SCRIPTURE:

Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys. No one’s living right; I can’t find a single one.

– Romans 3:10-12 The Message

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father,
There have been times in my life when I’ve been a good citizen, done good deeds, been a good friend, student, or employee, made wise decisions. I could take credit for a lot of those things, but I know in my heart there were a lot of times–more than I want to count–when I have cheated the system, wronged others, looked away from someone in need, made bad decisions, and suffered the consequences. Each one of these instances reveal my need for your mercy and grace. Thank you for loving and forgiving this sinner.
In your name I pray,
Amen.

JOURNAL REFLECTION:

What does it mean to you that no one can live right, no one is “sinless”? How does that differ from being a good person?

CALL TO ACTION:

When you read today’s Scripture, consider the times in your life when you have strayed from God. Pray about those times and be honest with God about those experiences. As we are reminded in today’s prayer, each instance we have strayed from God is an opportunity to remember his boundless mercy and grace toward us.

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