Missing The Mark (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
September. The Range. It’s almost a ritual for many. Deer season isn’t far off, and neither is less favorable weather. You either need to sight in your rifle or check your zero from last year. Perhaps you bumped it last season—especially if you’re in the habit of climbing up and down from tree stands.
It’s a beautiful day. I walk down and affix a target to the 100-yard board. Since I’ve always sighted with a different zero, I know I’ll need some adjustments. Three shots confirm where it’s hitting now. After some clicks, three more put me real close to what I want. Not dead on, but decent.
There are two other guys there, and they’ve been helping me confirm where the shots are hitting. We like what we see in the second set of three, but I go for the full three shots to be sure. After retrieving the target, I show it to them, remarking, “I think I’m going to pack it in.” One comments, “I’d have done that two shots back.” We all smile.
The truth is that none of those shots are perfect. But they are—I feel—good enough. A deer is a good-sized target, and I don’t expect to be shooting at distances over 200 yards.
Come to think of it, that’s basically the same attitude I used to have before I became a Christian. I realized I wasn’t perfect. Sure, I’d done some things wrong, but there are plenty of people who have done far worse—or so I thought. Actually, I figured I was pretty good, just like those shots. But that reasoning is faulty; the mistake is subtle, but it’s dangerous.
The reality is I’ve fallen short both at the range and in life, and the Bible certainly confirms that. Romans 3:23 puts it this way: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That’s quite interesting, especially when you realize that sin here has a literal background meaning of “missing the mark.” The last part of the verse is also telling in the use of the present tense. Putting it all together, the sense would be, “For all have missed the mark, and keep on coming short of the glory of God.”
At the range, the mark is the bullseye. With God, this verse says it’s His glory. Well, that leaves me out. I know I’m nowhere near the glory of God’s perfect holiness and righteousness. In heaven, Isaiah tells us that the seraphs cover their faces as they cry, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (6:3). Two verses later, Isaiah himself responds to this truth: “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone.”
When I was a boy, the church we were in then didn’t preach the Gospel, but we did learn the catechism. I still remember some of those questions. “What is God?” Answer: “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.” “What is sin?” Answer: “Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.”
Seeing as how all this is true, I’m in a world of hurt. I’m right there with Isaiah, “For I am undone.” When you keep reading Isaiah 6, you find that God provided cleansing and forgiveness for Isaiah. And that’s the good news of the Gospel: “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
One day, as a teenager of 17, through the help of friends and a Bible-believing church, I came to see that I wasn’t good enough. But verse after verse confirmed that God loved me, Jesus died for me and the Gospel offered forgiveness. I just needed to come to grips with these truths and act on them. Jesus’ message was and is, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The Apostle Paul preached “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
By God’s grace, I did act upon these truths, and called out to God, confessing my sin and asking His forgiveness. Now I can claim the promise of Romans 10:13: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Since then, I’ve had the assurance of being saved. You can, too! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).