For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. (James 2:10-11 NASB) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 NASB) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NASB)
The Nicolaysen family had a big surprise when they arrived at their mountain cabin in Norway. They found a big hole in the ground where their swimming pool should have been. The pool and all of its equipment had been stolen. The pool had been installed at the cabin twenty years ago and the pool was not just bolted down it was in the ground. Arild Nicolaysen said, "This can't be, we thought. We didn't think it was possible. No one can steal a swimming pool." Arild's husband, Brit Nicolaysen said this, "It must have been a terrible job to disassemble such a big pool. There is a steel lining all the way around, plus there is a plastic liner and then there was a skimming system, a filter system and a lot of big hoses, and pipes."
When I was five years old, my mother took me with her once to go shopping in town (We lived on a farm.). At a store, I noticed some large glass fish bowls filled up with little glittering knives. The knives were a little over an inch long and I really wanted one. The knives only cost five cents but I did not have any money and I knew my mother would not give me any to buy one. So, I looked around and no one was looking - I reached into the bowl and pulled out a knife, a green one, and put it in my pocket. What I did was wrong. It was stealing. I know it was wrong now but I also knew it was wrong then. It was a sin, a bad thing in the sight of God.
James makes it clear that whether we steal a swimming pool or a little green knife worth only five cents we have sinned. Whether a sin is little or big in our eyes, it is still a violation of God's Law and we have fallen "short of the glory of God." That's why we need a Savior!
No one upon this earth is perfect because we have all sinned whether we have stolen a swimming pool or a little green knife. We have all sinned whether we have told a little white lie or a whopper of a lie. We have all sinned as James puts it whether we have committed adultery or murder.
The penalty for sin is death and that is what Romans 6:23a says, "The wages of sin is death." That's the bad news. However, the Good News is that, "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23b)." Have
you received the gift?
Copyright © 2004. Ed Wrather. Used with Permission. On June 8, 1998 the email version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent.
Pastor Ed Wrather