Summary: God’s Word exposes us for who we are; but we have an advocate in Jesus who understands us and offers us empowering grace.

DOMINANT THOUGHT: God’s Word exposes us for who we are; but we have an advocate in Jesus who understands us and offers us empowering grace.


- Head: The people will understand that God’s Word gives us a better understanding of who we are.

- Head: The people will understand that Jesus’ incarnation gives God a better understanding of our brokenness.

- Heart: The people will be filled with appreciation for the love of God.

- Heart: The people will be more compassionate to other “sinners.”

- Hands: The people will draw near to God through Bible intake.


This is probably hard to believe, but my children, from time to time, act in ways that I and the rest of decent society do not approve of.

One always wonders if such behavior is genetics or environment, you know, the age-old controversy between nature and nurture. I’d like to blame it on Michelle, but when I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I probably play a larger role than I’d like to admit.

I don’t remember either occurrence, but my mother was always fond of telling people about the two times I had to have my stomach pumped as a toddler. Once for drinking a bottle of Downey, the other for eating a whole bottle of children’s aspirin.

Then there was the time my cousin and I wandered away from the city park across the street to a nearby school playground. We didn’t even realize we were missing until a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy came looking for us.

Once I boldly wrote my name on the carport of the apartment complex we lived at in blue crayon. When asked by my mother if I had done that, I said, “No, it must have been some other boy named Bobby.” “Really?” She asked, “Isn’t it odd how he writes his Y’s backwards just like you?” Busted!

I don’t think I’ll say much about the time I got hold of a book of matches and set my crib on fire when I was an infant.

I still remember the first time I was aware. I mean, really aware, that I had done something terribly wrong and that I stood convicted, guilty. Maybe you can think back to that point in your life when you really woke up to the fact that, “Hey, I’m messed up.”

For me it came in the first grade. My sin? I had a library book that was one day late. Harry the Dirty Dog was its title. Perhaps you’ve read it yourself.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Overdue libray book. Late one day. Big deal. Well, for me it was a big deal. It was a huge deal, an insurmountable sin that may prove to be my very undoing.

You’ve got to understand. I was born a worrier. I can still remember my very first spelling test. I was petrified about it. Ten small words. But I fretted over those words. I memorized those words. I even memorized the order in which they listed in my spelling book. I didn’t want to do poorly on the test. Imagine my surprise when the teacher read the words out to us for us to write down. I thought I was going to have to conjure them up on my own.

Perhaps you can see why I was so worried about this late book, and on several fronts. I loved to read. What if they wouldn’t let me check books out anymore? I loved school. What if they kicked me out over this late book? My mom was on welfare, scratching to make ends meet. What if they charged us some kind of fine that we couldn’t afford to pay? Mrs. Hutchens, the librarian, was one of those old spinsters with the cat’s-eyes glasses and knee-high stockings that would always roll down her calves and make her look like she was smuggling sausages. She took no nonsense and was quick to quell the slightest noise in the hallowed halls of her sanctuary. I was sure to get on her bad side if I brought a book back late.

So there I was on a Friday morning, walking down the steps of my apartment to what I felt sure was my doom. Harry the Dirty Dog lay in the crook of my elbow like a heavy millstone. As I passed by the neighbor’s backyard, I looked down to see Clean Harry and Dirty Harry both giving me an accusing look. What to do? They’d never understand at school.

I was faced with a crisis. I had to choose to either admit my wrongdoing and confess to keeping the book an extra day, or find some means of escape. I was a pressure cooker of internal turmoil. Coming to a decision, I did the only thing I felt I could do.

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