Romans: Day 5

Guilty as Charged

by

Today's Text: Romans 3:1-20, Psalm 14:1-7, Ecclesiastes 7:20

Scripture Reading: Romans 3:1-20, Psalm 14:1-7, Ecclesiastes 7:20

“Say it with Grammy, Baby, ‘I’m a little sinner and I need Jesus.’”

 If you hang around our family long enough, you’re bound to hear a diaper-clad toddler or rambunctious preschooler repeating that phrase.

 Why does this Grammy believe it’s so important for little ones (and big ones) to understand they are sinners?

 Because God loves sinners:

 But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us!
- Romans 5:8

Jesus came to earth for sinners. He lived, died, and rose again for sinners. He offers forgiveness to sinners. And sinners who place their faith in Him are welcomed into His family.

That’s really good news for sinners, right? And Scripture leaves no doubt. You, me, and every diaper-wearing baby… we’re all sinners. That’s the bottom line Paul lays out in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We’re all broken, needy, and messed up in a way that simply being “good” can never fix.  

Since the Garden of Eden, our identity as humans has been marked by our tendency to rebel against God. That’s why we can never behave our way into a right relationship with Him. The most well-behaved, law-abiding, church-attending, choir-singing, modest-dressing, moralistic person alive, apart from Jesus Christ, is still dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

The heartbeat of the gospel is not, “Clean up your act, obey the rules, and God will forgive you.” That’s moralism, not Christianity. Any one of us who has ever tried to be a perfect person, even for a day, knows that approach simply doesn’t work. That false gospel stands in direct contradiction to the true one: Christ died for sinners. Because He loves us, remember?

Do we teach our children to obey, training them toward righteousness? Absolutely! But let’s also remind them, and ourselves, that righteousness does not come through obedience. Right standing with God comes only through faith in Jesus—His works and not our own. His life, death, and resurrection. His perfection.

Through Jesus, grace flows freely to sinners of all ages. Through Jesus, those guilty and condemned are declared righteous—justified by His sacrifice, by grace through faith. And through Jesus, polluted sinners exchange filthy rags for robes of righteousness.

I greatly rejoice in the Lord,
I exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation
and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness…
- Isaiah 61:10

So, say it with me, friend: “I’m a sinner and I need Jesus.” That’s the good news worth celebrating—to know our God loves sinners, big and small. Right now and just as we are.

Editor’s Note: In Romans, Paul is building a case for the good news that is ours in Christ by faith. He uses these early chapters to establish our guilt before God—which he does to establish our need for a Savior. One of the most challenging aspects of the gospel is that it is based on the death and resurrection of Christ, necessitated by our own sin. We cannot understand the depth of God’s love for us in Christ without understanding the depth of our need for that sacrifice and the sin it covers. Because of Jesus, our sin is not counted against us, so we are never just “sinners.” We are redeemed sinners. A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). What an amazing gift it is to know that “God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

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Carrie Gaul is a biblical correspondent for Revive Our Hearts. She and her husband Dennis have two married children and are enjoying grandchildren. Carrie has a deep love for God’s Word and a passion to see women grow in ever-increasing intimacy with Jesus through the study and application of His Word.

  • Danielle M

    Amen! This is so good! It’s so easy for me to focus on living morally and forgetting that my righteousness doesn’t measure up and that my righteousness is found in what Christ did for me. He’s sanctifying me with his Spirit and God is working in me to do His will. I have to keep reminding myself about His grace and mercy and what that means. Thank you for this!

  • Brandy W

    This is a wonderful reassurance to know that I don’t have to do this life on my own. I am saved and a child of God but I still fall short, I still sin. It’s a humbling experience to know that he still loves me even though I feel I don’t deserve it. Praying for more strength, motivation, fire and diligence to become a stronger woman of God. To not dwell on what the enemy tries to tell me of how I’ll never be good enough for heaven. I am loved! Thankful for your mercy and grace as I try to live more you Lord and less of me! In Jesus name.

  • Firstly, I am speaking the following in love. I know it’s hard to tell tone sometimes in writing and I’m not angry, just a little uneasy about how I feel the verse is being taken out of context.

    I think we have to be careful about taking the Bible out of context. Jesus did not die for all sinners. He died for the Lord’s chosen people. Those of us that He extended salvation to. Yes, we were sinners before our hearts were ready to hear the Lord’s call to us, but Romans 3:23 is speaking to those already saved. It’s not a verse to support God’s love for people who are still sinners. Romans 3:23 “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” doesn’t mean everyone in the world. Romans is written by Paul to believers, about believers. The verse is discussing Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians who were at odds with each other over how to follow Jesus. The word “all” references those two groups, not everyone. Paul is telling both Jew and Gentile that they both have sinned and need Christ. He’s not speaking to or about the unsaved.

    I’m not sure if that was the intent of the writer or not, just clarifying, to myself mostly.

    A good reading today though. I enjoyed it.

    I especially enjoyed my reading in Romans. I love Paul’s writings. He doesn’t beat around the bush. I identify with that so much.

    • Steph J

      And just to add to my note above, God does not love sinners. This troubled me greatly when reading it. God loves His children. He loves those that He has saved. The Bible mentions many times His wrath and judgement for sin, but not just sin, also the sinner. A sinner, or “unsaved” person, is separate from God and serves Satan. God can not love that. That goes against everything He stands for. Just food for thought.

      • Ebube

        I think God loves sinners but hates sin. God loves everyone regardless of if you are saved or not. In Mark 2 when the Pharisees were condemning Jesus for dining with sinners and tax collectors, he said to them that “only the sick need a doctor. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners”(mark 2:17). Also my understanding of Roms 3:17 is that while we were still deep in sin and not a member of God’s family he died for us. I believe Christ died for all, whether saved or not. His love abounds to all. It is his desire that everyone comes to know and love him. My opinion though

  • Danya Ho

    Righteousness does not come through obedience. Right standing with God comes only through faith in Jesus—His works and not our own. His life, death, and resurrection. His perfection.

  • Laura Humphreys

    It’s easy to get down on yourself and allow the devil to tempt you with thoughts about yourself that are not true. So comforting to know I have a heavenly Father chasing after me!! Loving this study.

  • Debbie Ruvolo

    Reading this is once again stirring the fire within in for several reasons and all for the God’s glory. I want to become a better Godly woman and not be my worst critic. We can’t buy or work our way to heaven. The cross saved us, us as in those whom accept Jesus as their savior.
    Hearts change and it begins within our own hearts. Have a grateful heart. Be faithful. Stand firm on the word of God. Teach our children to obey, be righteous, and that we all sin but we are redeemed sinners once we have accepted Jesus.
    Romans humbles us. I am ready to be humbled more each day.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful words of encouragement, Debbie! So grateful for you!

      – Stormye

  • I understand what Ashley is saying and I agree.
    I think we often forget that when Paul quoted the Scriptures he had the rest of the text in his mind and assumed that his readers would have also. So, when we read “All have turned away, all have become corrupt, there is no one who does good, not even one” I think we should remember the verse that follows: “God is present in the company of the righteous”, or “the Lord is their refuge”. The fact that we are sinners is balanced by another fact, that when we belong to the company of the righteous God is with us and He is our refuge. And I do believe that, although I’m so imperfect and my love is so weak, God wants, desires, my company. And that makes my heart be full of joy! These chapters of Romans humble us, but they shouldn’t make us feel so bleakly undeserving. We are deserving, not by our own merits, but because He decided that we are, because He loves us. Who I am I to tell Him the opposite?
    This is a very difficult balance to grasp and achieve.
    We must be merciful to others, but also to ourselves. I see so many women here who feel guilty because they stumble and fall, and they blame only themselves. Wait, sometimes others make us sin (the sin is ours, I don’t say it isn’t), we are humans, we can get tired and without strength to fight, we should ask for help when we feel we are in the limits of our spiritual, psychological or physical strength. Sometimes we don’t realize our limitations, we don’t acknowledge the errors of others because we think we are judgeing them, and put all the blame in our shoulders. And that can be a very bleak place to be.

    The Lord bless you and keep you!
    https://youtu.be/lZN1mryHEnQ

    • Melanie Bisson

      Thank you for this. I find so many encouraging words in these comments for both myself and to use with friends who I know are struggling with self defeat and self deprecation. Thank you for sharing!!

  • I truly loved this one! It’s so nice to know that nothing can separate us from God’s love and that he doesn’t expect perfection from us. We do our best to be obedient and Jesus’s blood covers the rest. ❤️

  • “Because of Jesus, our sin is not counted against us, so we are never just “sinners.” We are redeemed sinners. A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)” I love this. Often when presenting the Gospel and having to use the word ‘sinner’ it strikes people the wrong way. Especially in China, where I preach the gospel, ‘zui’ is not a well accepted word. It means crime, something illegal, deserving a sentence and imprisonment. But I love how the editor says here ‘we’re not JUST sinners. We are redeemed sinners’. To be a redeemed sinner, that’s good news. Thanks for this word.

  • The Beauty the gospel is Jesus came to save sinners. Sometimes it’s easy for me to bear false guilt for sinning again as to say I can’t believe still blow it. Yet the truth is that my sin is ugly but I have a Savior who took it all. He’s not surprised or confused by my sin or behavior. Instead Jesus knows so much more. But He forgave and we bear is righteousness. He’s our hope and assurance. Hurray! It’s not resting on me but all on Jesus. Rest well my sisters in the joy of such love. Undeserved but yet REAL.

  • It’s sometimes disheartening reading through the comments section after the daily reading. It seems that so many amazing women are morosely down on themselves. And while I deeply appreciate the honesty, and the safe space to share our truthful struggles, it seems to me that Jesus would call on all of us to seek improvement and betterment with more hopeful, excited hearts. He would want us to read through these more humbling chapters with a fire and vigor to be even better women, as opposed to feeling less and less worthy. I think it’s possible to admit our sins without feeling like we barely deserve to wake up in the morning.
    Prayerfully sending happiness and love to everyone tonight! You are worthy and you are only improving! <3

    • Karen

      Amen! Joy to you. We are His. No boast in self but boast in our beautiful Savior. Have a good weekend.

    • Ericka

      Well said, Ashley! You are absolutely correct. Thank you for your reminder and encouragement!

    • Leah S

      Yes, I totally agree! Thank you for saying that!

  • Love that it’s only by the cross we are saved.. we can’t “work” our way to heaven.. cause I know I would never get that job done

  • Hi girls <3 This isn't related to today's reading, but I am asking for prayer. I just found today at a routine ultrasound that I have lost yet another baby- making it my third loss. I know God is good. I know when things aren't okay, that it will be okay. I know God gives such a peace as only He can, but I am so broken. I have done these devotions throughout the years- through good seasons and hard ones like today and I love this incredible community. Thanks

    • churchmouse

      Oh I am so sorry to hear this. Please know I’m praying for you and your husband. Yes God is good but Kristin, this is hard. Praying that God holds you close and that you know He sees and He cares. The “why? ‘ has no answer but I pray that somehow even in the questioning and the heartache, you continue to have faith. Hugging you from here.

    • Sandy W.

      So very sorry. Praying that our Lord will hold you close and bring you comfort and peace as only He can.

    • Gwen

      I’m so very sorry. We also lost 3 of our babies. We kept praying, and after 7 years, we were blessed with a beautiful, healthy daughter. Stay strong in you faith. God surely knows His plans for you. Know that He is carrying you through this heartbreaking time!

    • MNmomma(heather)

      Praying for you this morning Kristin….

    • Brenda Gallagher

      So sorry to hear of your loss. I know firsthand, what you are going through. I will pray for you and your husband. May you feel God’s love and this community’s arms around you.

    • She Reads Truth

      I am so sorry to hear this, Kristin. Praying for you as you grieve this sweet child and asking the Lord to bring comfort through His Word in the midst of your sadness. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Would love others thoughts…I do think righteousness comes from obedience. Obedience to Christ. Faith alone is important but that faith needs to propel us somewhere right?

    • Kaylee

      Nothing we do can ever or will ever justify our sins, only Jesus’ actions alone can. Faith is believing this statement and trusting Him with everything.

    • Lizzieb85

      I think you’ve got the right idea, but the order is wrong.
      We are sinners. We can not do anything to make ourselves righteous before God.
      This is why Christ came. While we were still sinners He came & died as punishment for our sins. When we believe (faith) & accept this gift of salvation, we are justified- we become righteous. Our obedience then comes out of gratitude & a changed heart.
      Our obedience to Christ is a result of our faith. But obedience does not make us righteous. Only faith in Christ makes us righteous. Our faith in Christ makes us righteous & that propels us to obedience.

  • I’m thinking that grandma may have little Susie on her lap because Susie has just done something wrong and feels badly about it. Reminding our children that we are all sinners allows understanding, learning and healing to begin. It did sound a little creepy at first, but when you think about it and put it into context, it really makes sense. When presented at the right time, in the right place, understanding that we are all sinners (at any age) and that we all need God’s mercy may give us a great sense of freedom to share vulnerabilities to better connect with others and shake the
    shame and guilt that we hold onto. Essentially we are all in the same boat with sin—we’ve all sinned at one point or another—no one is perfect. The sooner we teach this to our kids the better.

  • I am so thankful that I am not defined by my sin. God calls me righteousness. It’s such a beautiful thought to have.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Let us relieve our children of the burden of perfection! Telling our children to be good when that is impossible b/c they are sinners only frustrates them. Preaching the Gospel to them every. single. day. gives them the freedom to accept themselves and look to Jesus to forgive them and sanctify them.
    My heart was black with sin until the Savior came in
    And washed me white as snow in order that I may grow
    To walk the streets of Gold
    That is the color Gospel that led me to Christ as a child.
    Happy Friday, Ladies! Enjoying this study with you!

  • People, please don’t do this to your kids. Did Jesus ever say this to kids? No. It’s creepy and wrong. I have loved, enjoyed, and benefited from SRT for almost a year now. But what kind of left is it taking with Romans? Really saddened and disappointed.

    • NC

      Lana,

      I think that it would be a tragedy to not teach the fact we are sinners to children.. Yes, Jesus does love us no matter what ( as others have mentioned ) but if we romp around doing what we want thinking “Ah, no big, Jesus loves me anyway” we have missed the point. I am growing up with a generation that lives off of this way of thinking – all very emotional and lets cater-to-you and emotionally based. All about “me” and “what I need”. If we teach our children that we have and always will fall short and that is why we NEED Him, and that it is by what HE did we are saved..not by what we do.. that we need to have faith in Him.. If we miss the point of sin and being sinners we are missing the gospel completely.

      The basis is that we all have fallen short of the glory of God and Jesus came to save sinners if we miss the fact that there is a need for Jesus, if we fail to teach our children this.. we will raise a generation that does not understand a “need” for Him.. a generation that misses the gospel..

      Now maybe the visual you got of a granny kneeling down to a tot saying “you’re a sinner” was not the image of what this actually looks like — it is hard to read tone. It is likely done out of love not out of a creepy or abusive nature. There is a way to teach that we are sinners to your children and it is important. Jesus did preach and He preached with children on his lap – do you think he stopped and catered His sermons to children? No, He spoke openly about what he was there for.

      Luke 5:32
      “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”

      • Lana

        I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. Jesus didn’t sit kids on his lap and tell them they were little sinners.

      • Kathleen

        Yes…. and once we receive Him, we are declared righteous… so we are no longer “sinners’ in His sight, but dearly loved children of God. Declare the whole “good news”…t o any and everyone who needs it, whatever their age… ( I was somewhat taken aback to read this day’s message also… because I believe that yes, we are born in sin, but Jesus came to pay the price for that sin – our sin – ALL SIN -and once we believe in our heart that He is Lord, and confess with our mouth that God raised Him from the dead we are saved ! No longer “sinners” in God’s estimation. That’s in Romans, too. )

      • valerie

        Well said NC – I completely agree with you!

        “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good-except God alone.”
        Mark 10:18

    • Liv

      I would have to agree with you, Lana. I believe we are all sinners and God loves us, but to have a preschool recite that and identify with that label may be confusing for them to process due to where they are at developmentally. I think when preaching the good news to little ones or adults alike, it starts with establishing that God loves them. God will reveal in time the motives in their heart. I don’t think that should be something children are “forced” to memorize and say. Just my opinion at this time. But I’m open to hearing both sides because there is a good chance I misunderstood the writers intention. That happens too!

      • Lana

        Absolutely. Thank you for articulating it a bit better than I did, Liv. I completely agree with your sentiments as well.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Lana! Just want to let you know we saw your concern this morning and have added a short editor’s note. Always grateful to hear from you.

      – Stormye

      • Hannah Lugibihl

        I would still not call myself a “redeemed sinner”. I’d call myself “redeemed”. If we are truly a new creation then “sinner” is NOT our identity. In face our identity is not determined by what we do, but rather who we are in Christ. If we are made new, then we shouldn’t be claiming ourselves as sinners.

    • Lizzieb85

      I am a part of a Bible study where there is a children’s program. In the CP we teach Bible stories, even to the infants (using age appropriate language, length, etc…) Anyway, we have started to go towards a Redemptive/Gospel Discipline method rather than Moralistic Discipline.
      Moralistic: Behavior change. A child must behave because that is required. “What a child must do” is the focus. “God is happy when you…”
      Gospel/Redemptive: Heart change. Helping a child to love Jesus. Help them have a desire to want to love & obey. NOT just because they “have to” or because it “makes God happy”. In order for a child to have this heart change, & to not just have behavior change, they must understand they are a sinner. NOT to shame them or label them as “bad” in order to change behavior. BUT in order for them to understand that when they DO misbehave, Jesus is there to love them & help them do better next time. I think this is where the “Grammy” was going. I am a sinner, & need Jesus to change. Why not help children understand that as early as possible?
      (Jesus’ love for ALL people, & children especially, is the main focus of our teaching. But how can they apply that love & the saving work He did on the cross to their own life if they do not understand that they sin too.)

    • Lizzieb85

      I will add that Jesus welcomed the children to come to Him. He said we had to come to the kingdom of heaven like a child does (Luke 18:17) How can a child come to the fullness of the kingdom with out having all the facts (they are a sinner)? How do we know He didn’t encourage them to understand they are sinners? He did to everyone else.
      Why should we water down the gospel for them? YES, Jesus LOVES them! But so does Mom, & Dad, & Grandma, etc… What makes Jesus’ love BETTER? Because He loves us unconditionally. Totally & completely & truly. EVEN WHILE WE WERE SINNERS He came to take our punishment. Unless they understand the Gospel in its entirety, only knowing Jesus’ love for them doesn’t matter as far as their salvation is concerned.
      Yes, once we believe & are saved, we are justified. We do not have to stay stuck in our sin. Or the mentality of it. But I think many who grew up with “Jesus loves you” too often don’t acknowledge that they continue to sin, even when they are saved. They do not grieve their sin & repent of it. I think they take for granted Jesus’ unconditional love. Sin can still have profound effects on us in this earthly life, even when we are deemed righteous before God.
      I admit, there is a delicate balance between living in the freedom salvation gives, but still not being passive about our sin. Past, present, & future sin is forgiven! Praise God for His grace! But we cannot let that make us passive about sin in our life. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we have to have a healthy perspective of our hearts, rooted in Truth.

      • Steph J

        You said this so beautifully and I agree completely. I am the nursery and preschool coordinator in our church and this is how we teach as well. Children DO need to know they are sinners. Why indeed should we “dumb down” Christ and His message. If I am doing my job as a Christian mother (and Sunday school teacher) I’m raising my children up to be disciples. In order to do that, they must know and understand the Gospel – that they are indeed sinners separated from Christ. Once that is realized, then the Truth of the Gospel – that Christ died for us while we were still sinners – can actually mean something to them. Telling a child that Jesus loves them means nothing when it’s taken out of context. They must first understand how we are all nothing apart from Christ before being with Christ has any relevance or meaning to them.

    • Karen Louise

      I’m so glad this discussion has come up. Recently, my 6 -year old granddaughter has been asking very pointedly if we love her – because she is “so bad”. It’s not a constant daily question-but it does come up every few weeks. Now my granddaughter is like most children her age, naughty and nice, sweet and sour–no one has been telling her she is a sinner like Granny in today’s devotional. Yet, she seems to already be aware of her brokenness. Unfortunately, no one has done much except to tell her “oh no! You’re a good girl!” I think if, and when it comes up again, I’ll take the time to really understand what she’s saying and where her heart is. Perhaps it’s time she’s heard exactly what God’s love did for her. Anyway, this discussion made me ponder this and I’m grateful.

  • “We’re all broken, needy, and messed up in a way that simply being ‘good’ can never fix.” YES. As a self described perfectionist this is a necessary every day reminder. I can never perfect my way into communion with God. I KNOW this to be true, but how often do I LIVE this to be true? How often do I ignore my brokenness and instead “try a little harder”? For myself this need to be perfect, this need to be good enough to earn grace is primarily rooted in pride. This desire to prove myself. To be good enough. To be worthy. To do it all on my own and prove to God how much I desire Him. But, He whispers to my soul, “On your own you can never be good enough. On your own you can never be truly worthy. You need ME. On your own you CAN’T do it, and that’s why I sent Jesus.”

    • Emily B.

      I’m the same way! I need to be reminded all of the time that I can’t behave my way into salvation. Thanks for sharing what was on your heart!

  • JeniaMarie

    After reading “Good or God” I was challenged to change my way of thinking about God’s grace. The Bible says that I am ” a new creation in Christ; the old had gone, the new has come.” So I can’t continue saying “I’m a sinner saved by grace”. I can now say that I am a new creation in Christ and I have been empowered by grace to live a life holy and pleasing to God. The following quote is from Bevere’s book Good or God

    “In essence, we’ve undersold the grace of God. We’ve declared rightly that it saves, forgives, and is a free gift of His love. However, we’ve not declared that it has changed our very nature and empowers us to not live as we used to. We’ve avoided telling people that they’re now empowered to forsake ungodly behavior. The result of such silence is that believers are ignorant of godliness and missing out on God’s presence.” – John Bevere

  • This is not a very deep spiritual or theological question whatsoever, but just wondering: is this really what people recognise? That a granny will tell her toddler that he/she is a sinner and needs Jesus? I don’t know a family where this is common. It maybe a cultural thing. I’m from North-Western Europe, and here, if anything, kids are told that Jesus loves them no matter what. Educators here don’t deem it very necessary to tell children that this has to so with sin. Not sure if I agree with that position either. But I’m just curious.

    • Liz

      I would say how you present the gospel to your children is up to the parent. However, I am in college and most of my friend and I didn’t accept Christ until we were in high school or older. A lot of us grew up thinking we had to earn God’s love and we still can fall into legalism. That being said, I don’t think there is anything wrong with presenting the concept of sin to your children as they grow up; in the hopes that they will understand that it’s not what they do, but what Jesus did. Hope that helps a little!
      Have a great day!

    • Lana

      I’m from the east coast of the US. I was raised just like you. This disturbed me too. I don’t agree with it at. all.

    • NC

      Hey songbird!

      I don’t think this is cultural – to believers – it is the root of the Gospel.

      I think that it would be a tragedy to not teach the fact we are sinners to children.. Yes, Jesus does love us no matter what – but if we romp around doing what we want thinking “Ah, no big, Jesus loves me anyway” we have missed the point. We would essentially be raising a self-centered generation rather than a Christ-centered one in my opinion… If we are raising and ONLY talking about “Jesus loves you no matter what” we are focusing on the child’s actions and not shedding any light that “Hey, we all fall, Jesus DOES loves you no matter what, but we are sinners by nature and this is WHY we need Him every single day ( not just on Sunday to feel good about our actions ). Why we need to have faith, this is why Jesus came! There IS hope!” I am growing up with a generation that lives off of this “me me me” way of thinking – all very emotional and lets cater-to-you and emotional based. All about “me” and “what I need”. If we teach our children that we have and always will fall short and that is why we NEED Him, and that it is by what HE did we are saved..not by what we do.. that we need to have faith in Him.. If we miss the point of sin and being sinners we are missing the gospel completely.

      The basis is that we all have fallen short of the glory of God and Jesus came to save sinners if we miss the fact that there is a need for Jesus, if we fail to teach our children this.. we will raise a generation that does not understand a “need” for Him.. a generation that misses the gospel..

      Now maybe the visual you got of a granny kneeling down to a tot saying “you’re a sinner” was not the image of what this actually looks like — it is hard to read tone. It is likely done out of love not out of a creepy or abusive nature. There is a way to teach that we are sinners to your children and it is important. Jesus did preach this and He preached with children on his lap – do you think he stopped and catered His sermons to children? No, He spoke openly about what he was there for.

      Luke 5:32
      “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”

      ( Also, because tone is hard to tell I am respectfully responding to your question! ) :) I hope this helps shed light and maybe answer some questions. <3

    • Tina R

      I grew up being told Jesus loves us no matter what. I did find the beginning of this “essay” a bit startling but it did clearly capture my attention. Would I say that to my children? No! With that said might the writing be such to “grab us” on a human level in order to drive the message of the scripture home? Just food for thought. By blessed.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Songbird! Just want to let you know we saw your concern this morning and have added a short editor’s note. Always grateful to hear from you.

      – Stormye

    • songbird

      Didn’t think it would evoke an editor’s note but thanks for adding it and helping me grow.

  • Thank you Mrs. Gaul!! I so needed this!!

  • Amen to today’s rich and fulfilling word. God loves the sinner–that would be me, but by grace through faith I have been made free. Happy Friday ladies!! Have a fantastic weekend!!

  • Sonja Cox

    So good!! Everyday- I end with thanking JESUS ♥️

  • “That’s why we can never behave our way into a right relationship with Him. The most well-behaved, law-abiding, church-attending, choir-singing, modest-dressing, moralistic person alive, apart from Jesus Christ, is still dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).” BOOM!

  • After reading this morning’s devotional, I whisper my morning prayer ” I am a broken soul, sinful and imperfect. I try on a daily basis to become a better person for you, Lord. But I fail – sometimes in small ways and sometimes epically. Let me always acknowledge this truth and let me always move on from it, Lord. You have given me forgiveness and salvation, let me hold that knowledge close in my heart and let the canker of guilt go. Dwell within me. Guide me to be a better person today than I was yesterday. Let my actions and thoughts please you and bring you glory. “

  • churchmouse

    While it is absolutely necessary to acknowledge “I am a sinner,” it is absolutely true also that I’m not to linger too long in that statement. Once I’ve asked for forgiveness, I’m to see myself as saved by grace, fully redeemed and now righteous. My sinful rags have been forever replaced with the robe of righteousness. When I wallow too long on the past, I minimize what He did on the cross and I minimize who I really am in the present. My past is the past. I have a new name. He would not have me call myself by any other. To Him, I have no other name but His.

    • Melinda

      AMEN!

    • Ashley Motes

      No better words of encouragement right there. I’ve been focused on the word and concept of love for really months now and I can’t help but think of 1 Corinthians 13:7, “love bears all things and endures all things.” No matter what we go through love is there, and it’s just as important that we love ourselves. When we go through certain trials, especially if we’ve but ourselves in the situation it’s easy to look at ourselves as a useless sinner, but love it’s so much more than that. Yes, we were sinners but now we are new, that debt has been paid and he still loves us because love endures all things.

    • Tina

      Well put Churchmouse…
      Sending hugs and love, from one His to another across the pond…xxx

    • Destiny

      Agreed! I understood the writers sentiments, but we are Saints who still sin.

    • Christine

      Thank you for this, I needed to hear this. I started this study during a time when I am feeling the weight of my sin. The first thing I wrote today is “all of my righteousness is like rags”. But I don’t have to depend on my own righteousness, because I have His and I am clothed in His glory. The words “sinner, dirty, unclean, not pure” rattle around in my head. Intellectually I know that I have been set free, but still I sin, and hate myself for sinning, which causes doubt… and on and on. Anyway, thank you for this reminder ❤

    • Cecelia Enns Schulz

      Yes! Sometimes I think we focus too much on that idea – that we ARE sinners in need of saving. It can become a type of false humility. If we keep harping on our sin when Jesus died for us and we have accepted him, then what are we saying? Jesus is a liar. Because the bible says, as far as the east is from the west THATS how far he’s removed our sins. He said every man is a new creation. That we are seated with him in heavenly places. There is therefore NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The SAME spirit who raised Jesus from the dead LIVES IN US! Not if we are sinners, but only if his sacrifice was enough. I want to live as a saint. I want to live forgetting what lies behind and looking towards the goal – being made holy. Shining and BEING Christ on earth.

    • Kk

      Love this! We have a new name!

    • Katalina

      Love these words Churchmouse!

    • Leesha

      Thank you so much for saying this. I have really noticed lately how people overemphasize the fact that we WERE sinners while forgetting that we, as Christians, are a NEW creation. It is true that Christians can still make mistakes and sin, but as Cecelia pointed out too, there is no longer condemnation for those who are in Christ. It is an important distinction that is not recognized very often.

    • Lana

      This is the truth. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Kgus

      Yes. So much this ! … before Jesus I was a sinner saved by grace , but Ephesians tells me that after I received that grace in my heart , I became a saint who sins! Beginning from a place of depravity as a believer discounted His work on the cross and bred an exhausting works righteousness in me for most of my life(I’m 49) … Finally truly understanding in my heart (at 45!) and beginning everything I do from a place of salvation and grace has bred love and deep gratitude that has set my hearts towards loving Him back with my life ! FREEDOM! It’s His kindness that led me to repentance , not His wagging finger of “you’re just a hopeless sinner”. Ugh. That position robbed the miracle of the cross from my life and placed me on the works treadmill . Exhausting. Thanks be to GOD for His grace! Hallelujah!

    • CC

      Yes, I totally agree Churchmouse! I once had a mentor tell me that don’t have to ASK for forgiveness when we confess our sins, we simply THANK God for His forgiveness because when we receive salvation, we are forgiven for all of our sins, past, present and future! How cool is it that we can rest in that instead of feeling like we have to beg God for His forgiveness?

    • Emily B.

      YES! I was thinking something similar as I read the devotion. You put it so nicely. :)

    • Josie

      Perfectly said! The post made me feel uneasy.

    • Virginia

      ❤️

  • Living in a world where perfection is usually at the center of what we do, we end up forgetting we’re human beings programmed to make mistakes. The media strives and influences young people to look “perfect,” The heads of the million dollar corporations you work at expect you to be “perfect,” and it’s like a never ending cycle of trying and completely failing. There’s One person who will NEVER condemn you in any way for not being perfect… in fact, He embraces it and uses that so His people can have complete faith in Him. Our God is the ultimate Father cheering us on at a soccer game. We may miss the goal a hundred times, we may score the winning goal for the other team, and we may trip and fall throughout the whole game, but He’s still there cheering on the sidelines, giving that much needed reassurance and encouragement to try again and keep going. In a world where perfection is so sought out, we have that heavy weight lifted off our shoulders through God’s love, grace and mercy. Thank you Lord for loving me, flaws and all, when I tried for so many years to be perfect and ended up losing myself along the way. You pieced me back together and I don’t have to fear the worlds desire for me to be perfect because You will never stop cheering me on even when I fail and I just hope my SRT sisters know just how much You love them imperfectly as they are because I know You always will. Amen!

  • Wow!!

  • Deborah Thompson

    WHILE…WHILE…WHILE….
    While I was a dirty, rotten, shameful sinner- He DIED for me.
    He loved me. WHILE I was a sinner He gave me Robes of Righteousness for my Sinful Rags!
    I will rejoice TODAY that WHILE I was a sinner He died for me, because He Loved Me!!!! Hallelujah! What grace is mine, what forgiveness is mine, what mercy is mine- what a SAVIOR is mine!!!!

  • This community study is great reminder to align myself spirit, soul, body in that order every morning, it’s a fresh breath everyday. Thank you srt.

  • So thankful for these words today. Sometimes I wonder which is worse….the sins I commit, or the guilt and frustration I feel as I replay them my mind, saying that I’m not good enough. What a relief it is to hear him say “You are forgiven! Stop feeling guilty!”

    Over the last few months, there have been a few times where fear or anxiety has rooted in my life, taking me over. I used to spend hours trying to “talk myself down” or reason that there is no logical reason to worry. But then I heard God say to me, “You don’t have to work to get rid of that fear. I’ve got this. Anxiety is just a lack of faith. I’m in control. Just breathe, and move on.” And just like that, his calmness is there. There is no better feeling. So thankful for his grace, even in the midst of my sin!

