Tag Archives: Sin

End of the Sin Chronicles

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Seven Deadly SinsOr is it?

I’m sure I could go on regaling you with my sinning ways and I dare say you’ve thought about some of your own sins these past few weeks. Let us remember that we are all sinners. That we are not perfect. But that there is hope for us in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus …” ~ Romans 8:1

Why not? Why aren’t we, Christ Followers, condemned because of our sin? Because we have a good and perfect God who died for us. To cleanse us. To forgive us when we repent. A God who through His death, broke the chains of sin that bind us. We have been gifted with the ability not to sin because we have the Spirit of God inside us.

I must remember that when the urge to sin overcomes me it’s not a forgone conclusion that I will sin.

My chains have been broken. 

And if you are in Christ – yours have too.

Prayer:

Lord. You said in 1 John 1:9 that ‘If we confess our sins, You are faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Please never let this promise fade away. Continue to convict me when I think of sinning or do sin and then lovingly forgive me when I confess and repent of my sin. Thank you gracious Father. Amen.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Felecia

 

Breaking the Law #2

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This may be the sin I’m most ashamed to admit.Litter

I was at the gas station the other day and as I was getting in my car to leave, I tossed a crumpled receipt into the garbage can. At just the right second, a gust of wind caught hold of the paper and propelled it onto the ground. I looked at it sitting there on the pavement, closed my door and drove away.

Littering.

I have not littered since I stopped smoking many years ago. I was one who threw my butts out the window – disgusting, I know.

Driving home I shook my head in dismay. Why didn’t I just pick up the receipt and return it to the trash? Laziness. Slovenliness. As I write this today, I still can’t believe that I littered. It’s such a vile thing.

Prayer:

Lord, forgive me for my laziness. Help me to be more conscientious about my actions and to continue to obey the laws of the land. In doing so, I obey and honor you. Amen.

Let’s finish this up on Friday! I’m dying to drink in the Lord’s forgiveness.

See you then!

Felecia

 

 

Greed

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GreedIf you happened to ask me if I had a tendency to be greedy, I’d probably say no, and believe I was telling you the truth. But what occurred the other evening set me back and the Lord convicted me of yet another “respectable” sin.

I was sitting with my parents at our favorite Italian restaurant. We’d ordered pizza and had eaten through to the last two pieces on the silver platter. I checked-in with my belly, yup, I could definitely have another piece. Knowing my Dad, I knew he could eat another piece too. I surveyed the remaining two pieces on the dish. One was bigger than the other. I licked my lips. How could I nonchalantly get that big one onto my plate?

That’s when the conviction hit me.

What was I doing?

It surely was greed that made me want the bigger piece. And I could probably have added gluttony to the list if I’d carried through with my plans. But after silently thanking the Holy Spirit for calling me up short before I sinned, I slid the smaller piece onto my plate and left the big one for my father.

Greed comes in many different shapes and sizes. I was stunned when I realized that greed had so easily pushed me to think in such a manner.

Prayer:

Lord, you’ve shown me that my selfishness makes me greedy. Thank you for stopping me before I sinned in my greed. Please forgive me and continue to make me a better person. Amen.

Next up on Wednesday. Hope to see you then!

Felecia

Breaking the Law #1

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I speed.Speed Limit 65

There, I’ve admitted it. I don’t seem to go anywhere under 80 miles an hour.

“But,” you say. “So do I. That’s not a sin, is it?”

Believe me when I tell you that if we break the law of the land – it’s a sin. We must obey authority. In Romans 13:1 Paul states:  “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.”

To get home, I drive a road whose speed limit begins at 40, moves to 35, and then to 25 miles an hour. Not very many people adhere to these rules and when they do I find myself struggling to stay off their six – sometimes eliciting angry looks in the rear-view mirror or finger-pointing at the speed limit sign as we drive by.

I travel this road daily. Usually at 55, 45, and 30 respectively. A couple months ago I decided to drive the road at or below the posted speed limits. It was excruciating! Almost unbearable. Had I done this to myself? Broken the law so often that I couldn’t comfortably keep the law?

So I decided to spend seven days adhering to all posted speed limit signs to see if I could reverse the trend.

You’d be surprised at how easily I was able to adhere to this new way of driving! The first few days I did find myself pushing a little harder than was necessary on the accelerator, but by day three, it actually became fun to go slower. I was amazed that driving the speed limit in the right lane on the highway was so less stressful. On day four I considered myself a right-old fogey as other people honked, waved certain fingers at me, and crossed double yellow lines to get around me.

