Monday, August 19, 2013

Unintentional Sin...

"When they (the children of Israel) sin against You - for there is no one who does not sin - and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy...and when they return to You with their whole mind and heart...may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place...May You forgive Your people who sinned against You..." (1 Kings 8:46-50 portions)

This is a part of Solomon's prayer when he dedicates the new temple. He makes a covenant with God on behalf of the people. He seeks God's favor whenever there will be transgressions, defeat by and enemy, drought, famine, etc. He then petitions God for times when His people even unintentionally sin against Him.

This past weekend, I had an unintentional sin. My wife and I had a full weekend of taking our youngest son to college, driving from middle to west Tennessee, driving back home and all of this was done without my driver's license. It was unintentional. I only discovered it when yesterday I had to make an purchase at a local retailer with a credit card and was asked for my photo identification. As I looked through my wallet, I realized that it was not there. Have you ever had one of those sinking feelings? I briefly panicked (on the inside) and my mind raced as to where in the world could my driver's license be? The store clerk was gracious and allowed the purchase, but as I returned to my truck, I was mentally running down the checklist of where I had last used it.

Then I remembered. I had applied for a new passport the past week. I had to make a photocopy of my driver's license for the application process. I returned home, went to the office, looked on the multi-purpose printer and there it was!

It was an unintentional and for the most part unknowing sin. However, if I had been stopped by a law enforcement officer during that time and asked about my license, it would have been a punishable sin as well. Unintentional and unknowing would not be a legitimate excuse.

Solomon pleads with God that when Israel was to sin against God - for there is no one who does not sin - that God would forgive them when they return to Him. The condition was that they return with their whole mind and heart, in humility, asking for forgiveness. He asks God to "hear in heaven" and "forgive Your people." And he asks this not for the people's sake only but for God's glory as well...

"For they are Your people and Your inheritance...For You, Lord God, have set them apart as Your inheritance from all the people on earth, as You spoke..." (1 Kings 8:51-53 portions)

While I am pretty sure that the law enforcement officers in my area would not have forgiven me my unintentional sin of forgetting my driver's license, I am very sure that God, if I return to Him with all my mind and heart, will forgive if only I ask.

Lord, forgive me today of those times that I have chosen my way over Your way. Forgive the sins that I have continued to fall into knowingly as well as those I have committed unintentionally. Make Your heart my heart and keep on conforming me daily to the image of your One and Only Son, Jesus.


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