James 3:2 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways.”
It is that last part that I would like you to take note of. “We all stumble in many ways.” James employs a metaphor here to describe our sinfulness. When he says we "stumble in many ways" he is likening our lives to someone who is perpetually tripping over things and falling down.
Understanding what is said here is good because t helps us to understand how much sin is a part of our lives.
When it comes to the law of God, we are all clumsy fools. We are constantly blundering about and lacking any sort of spiritual agility or elegance.
In all reality, our lives might be compared to an episode of the Three Stooges or some other slapstick comedy. If it were not so terribly sad, it might be funny because of how klutzy we are spiritually. James says we stumble in many ways, and the idea is that you have a guy who is so clumsy that he trips over one thing, and—as soon as he regains his composure—he tumbles over something else. It’s just this constant roll of bloopers.
Perhaps you can even see this in your own life. Even on a good day you’ll see how there was a long list of sins (pride, coveting, your spiteful or mean spirited). Or, you might have caught yourself doing something right after you got done repenting of it!
It is true that every intention of our hearts is only evil continually. And for this reason we must come before the Lord and seek his grace. Let us pray.
Father in Heaven,
We confess that we do not deserve the least good thing, but indeed we have forfeited all rights to your benefits by virtue of our sins and shortcomings. We recognize that hell ought to receive us and the pains of eternal damnation should fall upon us because of the guilt we have incurred through our having violated your law.
We confess that we are sinners before you and we acknowledge the depth of the corruption. Our iniquity is both frequent and willful. It has been conceived within the dark chambers of our hearts. It has festered in the foul halls of our minds. And like vomit it has cascaded forth to our public deeds.
To be sure, there has been a perpetual flow to our offenses and we continue to heap hot coals upon our heads by the works of our flesh.
And it is because we have no merit of our own of which to speak that we come to you. We cast ourselves upon your mercies and rest ourselves solely in the promise of your Son, who was crucified for sinners and condemned in his flesh.
Father we plead the blood of Calvary, and cling to the offer of salvation that is in him. And we ask that you would by no means cast us out. But let instead our guilt be taken away and may you cause our sin to fall from us like dead branches lopped off, for we do sorrow and mourn our ungodly waywardness and the evil that we do.
Hear us as we pray, not for our sake, but only for the sake of Christ and the glory he receives through it. Amen
Kindled Fire is dedicated
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.