad cars were on their way, they received another call that said the pickup had been in an accident. It was an accident which took the lives of 13 church people: 13 seniors aged 61 to 87.
Now, if we could ask the 20-year-old truck driver why he had done such a thing, he would probably, and most sincerely, say,
he had never intended for such a tragic accident to happen;
• he didn't think what he had been doing was that bad;
• he had only taken his eyes off the road for a minute, and
• although he knew other people should never text and drive, he thought he could.
You know, I imagine if I could visit with Adam and Eve after the fall into sin, they probably would have come up with a similar list. I know, over the years, many others have come up with a similar list after sin had brought tragedy into their lives and the lives of those around them.
I know I have used that fine-sounding list myself; maybe you have too.
Here's the problem: God isn't interested in our lists of excuses. He doesn't want to hear our justifications and explanations of why we have done wrong. The Lord wants two things from us. First, He wants us to come clean and confess our wrongdoing. Then, after He sees a repentant heart, He is able to offer forgiveness, which takes us to the second thing the Lord wants.
He wants us to rejoice in the forgiveness His Son won for us and all of humanity on the cross and at the empty tomb. Scripture is plain: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Please note what God is saying: He will forgive us when we confess our sins; not make excuses for them. It is my prayer this will be as comforting for the young man who was responsible for those 13 deaths as it is for me.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, without excuse or rationalization, I confess what I have done wrong. Now may I rejoice in the forgiveness Jesus has won for me. In His Name I pray. Amen.
The story upon which this Daily Devotion is based was posted on Newser by various wire services on March 30, 2017. The website where the parent article can be found is: www.newser.com/story/240591/callers-saw-truck-driving-erratically-before-fatal-crash.html
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries