Good morning:

It’s a beautiful morning! The air is fresh and cool under a sunny sky. Lawns are a lush green and flowers are blooming everywhere. A perfect day? On the surface it might appear that way, yet we know better. Our world has deep underlying problems. Sunny skies can quickly morph into tornado-producing storms. The peace of inner city neighborhoods can be shattered by deadly gunfire. And who of us would claim that our own lives are picture perfect? We face anxiety at work, health problems, and family concerns.

No one is going to deny that the world has problems, but the question is why? Who is to blame? Nations blame the policies of other countries. One racial group blames another. Children accuse parents and spouses blame one another. Whose fault is it that you’re not happy and that last week didn’t go the way you thought it should?

Do you ever blame God? Many do. If God is all-powerful and in control, then when things go wrong in the world or in my life, it must be His fault. God must not care or He must not be all that powerful or what the Bible calls sin must not really be sin after all, because God either brought it about or allowed it. It’s the way people have always tried to wriggle out of accountability before God. Adam blamed God for giving him Eve, who gave him the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

But sin and all the problems and death it brings into the world cannot be laid at God’s doorstep, for He is holy and all He wills and does is perfect. Sin was introduced into the creation through Satan’s temptation of Eve to doubt God’s word and goodness and to desire to be like God Himself. All of us are experts at shifting blame from ourselves to others, even to God, but His verdict stands: “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezek. 18:20).

Still, it is a beautiful morning, because just as surely as the blame for sin falls squarely on us, so also the credit for salvation belongs entirely to our Savior Jesus. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Jesus fulfilled the law for us. He paid the price to fully reconcile us before God.

Instead of trying to argue or reason your way out of sin or blame someone else, anyone else, even God, the Lord urges us to simply confess our sins and receive His full and free forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9).

That makes every morning beautiful. “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lam. 3:22-23). Rather than blame God, let’s praise Him with all our hearts for His boundless love shown so incredibly in Jesus’ saving work for us.

Tomorrow’s sermon text (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43) is a parable in which Jesus teaches us more about why there is still evil in the world and what He has done about it and will do in the future.

Service times are the usual summer schedule: 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated in both services.

Yours in Christ,


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