Upon Further Reflection

Journey Through Scripture
Daily Readings
Genesis 43-45, Matthew 12:24-50

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31 “Therefore, I tell you that people will be forgiven for every sin and insult to God. But insulting the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Human One will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven, not in this age or in the age that is coming (Matthew 12:31-32, Common English Bible).

Until not too long ago, I would have told you and did tell my congregations for some time, something that, upon further reflection, and further study of Scripture, I have come to understand I was wrong. I want to pause here and ask forgiveness from any of those who heard me say it and are now reading this post.

The something I said, “In the eyes of God, sin is sin.” For the most part, I would stand by that. In the eyes of God, stealing a piece of bubble gum that would cost a nickel, well, with today’s prices may be a dime is the same as robbing a bank and stealing potentially thousands. Stealing is stealing. While many want to believe that the bank is worse because of greater value, that wouldn’t be the case with God. The problem here is, we tend to equate crime with sin. Yes, the secular penalty for the bank robbery would be a great deal bigger issue than stealing the piece of gum. For God, they are both the same.

One day I was reading the passage that is the lesson for today’s post or the passage where Jesus is asked the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). I really don’t remember which. It doesn’t matter because when I read one and thought about it, my mind immediately went to the second.

Think of it this way. In today’s lesson, Jesus says, “And whoever speaks a word against the Human One will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven, not in this age or in the age that is coming.” If this is an unforgivable sin, it must be a greater sin than any other, even speaking against Jesus, which he says we can find forgiveness.

In the Matthew 22 passage mentioned above, Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment. His response is, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. The idea hit me suddenly. If this is the greatest commandment, to violate it just might be a greater sin.

Reflecting on the Scriptures, even Scripture we already know is a good thing. We might find new insights. We might find things we read wrong the first time around. Or, most important, God might have something new to say to us as we read and reflect.

Even if I am wrong and my logic is flawed, it seems to me, if we work hard to avoid sin and keep it at arm’s length from our lives, it really won’t matter if these sins are greater sins or if my original thoughts were correct. We won’t always avoid it, but when we fail, there is more grace in God than there is sin in us.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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