1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Many species of birds live in communities that are quite complex and even resemble human communities.

In the Amazon rainforests of Peru, 20 or more mixed species of birds will flock together in the lower levels of the rainforest canopy. Each flock has a leader and organizer – the bluish-slate ant-shrike. Each morning the ant-shrike will assemble its flock with loud calls.

 Barred ant-shrikeThis strange arrangement has a very good purpose. The ant-shrike watches over the flock like a mother watches her children. When a bird-eating hawk appears overhead, the ant-shrike shrieks a warning so that members of the flock can take cover. But as often as half the time, the ant-shrike sounds the alarm when there is no hawk. The ant-shrike sounds the alarm to distract members of the flock when he sees that they have discovered some choice insects. In this way, the ant-shrike gets up to 85 percent of its food by sounding the false hawk alarm. Nevertheless, the rest of the flock put up with his lying and thieving because of his value as a hawk watcher.

Lying and stealing are, of course, wrong for human beings. And our Creator will hold us each personally responsible for our thoughts and actions. But His Son, Jesus Christ, took our sins upon Himself so that all who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior will stand before Him cleansed of all their sins. Our Creator has promised this!

I thank You, Lord, that You have taken my sin upon Yourself. Help my trust to always rest in what You have done for me and not in what I think I can do to better myself before the heavenly Father. Amen.

Photo: Barred ant-shrike in São Paulo, Brazil. Courtesy of Dario Sanches. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.