Tag Archives: sin

You Cannot Do It

Oh my goodness, Father, my eyes are having a hard time staying open this morning! Help me to see what You have for me today. “Make me a blessing to someone today.”

Matthew 1:20-25 (<<click the green)

From a very early age, most of us don’t like being told that we cannot do something. It gets us into all kinds of trouble either doing (or trying to do) it anyway or throwing a fit because we can’t. For that matter that’s what got Adam and Eve into trouble at the outset of time. They were told they could eat from every tree…except one. And of course which tree did they eat from? The one from which they were forbidden, bringing condemnation on the entirety of humanity for the rest of time.

Yet today we fight against being told we can’t do certain things. We continue to be ravaged by sin – it is a constant battle for us all. But one thing we can’t do? We cannot save ourselves from the onslaught of sin and its repercussions.

Romans 6:23 tells us that, the wages of sin is death…” We cannot save ourselves from the ramifications of sin. We are condemned to death. We, in and of ourselves, can do absolutely nothing about it. We can try all sorts of things to conquer sin but all of them fail. We are doomed.

But…that is where God steps in. In our passage today the angle of the Lord explains to Joseph all that is going on with Mary. The son she carried “was conceived by the Holy Spirit” and Joseph was to “name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” The name Jesus means, “The Lord saves”.

Romans 6:23 begins with, “For the wages of sin is death…” but the last portion of the verse exclaims “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I love the phrase in my study Bible* that says, “Jesus didn’t come to help people save themselves; he came to be their Savior from the power and penalty of sin.” (emphasis mine)

Thank You, Lord, for the salvation You freely extend to us all. We may not like to hear it but we cannot save ourselves. As the meaning of Your name proclaims “The Lord saves.” I am so grateful that You do, for I surely cannot.

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Sept 12th, Tues, 6:44 am

Blackjacket!

Father, this day can go many different directions. I pray that Your hand will be upon us regardless of the direction it takes. Use us for Your glory even in the midst of the mundane. Amen.

OK…I am not a fan of stinging insects. (I’m sure those who are are few and far between!) Anyway, this past week I have been working to clean up around where we stack our wood. Now I haven’t been stung (thankfully!) and I haven’t even seen a nest but as I was working I saw, what I would classify as, a hornet! I guess technically they are a part of the yellowjacket wasp family – it is commonly known as the bald-faced hornet but one of its names is the Blackjacket. Regardless, I jumped back and scrutinized my surroundings. I saw none but the one on the wood but from then on I kept my eyes peeled for any others. I sure didn’t want to give them any reason to sting me!

Lord, why don’t we respond to sin that way? You would think that once we are “stung” by sin, we would want to avoid it. But no, we go back again and again regardless of the pain and misery that is inflicted. It would be different if it only stung us once, but like the Blackjacket, sin can sting over and over again.

I also read that they can squirt venom from the stinger into the eyes of nest intruders. The venom causes immediate watering of the eyes and temporary blindness. Doesn’t sin do the same? Its venom blinds us – it may be temporary but eventually we sin so repeatedly that our blindness no longer fades.

Lord, I may have been the fool but I am so grateful that, no matter how many stings and squirts I’ve taken, that Your grace overrides them all.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

Aug 31st, Thurs, 7:13 am

At the Door

Father, You have brought me so far! I could not have done it without You. You deserve all the praise! You are surely a great and awesome God worthy of all of our praise! May this day and the life I live be a blessing to You! Amen!

Revelation 3:20 (<<click the green)

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”

This verse reminds me of an artist’s rendering. The artist is Warner Sallman and the picture is fairly well known, at least in Christian circles.

In doing a little researching I found some interesting details about the painting and its allegory. The barely concealed heart produced by the luminance of Christ and the frame of the doorway convey Christ’s call to the soul ensnared in thistles of sin and the darkness of ignorance and willfulness. Yet… “all is not hopeless, for there is an opening of grillwork in the door ‘revealing the darkness within,’ so that the individual may see who is at the door, and see that He is good and kind.” It is also noteworthy “because the absence of any outside knob or latch on the door indicates that one must open one’s heart to Christ from within — He will not force His way inside.” (from the Warner Sallman Collection)

So much imagery conveyed by Sallman and it is all inspired by truth – the truth from God’s word.

Lord, you wait patiently for our response –not one person is excluded. I am grateful that I answered that persistent knocking on my heart’s door. I am grateful that You have come into my life. I am grateful for Your companionship and direction. Lord, You have brought me so far! I could not have done it without You!

Aug 4th, Thurs, 6:08 am

Down the Front

Father, it is a joy to be with You this morning. May I be attentive as I see what You have for me. Draw me close to Your side. Give me a heart that wants to be like You more than anything else. Amen.

Revelation 3:4-6 (<<click the green)

One of my biggest challenges in life is keeping food off the front of my shirt. Inevitably something of vibrant color will do so, especially when I am out in public.

It happened a couple of Sundays ago. We decided to run into town after church and grab a quick bite at a well know Mexican food place. I kept my burrito in the wrapper for extra protection, leaned over the tray in a precautionary move…but to no avail! One bite and a chunk of tomato covered in meat sauce fell to my thumb, rolled down my hand and tumbled over the front of my shirt! So for the rest of the afternoon, I walked Napoleon-style with my hand over my shirt trying to cover the stain! And of course, we ran into people we knew…no surprise there!

Verse 4 here speaks of the few in Sardis who had not soiled their clothes with evil.” Sin leaves a mark, stains are unavoidable. Trying to cover them up is futile. Lord, You see it all. You witness the act and You are keenly aware of the aftermath. The older I get the more I realize that I, in and of myself…I, in my own strength and power…I simply cannot stand against sin. Inevitably I will take a bite out of something I shouldn’t be biting and it will roll down the front of my shirt and my clothes are soiled. Only in You, Lord, can I be victorious! Only in You can I avoid the temptations. Only in You can I stand strong against the evil that wants to entrap me.

Lord, may I be faithful to You. May I be victorious so that I too may “walk with [You] in white” for only because of You will I be found worthy. Amen.

July 21st, Fri, 6:49 am

Turn Away

Once again a new day begins, pristine, a clean slate. The past is past and only possibilities lie ahead. Father, together let us continue to build upon the foundation You have set. May I follow You this day. Use me to impact my world for You. As Your Word teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Amen.

Revelation 2:20-23 (<<click green)

Lord, in this passage “Jezebel” is guilty of encouraging believers to take part in a lifestyle that is in opposition to Your will. She extolled “sexual sin” and eating “food offered to idols”.

In and of themselves are sex and food evil? No, of course not! Both are gifts from You! Where the trouble arises is when we take these gifts and use them outside the parameters which You have set. That is the way it is with all sin. It is when the “ME” factor takes control. It is when “I” want to do it “MY” way.

Our acts of sin are bad enough but we compile our sin when we refuse to “turn away from [our] immorality.” The applicable word here is “repent.” I understand repentance as an about face – we turn from sin and turn to God. It doesn’t do any good to just try to stop sinning. It has a nasty tendency to lure us back in. And to just stop sinning does take care of the stains we have incurred from sins we have committed. Turning to God, admitting our sin and seeking His forgiveness, takes care of the sin – it is totally eradicated! And then we can live in the power of our relationship with Him to ward off yielding to those sins again.

Lord, thank You for Your everlasting love. You are truly long-suffering. Help me this day to stand strong against whatever sins would cross my path. My strength is not sufficient – but Yours surely is! Amen.

July 18th, Tues, 6:21 am