Tag Archives: sin

Magnifying the Negative

(I wrote this back in the spring of 2015 but I wanted to give a follow-up report! This is one area where the Lord has truly answered my prayers! Over the last couple of years He has worked in me to sidestep putting in my two-cents-worth on negativity – my goal is to encourage not discourage. Praise the Lord for His ongoing work in my life!)

I am determined to persevere!  Each and every day sin is out there to tangle us up to try to wrap around enough to make me stumble or fall. Lord, I am here with You to build up my strength and stamina to be able to better focus on You(!) So I can resist temptation and be victorious!  I know that the Adversary wants me to fail, but You are mightier than he and remaining in You, trusting in You, will surely result in his defeat in my life.

Ephesians 5:15-20 (<<click to read the passage)

Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit!  It’s so easy to be negative about multiple areas in my life – it is the norm in the world in which I live. Complaining about work, about other drivers on the highway. Looking down on other people because of the way they dress or do their hair or how they act. It’s bad enough to think such things but way too often I verbalize my thoughts! What good does that do anyone? It just perpetuates the negativity! And becomes a vicious cycle.

I’m a “music” kind of guy, that’s the way You have made me. 🙂 Lord, please bring that out in place of the negativity. When I want to complain, help me to thank You for the never-ending list of blessings in my life!  Help me to praise You for who You are in my life. Help my tongue to bring glory to You and not to magnify the negative!

May 5th,  2015, Tues, 6:32 am

The Root of the Problem

Father, thank You for helping me to get up and at it. My bed was so comfy but time with you will be much more beneficial! Open my ears that I might hear. Amen.
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I am by no means an avid gardener but I have done my fair share of yard work (and there is a bunch of it that needs to be done now!). I love flowers and have on occasion written of nature and how it can reflect our own actions. As it often happens, on one of my trips down the hall last night, Lord, I believe You “planted” a thought in my heart.

Just saying the word “dandelion” can generate a fair amount of responses – especially from those who enjoy green lawns in the spring and early summer. Beyond herbicides getting rid of them is very problematic.

We have a nice flower bed in front of our home. We have a bench, three nicely painted pavers, a bird bath amidst a cluster of beautiful holly bushes along with an array of beautiful perennials – mums, coneflowers, black-eyed susans, sedum, and, of course…dandelions!

No matter how many times I try to pull those little boogers up, they come back! And most of us know why. When we pull them out, inevitably there is part of the taproot, which can be up to 10 inches long, left in the soil. And any part of it left generates a whole new plant! It is a never-ending battle!

Do you see where this is going? What has the same impact on our spiritual lives? Sin. For all of humanity, sin is something which we must always be on the lookout to eliminate from our lives. Quite often we have those sins that seem to impact us in particular. We come to Christ seeking forgiveness and the sin in our lives is eradicated. Though our sin may be “cast into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19) our minds do not so readily forget them.

We have been forgiven through and through but our memories are the taproot. We may go for days and not be bothered by them, because we live in a world full of sin, something we see or hear stirs that memory and that “taproot” begins to regenerate.

First, keep James 1:13-15 in mind,

13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

And then secondly, remember 1 Corinthians 10:13,

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

We have the Master Gardener by our side – he never leaves or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is our Savior! Thanks be to God!

Oct 25th, 2018, Thurs, 6:48 am

Consequences

Thank You, Father, for a wonderfully fulfilling day with Karen yesterday! Thank You for Your watch care over us and thank You for the blessing of bringing us together, oh, so many years ago!

Hebrews 12:16-17 (<<click here)

Lord, in reading these verses my Study Bible* makes me think about the long-term impact of sin. Examining our lives we can see how even decisions from a lifetime ago, can continue to impact us. Esau’s careless disregard for his birthright – trading it for a bowl of soup! – came back to bite him when his father issued blessings sometime later. And this wasn’t just a simple “bless you” but in this culture was a driving force in where your life would go. And no matter how much he wept, it could not be changed. (Genesis 25:29-34; Genesis 27)

Our sins can surely be forgiven and our loving Savior remembers them no more – he has removed them “as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 but regardless we cannot forget and many times the repercussions of our sin haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Lord, first of all, help me to learn from the errors of my ways. Help me to not repeat them. But may they be a reminder of where You have brought me from and that I do not want to go back.

Secondly, help me to move on. Help my past not hinder my moving forward into what You would have me do today.

And lastly, may I remember when tempted today that decisions I make today will have lifelong consequences. May my decisions be guided by You. Amen!

June 15th, 2016, Wed, 6:43 am

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Levels of “Badness”?

Father, beyond any shadow of a doubt I know I am cherished and loved. But I also realize that I have done nothing to earn that from You. You first loved me before I even knew to love You back. My sin separated me from You but because of the sacrifice of Your only beloved Son and because I accept Your forgiveness, I can come into Your presence and I can live a life of victory over sin and death! Praise Your holy Name!

James 2:10-11 (<<click to read the passage)

Why is it, Lord, that we have this bad habit of labeling sins, putting them on levels of “badness”? We have this tendency to think, My sins are not as bad as your sins!” Sin is sin. And as this passage proclaims, if you’ve broken one law it’s the same as breaking them all. There are not degrees of wickedness.

Jesus, You even said this while you lived amongst us. Matthew 5:21-22 tells us, “You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment.” Later in verses 27 and 28, You equate looking at someone with lust with adultery. If we break one law we’ve broken them all.

Now we’re not to just throw up our hands and give up. Through You, we can be victorious! But, as I said earlier, we have got to stop comparing ourselves to others. Someone else’s sin, no matter how heinous, is in no way worse than mine. Sin is sin. There is no such thing as little sins and big sins. Hating others because they are really bad sinners makes us guilty of sin as well (hate as an expression of our anger = murder).

Lord Jesus, help me to deal with my sin. Help me not to condemn others but, instead, to pray for them that they may turn to you as well.

Aug 24th, 2016, Wed, 7:18 am

Conflict

Father, my mind is a flood with so many things. Old things, possibilities of new things, confusing things… I am not a worrier on many fronts but I am struggling. I pray that I am leaving them all in Your more than capable hands. May I trust You and not fret. Help me to go about my life so as to please You in all I say and do…and think. Amen.

Matthew 18:15-18 (<<click the green)

This is a clear directive of handling conflict amongst believers from the mouth of the Lord. But…do we do it? If I were to ask for a show of hands as to how many like conflict, many would not raise their hands for fear of offending someone! Now I know there are also those who thrive on conflict and stir it up whenever possible.

But over my lifetime I have seen more conflict in the body of Christ than I care to remember. And honestly, I can’t recall a single instance when our Lord’s directive was followed.

It’s just easier to avoid conflict, isn’t it? But in reality, it is not good for us or the body of Christ. If you think about it, it’s the Cancer of Sin all over again, just from another angle. Healing can only take place when the sin is eradicated. But if we avoid it – it will eventually kill us!

So what do you think? Isn’t God’s word sound? 2 Timothy 3:16 states,

“All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]…” AMP

I’m not one to run into the fray but…really…honestly…that needs to change. Lord, help me – in Your unfathomable love – to be the follower I am called to be. May I not shy from conflict but embrace deeper, fuller relationships based on our shared love in and for You. Amen.

July 26th, 2018, Thurs, 11:00 am