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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Admit you're wrong and set things right

Romans 5: 12-19
Matthew 4: 1-11

We are all tempted to sin, and often we give into these temptations due to pride and selfishness. Then we have a tendency to blame other people for our sins like Adam blamed the woman, and Eve blamed the Serpent.  The only one in the story of Adam and Eve who was honest was the Serpent.  He connived Adam and Eve to commit a sin, and he was proud of his act.

When we do evil things our lives are not as we would like them.  In Matthew (4: 1-11) Jesus is tempted by Satan to do evil things, and he does not give into the temptation.  After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights he is starving, and Satan tries to convince him to create a miracle and make bread, and Jesus tells the Devil to go away.

Paul tells the Romans (Romans 5:12-19) that the sins of one man, or the selfish decisions made by one man, can effect the entire world in a negative way.  One man's decisions can cause havoc on all the rest of society, yet all it takes is one man making an unselfish and honorable decision to set things right.

He writes, "Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it.  As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.  There was sin in the world before the Law was given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins."

He further describes that many people have sinned due to pride and selfish behavior, yet the benefits or gifts or rewards that come from all these sins is never greater than the rewards of the one person who puts himself after other people.  He writes that "one righteous act sets all mankind free and gives them life.  And just as all people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man, in the same way they will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of the one man."

Of course he was talking about Jesus, yet what he is writing can be symbolic of all mankind.  While we are suffering in this world due to the poor and selfish decisions of only a few men, all it takes is the unselfish works of one man to set things right again.

Likewise, Matthew tells the story (Matthew 4: 1-11) tells how after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights Jesus was starving.  He was tempted by the Devil, who said, "If you are God's Son, order these stones to turn into bread."

Jesus answers, "The Scripture says, 'Man cannot live on bread alone, but needs every word that God speaks."  What he is saying is that good things in life do not come from any material possession including food, good things in life come from virtues.

One of the most simplest of all virtues is to take responsibility for our actions.  We must admit when we sin, and not place blame on other people.  The things that happen to us are not by chance, but the result of our individual choice.  We either choose to have our priorities in the right order, or we do not..

When we have our priorities in the right order, things work right.  When we don't have things in the right order things may work right for a while, yet then they fall apart and getting them back in order can only be accomplished by accepting blame, returning to God (or virtues), and prioritising responsibility.

Lent is a time that we look at our lives and admit that we are sinners, and that we are the cause of our sins.  It is not your wife or your husband that causes you to sin, and it is not Satan, and it is not your mom or dad, it is yourself.  You

Lent is a time when you look at yourself and find what is wrong with your life, and decide to take the wrong out.  Yet to truly accomplish this takes the courage to admit our mistakes, and then to ask God for guidance,  nurturing direction and courage.

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