Of fire prevention we have all heard. Crime prevention likewise is not only a matter we desire but one whose need we become aware of more and more every day. Sin prevention, however, is far more necessary and, sad to say, of very little concern even in the church world today.
Yes, we can make a distinction between crime and sin. Crime is sin, but all sin is not crime. Crime is what the world calls any deed that breaks a man-made law, and that is sin before God when that law is made by the authorities God placed over us. But there are sins against the first table of the law of God which do not bother the world. Trust in a creature, make an idol to worship, take God's name in vain, and desecrate the Sabbath, and the world will not call it a crime.
We ought to be concerned about such sins and seek to prevent them and all other sins, as the psalmist writes in Psalm 119:11-12 in these words: "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes." Or, as we sang yesterday:
Sincerely I have sought Thee, Lord,
O let me not from Thee depart;
To know Thy will and keep from sin
Thy word I cherish in my heart.
Quite plainly sin prevention requires knowing God's statutes, or if you will, having God's word in our hearts. How important then is the reading and studying of God's word in our homes.
You may have smoke detectors and take many fire prevention actions. You may vote for higher taxes to get more policemen for crime prevention. But are you interested in stopping and preventing all sin in your home and life?
God's word will show you which of your thoughts, desires, and actions are sin in His sight. His word is a mirror, and when you stand before it you will see yourself as God sees you. You will in it see His Son in all His righteousness and holiness. Take heed to what His Son calls you to do, even if it costs you your earthly life. Trust in Him to bring you into His kingdom when He returns upon the clouds of heaven. There you will everlastingly be prevented from all sin forever.
Read: James 1
Psalter versification: 322:2
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Through the Bible in One Year
Joshua 19; Joshua 20
Quote for Reflection:
"... when men of understanding and parts come to hear, this temptation is ready to come upon them, that unless they hear some new thing that they did not understand before, why should they come? I am able to understand as much in such a point as can be said, and when I have come and heard many times, I have only heard that which I knew before. Upon that they think there is no use in coming to hear. Now this is a great mistake. When you come to hear the Word, you do not always come to hear what you did not know. It may be sometimes God may dart something that you did not think of before or so fully understand. But suppose it is not so. You are to come to it as an ordinance of God for the conveyance of spiritual good to your souls" Jeremiah Burroughs (Gospel Worship, p. 201).