Monday, July 8, 2013

Have you yielded to sin?





Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (NIV)

For such a small word, a lot is packed into the meaning of sin. The Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God's law (1 John 3:4). It is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God. The original translation means "to miss the mark" of God's holy standard of righteousness.

While the basic origin of sin is unclear, we know that it came into the world when the serpent, Satan, tempted Adam and Eve and they disobeyed God (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12). The essence of the problem stemmed from the human desire to be like God. All sin, therefore, has its roots in idolatry—the attempt to put something or someone in the place of the Creator. Most often, that someone is one's own self. While God allows sin, he is not the author of sin. All sins are an offense to God and they separate us from him (Isaiah 59:2).

It is difficult to do any work when we are strongly opposed. We begin to doubt the validity of the task or our ability to perform it. When we are assailed for doing God’s work, we must evaluate the source of opposition. We cannot assume opposition means that God is against us. While it is of little value to blame the devil for everything that goes wrong, the Bible makes it clear that spiritual opposition is a reality in the work of God. If we suspect spiritual opposition, we must oppose the enemy, remain at the task at hand, and redouble our prayers!

One of the best ways we can honor our Lord is to pay attention and be careful. Other people see the way we live our lives, and if we are sloppy and sinful, we can hardly hope to make others see the benefits of being Christian. Once we have been touched by the saving grace of God, we need to pay attention and live as careful a life a possible.

When we are faced with situations that need change, preparation is vital. We may not be able to do anything about it at the moment, but we can ask ourselves this question: “If it lay within our power to do anything we wanted to do, what would we do?” If we can answer that, then we will recognize opportunity when it knocks, and we can capitalize on it.

If we have been touched by the light of Christ, people should be able to tell. No longer do we walk selfishly and in sin. Through Christ, we walk upright, and God shines forth through us. Let us work hard on our spiritual image as we do on our physical one.

When we are faced with situations that need change, preparation is vital. We may not be able to do anything about it at the moment, but we can ask ourselves this question: “If it lay within our power to do anything we wanted to do, what would we do?” If we can answer that, then we will recognize opportunity when it knocks, and we can capitalize on it.

The Bible story about the Israelites wandering in the wilderness illustrates this principle. After saving them from Pharaoh's abuse, God did not bring them immediately to the Promised Land. The Lord knew doing so would bring sinful ways with them. Instead, He led them to the wilderness and gave the Ten Commandments. Only after they learned to obey and turn to almighty God were they ready for the next step.

In essence Israel did not have to travel 40 years to the Promised Land. It's a trip that should have taken only a few weeks (see Deuteronomy 1:2). But the people rejected God's love, rebelled against his authority, ignored his instructions for right living, and willfully broke their agreement with God (Exodus 19:8). For their disobedience, God led them into the wilderness until they had learned to follow him.

We often make life's journey more difficult than necessary by disobeying God. We can benefit from the lessons God taught the Israelites though. We don't have to repeat their mistakes. God offers his love to us if we would only accept it (Romans 8:35). God will guide our paths if we would only seek his will (Proverbs 3:6). And God promised to never abandon us, so we have no reason to fear (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Hebrews 13:5). You may find that your life is less complicated by your own sins and more rewarding if you choose to cling to God in obedience.

Maybe you are wondering if God really loves you. Have you yielded to sin? Or have you allowed the world and its trappings to come between you and your Savior? Cry out to Him and He will restore the joy of your salvation. When nothing else can help, love will lift you.


Blessings

Raj Kosaraju





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