So now, a week or so later, where am I? Even with my lead foot, I have managed, without to much thought, to not be too far above the speed limit, if at all. And I could only do that with the help of the Holy Spirit! Thank you, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:

Lord, help me to obey the laws of the land and in doing so, obey and honor you. Amen.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.

Felecia

Gossip

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GossipGossip is defined as:

  1. idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others
  2. light, familiar talk, or writing.1

If you’re maturing in Christ it’s very possible that you no longer gossip. We probably all did it pre-Christ.

There’s something very naughty and dangerous about gossip, passing secrets about another person. It’s a little thrilling. But now it’s easy to see the destructive nature of gossip and I’ve worked very hard to not let gossip pass my lips.

A while ago I was sitting around a dinner table with 9 other people when the ladies on either side of me started to gossip over me. I listened until my stomach turned over and then spoke up. I whispered to the one on my right, believing that I had a modicum of influence over her and said, “I don’t think you should be gossiping.” She reared back as if I’d struck her and retorted, “It’s not gossip if it’s true.”

Huh?

But it was gossip and as the ladies continued talking about another woman who was not at the table, I shut down my ears and started praying that God would stop them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do so well the other day when I found myself around some people who were gossiping and I did nothing. I didn’t mention that they were gossiping. I didn’t try to stop them from gossiping. I didn’t get up and walk away. I simply sat there and listened.

Do we participate in gossip by NOT saying something or taking some other action? Methinks, yes. I certainly didn’t feel very good about the whole situation afterward. The Holy Spirit was convicting me.

Silence is acquiescence. Silence in the face of sin is approval of that sin.

Prayer:

Lord, please keep a guard on my mouth and do not let me make idle talk about another person. Please step in when I’m caught between gossips. Help me to say and do the right thing. Amen.

On Friday … One of my worst sins … and I bet yours too!

See you then!

Felecia

 

1 http://www.dictionary.com/browse/gossip?s=t

The Sin Chronicles

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Cherished Sin

Have you noticed preachers don’t seem to be talking about sin as much as they used to? It’s almost as if sin had become a taboo subject in our post-modern, anti-Christian world. After all, who wants to be reminded of their sin?

I do! And I happen to believe every maturing believer is compelled to rout sin out of their lives. It’s how we grow more like Christ.

BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) studied Romans this year so you know we were all up in the sin-grill and I couldn’t be happier. One of the best things about the BSF bible studies is that God always talks to me through whatever we happen to be studying. I get a mighty lesson whether I am ready for it or not.

Most of you also know I’ve been reading Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges. Between the study of Romans and that book you might think me to be a masochist. But I assure you, I’m not. I simply want to grow closer to God. To remove the barriers that grow between us like Chia Pet hair. My insignificant little sins. Yet … I am the only one calling my sins insignificant. All sin is significant in God’s eyes.

What better way to come to grip with my sins than to confront them head on?

I’ve found it’s so easy to live day after day ignoring my sin. After all … it’s really so small … so inconsequential … after all, it’s not murder, right?

I’ve decided to publish The Sin Chronicles. I am going to tamp down on the sins I knowingly commit as well as the sins that wiggle up out of the depths of my soul when I least expect them. I’ll be asking God every day to ensure that all iniquities be brought to my attention. I want to be convicted of those sins that I might attempt to allow – Holy Spirit, please pull me up short before I commit them!

But first, let’s see what behavior constitutes sin.

Most everyone is aware of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. 1  The Bible validates these sins even though they not printed anywhere in a list. In the Bible, there are the seven sins found in Proverbs 6:16-19 which are:

  1. A proud look,
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. A heart that devises wicked plans,
  5. feet that are swift in running to evil,
  6. A false witness who speaks lies,
  7. and one who sows discord among brethren.

But let’s not forget Galatians 5:19-21 where Paul mentions several more sins to be on our guard against: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these … ”

Then we have the unimportant, everyday sins … speeding … swearing … gossip … pride … envy … greed.

Oh, this is going to be fun. I hope you’ll come along on the ride with me and consider your own sins while I discover mine. Please don’t be like one guy I met recently who told me he did not sin. When I asked him if he was Jesus, he hemmed and hawed and admitted that he might sin but that it wasn’t a lot and it wasn’t very bad.

I think that’s where we get into trouble. Believing our trivial little sins as “not that bad.” Because God is training us up to be like Jesus, I think He would beg to differ.

