I call myself “a recovering sinner,” and people are sometimes shocked by it. The fact is, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. My ministry name and logo often shock people too, but God uses everything to attract people’s attention. He often shocks us to get us to notice.
I’ll never forget the day I was reading the Bible, and God gave me the words on my logo (Ephesians 1:4-7). I wasn’t looking for a logo, nor was I even a writer yet! But He was blatant about showing me those words! Let’s be real, He knows me and knows that He needs to repeat things to make them obvious for His beloved to get it. Oh, how I love God! Anyway, years ago, He explained the tagline “Recovering Sinner, Adopted by Christ, Saved by Grace,” and I thought, How cool! He put all this together for me! I felt so special to Him. At the time God didn’t show me what to do with these passionate words; He just gave them to me with the understanding that this was who I am.
Well, just what are we recovering from? A sinner is “one who commits immoral acts that go against God’s rules.” My definition for a recovering sinner is “one who is trying to stop and overcome those acts of sin.” The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:30 that for our benefit, Jesus made us right with God and freed us from our sins. We who accept Jesus are recovering sinners. I sin every day; we all do, but I have hope and a changed heart from God to do better each day.
God gave His Levitical law, and the people failed miserably in following. He shortened the Levitical laws to the His moral laws, also called the Ten Commandments and gave to Moses on the top of a mountain over 2000 years ago. These ten commands, which were powerful then, are just as powerful today. They are reminders to put God first, not to acknowledge any other gods or idols, not to misuse the Lord’s holy name, to remember the sabbath (Sunday) and keep it holy, and to honor God. Parents are to be honored with respect. Do not commit murder, adultery, or steal from anyone. Do not lie about anyone, nor be jealous for anyone’s belongings or lifestyle. The people still failed miserably in following. God shortened those ten commands down to two commands—love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself—and man is still failing miserably at following God’s two greatest commandments.
Reading through God’s laws remind us that sin is defined by them and choosing to ignore them or failing to react to something that goes against any of those is sin. Wow! Sinning can be so very easy—simply by thinking things and ignoring others.
After reading these commandments, breathe in. Breathe out. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you through your day. We do better each day when we understand what is expected from us by God. And we try each day to love our neighbor better and to honor, love and obey God better.
The Bible says in Isaiah 59:1and 2 that sin separates man from God. We are separated from God until we accept His son Jesus as Savior and ask for His forgiveness of our sins. Those of us who have repented of our sins and asked God for forgiveness are recovering sinners. We are still prone to sin, but by talking to God through prayer, we are enabled through His strength to overcome our sinful nature.
Recovering from sin takes time spent with God. And the bottom line is that we can forgive others who obey these commandments or don’t care about them. We forgive and love those who don’t love God, those who have idols, those who are estranged from family, those who have hurt us or murdered us in heart, and forgive those who have hurt us in their own jealousy. We forgive all this because God forgives us every day. We forgive and stop keeping track of those who have wronged us because God doesn’t keep track of our wrongs. We breathe in, breathe out, and try to recover from sin. Once we know our expectations from God, we can change how we view our sin and the sins of others. As our heart changes gradually, sinning becomes harder to do. We find freedom from sin in Jesus Christ. To God alone be the glory, and thanks for changing the Ten to two!