the power of sin…

This devotional is from Lifeway…..and I found it to be spot on….

Read Ahead: Proverbs 14:8-12
Fools mock at making restitution, but there is goodwill among the upright. Proverbs 14:9, HCSB
One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is to underestimate the power of sin. We don’t like to admit when we sin, because then we have to make amends for it or change our behavior. So we rationalize that we haven’t really sinned at all.
First, we find a better name for it. Sin sounds so old-fashioned. So harsh. Let’s call it a “mistake” or a “habit” or a “lapse in judgment.” That sounds better.

Next, we build a case to explain why we did it. “Everyone else was doing it.” “I didn’t think anyone would get hurt.” “It wasn’t my fault.”

Finally, we de-emphasize the fallout. “People are too uptight these days.” “They need to stop being so sensitive.”
It comes down to a control issue. We don’t like being told what to do. We want the freedom to make our own choices. But we fail to understand one thing: We don’t control sin. Sin controls us.
Sin is any attitude or behavior that goes against God’s desires. He wants us to be free from the guilt, shame, and consequences of sin. But as long as we refuse to take sin seriously, we’ll never experience life the way God desires.
Don’t be afraid to see sin for what it is. Don’t allow a distorted view of sin to rob you of the life God intends for you. Ask God to tell you how you can make amends.
What sins in your life need to be exposed for what they are?
Read Up: Romans 6:16-23, Galatians 6:7-8
This devotional is courtesy of TQ.

a time to repent…

Selections From Psalms 32:1-5 & 51:7-17

When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You took away the guilt of my sin…. Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice…. Create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me…. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart. (HCSB)

David never thought this day would come. He never would have believed he could fall so far, stoop so low. The prophet Nathan’s words burned like an acid bath. “You are the man!” Rocked on his heels, hands to his chest, the real David returned. In repentance.

Look At It This Way
There is confession. There is repentance. And there is a difference. David confessed. He admitted his mistake. That’s half the battle. But repentance is the tough part. Confession finishes its work in a moment. Repentance takes a lifetime. Repentance means facing the same temptation again.And again. And again. And again. And saying no every time. And when you slip and say yes, it means getting back up – and saying no again. It’s a painful path, a bruising battle, but every other road is a lie. Repentance is the only way home.

Sometimes, alas, sin even prevails over us, and we are forced in deep anguish to confess that we have fallen beneath its power. Who among us can say, “I am clean, I have not sinned”? Still, a temporary defeat is not sufficient to effect a total subjugation. Sin shall not have dominion over the believer, for though he falls, he shall rise again. The child of God when he falls into the mire is like the sheep that gets up and escapes from the ditch as quickly as possible; it is not his nature to lie there.

The ungodly man is like the hog that rolls in the filth and wallows in it with delight. The mire has dominion over the swine, but it has none over the sheep. With many bleatings and outcries, the sheep seeks the shepherd again, but not so the swine.

Every child of God weeps, mourns, and bemoans his sin, and he hates it when for a while he has been overtaken by it. Sin has an awful power, but it has no dominion; it casts us down, but it cannot make us take delight in its evil. – Charles Spurgeon

A Final Thought
Repent of it today. That sin. You know the one. That one that overtakes you no matter how fast you run. Satan will laugh and say you can’t be trusted. And you know he’s right. But God can.

This devotional is courtesy of the One Minute Bible for Men of Character.

the chain link…

James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

This is another ‘snippet’ from the late, great, Adrian Rogers…

“So many people have the idea that God is going to grade on the curve. We say to ourselves, “We’re bad, but not as bad as so-and-so”. But God doesn’t grade on a curve. He grades on an absolute standard of holiness. Can anybody say that they’ve kept all of God’s Ten Commandments? Of course not. But let’s suppose you have only broken one. What would happen? Well, let me illustrate. If a man was dangling over a fire by a chain of ten links and nine of those links were made of forged steel and one was made of crepe paper, what would happen?”

Yikes. I also heard it put another way..suppose you were pulled over by a policeman for speeding and you try to explain that yes, you were speeding NOW, but then tried to explain how many times you DID’NT speed…….doesn’t work that way. God is so holy and sin cannot be in His presence. So now what?

Talk to Him. Tell Him you know that you have sinned and want to be clean. Ask for ‘godly wisdom’ so you can make better choices throughout the day. Let His love pick you up and keep going! Becoming more like Jesus is a learning process, so give yourself a break. Don’t feel the pressure to be perfect, but don’t seek out sin either. Sin is deadly. But the way God wants us to live is always the best way to live!