Daily Encouragement - October 7

2 Corinthians 5:21 (Common English Bible)

God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God.


This traditional hymn called "Love Divine All Loves Excelling" was written by Charles Wesley, and was first published in 1747. It is a love song and story about God's love and care.


Sin is a fundamental relationship— it is not wrong doing, but wrong being— it is deliberate and determined independence from God. The Christian faith bases everything on the extreme, self-confident nature of sin. Other faiths deal with sins— the Bible alone deals with sin. -Oswald Chambers ‘My Utmost for His Highness’


In recent weeks, I have had several interesting and thought provoking conversations with different members of our congregation around the subject of SIN: our own individual sin, our sin as a body of believers, our sin as a people, our sin that harms others and our sin that disturbs our progress of a more connectional relationship with God and community. Sin is messy stuff and it’s not always easy to understand, work with and move forward.


As Pastor Tom shared with our Disciple I class on Monday, sin in the Israelite community, was looked at as a corporate idea more than as individualistic.


Christians in America often find ourselves living by a ‘checking the box’ mentality. We want to compartmentalize sin into easy groupings of ‘yes’ and ‘no’…we want sin to be black and white. We’d rather make the answer easy and not have to wrestle with the question as deeply. And largely it is. Thou shalt not kill…got it. Honor your mother and father…ok…I can handle that. Then we get into coveting someone else things or honoring a day of Sabbath. It’s less cut and dry perhaps…and mix all of that in the recipe with humanity and we just tend to make things messy, convoluted and personal.


Holiness and full dependence on God is our endgame. Isn’t God calling us look towards living more holy while striving not to miss the mark? Isn’t God calling us to do this as a community of encouragement, while building and growing?


Gods desire for us is to transcend worldly expectations and to embrace God’s completeness in us , while we strive to live in constant communion with God, allowing God to lead us on a path that leads to wholeness. Anything less leads to missing the mark and creates distance from God’s desire for You…and creation.


May we seek to be in communion with God and one another, not only in our worship or other normal opportunities, but through our prayers, our routines and rituals, our caring, our spending, our work, our voting, our driving, our rest and in every other area where we seek to see The Living God leading our lives, as humans, as a community, as a people, as God’s world. May it be so.


Loving God….You created us to love and honor you and all of your creation. Help our bent toward sinning and allow us to experience fullness in you. Erase our guilts and light our paths towards righteous living. Amen.


Pastor Michael Williams



Centenary United Methodist Church

309 New Street, New Bern, NC, 28560 

P.O. Box 1388, New Bern, NC 28563

Phone: 252.637.4181

Fax: 252.637.5602

Email: centenaryumc@centenarychurch.com

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