Which is the more dangerous sin, the one that creates a chemical dependency, such as drugs or alcohol, and destroys a body, or the one that creates an emotional or behavioral aberration, such as envy or complaining, and twists a person’s spirit?
We know the answer to that, do we not? All sin is dangerous. But perhaps the physical effects of many sins are not evident, so we attribute less weight to them. (Probably most or all sins have some physical manifestation.) We treat them with less seriousness. They are more respectable to us.
In a way, however, all sin is addictive. All sin traps the sinner. All sin is controlling.
The wicked will be captured by his own iniquities,
and he will be held by the cords of his own sin. Prov 5.22.
The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the faithless will be captured by their own desires. Prov 11.6.
The Hebrew word behind “captured” is used most of the time in the Old Testament of a city, of men, of spoils, or even of a kingdom being captured or taken, according to the Theological Wordbook of the OT. It is a powerful image for the effects of sin in one’s life. Continue reading
If you let him, God will turn your life upside-down. Or rather, right-side up. He will work a great thing in you.
He will not leave you where you are, but will sweep away the trash of selfishness and the litter of small concerns to fill you with a consuming love for him. God will transform you, change you, reorient you to himself. He will leave you marveling at grace and in awe of truth.
Further, he will remake you in his image, revealed in Christ, by the power of his Spirit, with all the might of heaven at your disposal. And he will give you the greatest mission of all, to work at his side that this image might be reproduced in others.
Satan would blind you to God’s goodness, but if you let him, God will break through your blindness and give you the sharpest vision of himself.
Make this your prayer and your goal today.
“At that time the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll, and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness” Isaiah 29.18.
Focus question: Where is God working in my life? How is he effecting the promised transformation? What do I need to do to allow his transforming power in me?
A world of peoples, cultures, languages,
Lies beyond my small horizon,
Across oceans, over mountains,
Around the corner from my house.
My little circle draws a line
To neatly hold my loved ones in,
Define those I consider mine,
Exclude who isn’t my kith and kin.
To others the kingdom’s door is shut,
My comfort rules, I can’t be bothered,
In my own clan my treasure’s put —
The gospel? By someone else be offered.
A new Bible, a new journal, a new page,
a new day, a new start, a new age —
So much newness! So much hope! Unspoken fear!
Can I really and truly change in this new year?
Growth has happened, progress made, but oh! how slow!
God prepares his people with patience — Yes, Lord, I know!