I Have Done No Wrong

Reading the Word

This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”(Proverbs 30:20, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

We read of the adulterous woman who eats and wipes her mouth. The picture is of one who eats her meal, cleans up, and goes on. The adulteress treats her sin in the same way as eating a meal. It is just the normal, daily activity and no thought is given to the wrong. In fact, she says, “I have done no wrong.”

It is a dangerous place to be when we no longer even consider our sin. When our conscience is so seared that our sin becomes routine and we begin to lose sight of right and wrong, we can be sure that we have gone far from God. The sinful heart can lead all of us away from God’s will and can cause us to reject correction and even justify our sinfulness. We need God’s word, God’s Spirit, and the people of God to help us along. It is through these three means that we learn how to live as the people of God as we are both encouraged and corrected in our daily lives. Be sure to read the word, pray, and be a part of a loving church.


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Concealing Our Sin

Reading the Word

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.(Proverbs 28:13, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

What is the usual response to doing something wrong? We try to hide it. We believe by doing so we can deal with our sin and it will go away. This is not the case. While our first reaction is to hide our sin, doing so is the worst thing for us. The result of trying to hide it is reflected in the words of Psalm 32:1-4:

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

Rather than run from our sin or try to hide it, we need to own up to it and confess it. When we do so, we are told that we find mercy. God is a gracious God who forgives sinners. That is why he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Jesus took the punishment that we as sinners deserve. When we confess our sins and trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, we are forgiven. Do not run from your sin. It will only harm you to do so. Instead, go to God, confess, and trust in Jesus Christ.


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Affliction

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 129:1–8 (ESV)
1 “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth”— let Israel now say—
2 “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me.
3 The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows.”
4 The LORD is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.
5 May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward!
6 Let them be like the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up,
7 with which the reaper does not fill his hand nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
8 nor do those who pass by say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you! We bless you in the name of the LORD!”


Israel has been through a lot of suffering throughout history. But without wishing to downplay that fact, I believe this Psalm is ultimately about the Promised Son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a man of sorrows, and familiar with grief.

The talk of ploughers ploughing Israel’s back and making long their furrows immediately reminds me of the fact that Jesus was scourged to set His people free. The Lord is righteous and will cut all cords of wickedness. But Jesus endured that for us.

May unrepentantly guilty sinners of the torture and death of Christ get their comeuppance. May those of us whose sins nailed Him to that tree not be blessed, if we fail to acknowledge Him and be sorrowful for what we have done. May the Lord have mercy upon us for our guilt over the death of Christ!

“Almighty Lord, we acknowledge Your righteousness and confess our wickedness. Please have mercy upon us for our sins that nailed Christ to the cross. In His name, amen.”


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Righteousness Exalts a Nation

Reading the Word

Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)
34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Righteousness, or doing what is right, is always important. We often think of doing what is right in our own personal lives, but how often do we think of this collectively, as a society? It is to our advantage as a nation to submit ourselves to God’s word. This applies to how we deal with our own people and how we deal with people from other countries. God’s ways are the best ways because they are the right ways. To follow our own ways, which is sin, is always to our disadvantage.

God’s word stresses that we are to love our neighbors and do to others as we would have them do to us. We are to strive for justice and peace. We are to look out for those who are in need and vulnerable. We are to be people of integrity who keep their word. We are to be fair and honest. These are the values that we should strive for as a nation. Let us pray for our leaders that they would seek the same.


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Seven Things the Lord Hates

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Proverbs 6:16–19 (ESV)

16 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

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The Chief of Sinners

1 Timothy 115 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

1 Timothy 1:12–15 (ESV)

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The writings of Paul seem to dominate the New Testament. It is through his letters that we truly gain our understanding of most of our foundational Christian doctrines. God certainly used Paul in a great way. As Paul reflected on this truth, he did so with humility. Paul understood that it was only by God’s grace that he had been able to do anything at all for the Lord. After all, he was a “blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent” of God and God’s people, but God had saved Paul and chose to use him.

 Paul knew that his salvation was fully by grace. He was the “foremost” sinner. He was not in any way deserving of salvation. It was only through Jesus Christ, the one who came into this world to save sinners, that he was saved. Paul never forgot this truth and we must not forget it either. We owe everything to God’s grace. It does not matter how much we may accomplish for the Lord in this life. We may accomplish great things or remain unknown. Regardless, all that we are and all that we are able to do are only because of what God has done for us. Jesus Christ has come into the world to save sinners and use them for his glory. Let us praise his name!

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We Will All Be Changed

1 Corinthians 1555–57 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

1 Corinthians 15:50–58 (ESV)

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Understanding and Applying the Word

We live in uncertain times. The world is in constant turmoil due to political division, economic stress, natural disasters, and the sinfulness of the human heart. It can become overwhelming if we let it. However, as Christians, we know the future is bright. The things we face today are only temporary because God has a plan in place and his plans never fail.

What is the plan God has for the future? It is the same plan that we saw in the days of Jesus. The will be resurrection and new life for all believers. The dead will rise and those who have not died will be transformed. We will be made new and ready for an eternal existence in a new heaven and new earth. When that day comes, there will be no more death because sin will be no more. The troubles of this world will be gone and we will live in the presence of our Savior forever. What a wonderful future is waiting!

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Do Not Hide Your Sin

Psalm 325 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 32:1–5 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

Unrepentant sin weighs on a person. The psalmists speaks of his sin causing his bones to waste away resulting in groaning all day. He felt like God’s hand was heavy on him and his strength was dried up. He was miserable and he needed relief

Relief from sin comes when we confess it to God. He has told us that he is gracious and merciful and ready to forgive. We only need to repent. When we do that, our burdens are lifted and our lives are restored. Do not try to hide your sin from the all-knowing God. He is ready to show you grace if you will go to him.

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The Love of God at the Cross

Romans 58 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Romans 5:6–11 (ESV)

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Take out a pen and piece of paper. Write down a list of people that you would be willing to sacrifice your comforts and freedoms for. Now, make a second list of the people you would even be willing to die for. Who is on that list? Family? Loved ones? How many of your enemies are on that list?

Consider this: Jesus Christ gave up his life for us while we were sinners. This means that he died for us while we were the enemies of God. Why would Christ die for his enemies? Because that is how much he loves us! He went to the cross to die because that is what was necessary for our salvation. Do not fail to see the love of God displayed at the cross. The Savior who died for us.

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Are You Just Seeking Attention?

Matthew 66 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Matthew 6:5–8 (ESV)

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Why do you do the things you do? When you do good for others, is it so you will receive a pat on the back? When you go to church, is it so others will see you in attendance and think better of you? When you give of your finances, is it so people will view you as generous? When you pray, are your prayers directed to God or are you more concerned with others who are listening?

We are sinful people. It is most evident in how we can take the very things that should focus our attention on God and use them to draw attention to ourselves. This is what some do with religious practices. This is what many of the religious were doing in Jesus’ day with prayer. They used it as a show to capture the attention of others. Unfortunately, this still happens today and it may be something that we all need think about. Why do we do the things we do? Are we seeking God or the attention of others?

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