Want to Overcome Sin? Start with this…
Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 [By David.] With all my heart I praise the LORD, and with all that I am I praise his holy name! 2 With all my heart I praise the LORD! I will never forget how kind he has been. Psalm 103:1–2 (CEV)
We were told in the Second Commandment, “You shall not take God’s name in vain.” Thereby we are required to praise the holy name and pray or call upon it in every need. For to call upon it is nothing else than to pray.
It is just as true to say that every snowflake is a gift of God as it is true to say that every cent in a father’s inheritance is a gift to his children. It is just as true to say that every leaf on every tree is a work of art made by the divine Artist with the intention that we see it, know it, love it, and rejoice in it, as it is true to say that every word in a lover’s letter to his beloved is meant to be seen, known, loved, and enjoyed.
33 What are you so proud of?—Every impulse that moves you comes from Him. Act accordingly.
Sin is a huge issue in our lives.
We can not deny it. We can’t really hide it either.
It leaves us broken and shattered.
It leaves us avoiding people, some because we resent them because of some sin they committed against us. Some people we want to avoid because we feel so guilty, so ashamed, and being in their presence brings those feelings crashing down upon us.
As we look at the commands, there is one that sticks out to me, one that can be quickly dealt with, and as it is, we find the grace to deal with the others.
Luther talks about it, the commandment to not use God’s name in vain. Luther points out that means we sin when we should use it when we should cry out to Him for help, and do not use it. When our vanity causes the Lord’s name to be misused.
Imagine not eating because you don’t want to spend the money you have in the bank. I imagine going barefoot on a hike in the mountains because you don’t want to scuff up your new boots. There is a logic that simply doesn’t make sense to these imaginations, that still doesn’t make sense when God pleads with us to call upon Him, to cast our burdens upon Him, to let Him heal us.
You want to stop living in the dark shadows of sin? Cry out to God, call upon Him, don’t leave His name unused, for that is as wrong as using it wrongly.
What happens then, as you begin to converse with God, is that you realize how much He is doing, you start to look for how He encourages you! You see it in the care he takes with the color of a leaf, or the smile of a child, you being to see His artistry in everything, and realize that this artistry is at work in your life as well. As St. Josemaria describes we begin to understand the good things in our lives are there because the Holy Spirit is guiding and empowering us in them, providing the impulse that drives our work
That beauty, that wonder is what leads the Psalmist to praise God, to exclaim in wonder at God’s kindness, at His mercy and love. Our praise is always generated from seeing God at work in our lives. Even in the hard times, even when we have to confess our sin, or lay some burden down at His feet.
This is what happens when we stop using His name in a way that it shouldn’t be used… but call out to Him, even if that cry is as simple and profound as,
Lord have mercy one me a sinner…
He hears, and He answers… and we begin to dwell in peace.
Theodore G. Tappert, ed., The Book of Concord the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press, 1959), 420.
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 20.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on June 29, 2020, in Augsburg and Trent, Catholic Theology, Devotions, Martin Luther, Peter Kreeft, Poiema, st josemaria escriva, The Forge, Theology in Practice and tagged 2nd commandment, Freedom, guilt, hope, prayer, resentment, shame, sin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.