    There is no better feeling to me, than to realize that I don’t have to work toward a certain goal to achieve his grace. It is gifted to me – I can just accept it!

    • Emily

      So good. Thank you for sharing! “Anxiety is just a lack of faith”. That rings true for me (in that terrible, beautiful convicting way!). Xoxo

    • Emily B.

      Amen! I’ve had a similar experience in the last few months with the Lord telling me that He’s fighting the battle; I just need to be still and trust Him. Grace wins!

  • Hello.
    My name is Tina and I am a sinner, in absolutely need of Jesus!

    No doubt there!
    Whatsoever.

    I need Jesus.
    Every hour.
    Every day…

    Living and resting in the Truth… ‘But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners,
    Christ died for us!’
    – Romans 5:8

    While I was committing adultery in my heart… while lying through my back teeth… whilst I gossiped.. whilst I dishonoured my boss, friends, family… whilst I judged… whilst i walked in the opposte direction to God…whilst living a life that was filled with wrong doing…, wrong living… wrong words to others… the list goes on.. Christ died on that cursed cross for me… for Me.. for us…

    There is nothing I can do today, tomorrow or the days to follow, that can take this Truth from me, but what I can do is live my life accountable to God, knowing that I will mess up, I will get things wrong, i will sin, I will make make God sad…
    But God..
    He loves me still..He knows me, He knows the mess I am, the mess of my life, the mess, the mess, agh the mess, yet He still loves this sinner!

    Thank you Jesus that you came for sinners, for me, thank you that you lived, died and rose again for sinners.. for me. Thank you that you offer forgiveness for sinners, for me.. Thank you that by my faith in You Lord Jesus, I am welcomed into Your family.. Thank you Lord Jesus for the gift of being a member of your family, though I am a Sinner..
    Thank you for loving me. Thank you… Thank you.

    Praying the Lord turn His face to shine on you and yours today, throughout the weekend and beyond, whatever you are doing.. Beloveds..xxx

  • I almost never comment here but do often read what others write.

    I’m also catching up so this comment relates to yesterday’s reading too.

    I’m reminded of the other day when I repotted some of the plants I had last summer and kept over the winter. In particular, my mint plant. The central plant had died but there was new healthy looking growth around the edges of the pot. When i tipped it out to repot it I realized the whole pot was full of a snarled up tangled mess of old roots that were preventing the new shoots from having space to grow.

    Today’s reading has me tipping out my heart to expose the ugly, messy, old stuff, so that new healthy shoots can flourish.

    How sorry I am that I have held on to the ugly stuff.

    But how happy I am that God welcomes me back and has all I need for a new start.

    Love to you all, dear sisters. We are working towards new growth in Christ. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • Tina

      Amen Ruth… well said. Lovely analogy of how we allow the old rubbish to get in the way of growth.. I love it.
      Blessings Sister… Happy Friday.

    • Bobbie

      Love, love, love this word picture! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Ashley

      Love this comparison. Thank you for sharing ❤️

    • Emily

      Thank you for this word picture! I so want to live with the new growth that is springing up, but it keeps getting caught up in the old ugly. How do you get rid of those untruths and former ways of thinking? That’s the hard part. But there is freedom waiting.
      “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” Heb 12:1-2

    • She Reads Truth

      So thankful you shared, Ruth! What a strong image for us to all keep in mind!

      – Stormye

  • amen amen amen. so thankful for these words today. I have spent the week reminded daily of my sin as I lose my patience with my toddler having had very little sleep because of my baby but come before God each and every morning to ask for his Grace. I want my children to grow up with this truth and will pray it with them each night. Thanks #srt

    • Tina

      Hey Claire… Good morning!.
      Lovely to see you here… how’s little Theo? Bet he’s a delight and just absolutely adorable.. you have another now… Congratulations!
      Just really wanted to encourage you this morning.. You are doing just fine, you are the perfect mother for your little people… God sees.. Praying double blessings of peace, grace, patience, over you for today and over the coming days..
      Sending love and hugs to you and yours dear friend.. Happy Friday!

    • Cassie Kendall

      Hey Claire! I KNOW that feeling. I have a four year old and a two year old that are fighting constantly right now and I feel like I’m constantly losing my patience too. You are definitely not alone- but asking God for grace and help every day is certainly the best thing you can do! we’ll get through this!

    • Veronica

      Yes! I have had to practice the same morning prayer daily. I have a sweet but spirited 19 month old- it’s easy to lose patience with her! I have to pray every morning for grace and patience, and during the day when I feel frustration overwhelming I have to close my eyes and just ask for patience. You are doing a good job! Parenthood is hard. But you were hand picked to be the mother of these sweet babies. God is with you through the impatience and long, hard days. ❤️

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