Join me on Wednesday as I start to greet my sin … not with a smile … but with a slack-jawed, horrified, open mouth.

I’m amazed at what I do. Thank God, He forgives!

See you Wednesday!

Felecia

 

1 http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/what-are-seven-deadly-sins#sins-in-the-bible

Denying Sin

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“The Bible’s not working for you.”

Her words stung like water crackling on a hot pan and my blood ran cold.  It was her way of saying God’s not working for me.  My heart sunk.

The hard truth was … she was right, in a way.

I had been denying my sin.

I hadn’t confessed it, hadn’t repented of it, hadn’t asked for forgiveness, hadn’t received God’s glorious grace.

I’d stuffed it down inside like no one could see it.

But everyone could see it … even God.

And while everyone looked the other way, God didn’t.  He had to call me up on my game of hide and seek.  I hid and He sought and found and used this woman to bring me back round to Him.

Thank you, Lord.

Even through the silent tears and the hurt and the embarrassment of my sin being found out … thank you.

Because now I can move forward.  Now I can confess it all to Him and receive His grace and mercy.  Now I can ask Him for the help I so desperately need and faithfully, He will provide.

He will strengthen me.  He will lead me away from sin.

What sin did I commit?  Does it matter?  God cannot look upon sin and I want Him watching me … always.  I wish for nothing other than His constant, unfiltered, undeniable love.

Will there be more sin?  Of course.  We are sinful beings.

But today, I’ve repented and have been forgiven. I’ve received His grace and mercy.  I stand in the light once again, free.

Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion.  ~ Psalm 51:1

Glorious Father, why do I believe I can hide my sins from you and somehow You’ll overlook them?  Keep me forever in Your grace Lord, searching out my heart and finding the sin that creeps inside and tries to hide from the One who knows all.  Help me Lord to quickly remove myself from temptation when my flesh or the world or the devil hungers to sin against You.  Let me be a source of light to those around me and not an overturned basket hiding sin in the dark.  In Jesus’ magnificent name, Amen.

For more of one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible, please read David’s Prayer for Restoration in Psalm 51.

 

 

 

Cross to Bear ~ 2

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This story started on Friday.  If you missed that, you’ll be lost today. So here’s a quick link to pop back and catch yourself up!

As I placed the nozzle back in the pump, I walked around the back of the car and my newest decal loomed large … a reminder of who’s I am and whom I’ve just disgraced …

† = ♥

I hung my head in shame and slid back into my car.

In my head I replayed what I said to the station manager.  Was that anyway to treat another human being?  What did that outburst say about me as a Christ follower?  I shook my head in disgust.  Some witness!  Paul can survive beatings and floggings and stonings and I can’t persevere through an argument without coming unglued.  I still have so much to learn!

By the time I was ready for bed that evening the weight of the sin-millstone around my neck was palpable.  The incident and the implications of the fallout weighed heavy on my mind for the rest of the day and I knew I couldn’t go one more minute before I had to get down on my knees that night and cry, begging forgiveness from my Lord and Savior.  I went to bed with a beautiful peace on my heart, but still mortified by the way I had acted that day.

The ever-present oily pit of black goo roiled in my soul.  I imagine it to be a pool of sin sloshing back and forth in my soul.  Sometimes it lays dormant for a while, other times it bubbles up and leaks out.  Now, I don’t want you to think that I’m in a constant state of consternation – far from it.  I fully accept the grace God affords me after I repent and ask forgiveness for my sin.  My heart and spirit are somehow lighter knowing He forgets my sin “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (NIV).  It’s just that as I come to love the Lord more and more I am ever so much more saddened when I sin.  I know I hurt His heart.  I know I disappoint Him.  All sin is an act against God.  I love how Jerry Bridges puts it in his book Respectable Sins:

“Even though our hearts have been renewed, even though we have been freed from the absolute dominion of sin, even though God’s Holy Spirit dwells within our bodies, this principle of sin still lurks within us and wages war against our souls.”

Even though we are believers, we have a tendency to evaluate our behavior by how it relates to the society in which we live.  Since as Christians, we’re usually operating at a higher moral standard than those around us, it’s easier to get caught up in feeling good about ourselves and how we behave – even though we are sinning all along.  We must watch out for that trap.  Can’t you just see Satan grinning with joy?

Unbelievably, I hadn’t even read Day 14 when the incident at the gas station occurred.  As I opened up the bible study the following day I couldn’t help but see my sin all over its pages.  Convicted over and over again (but not condemned because I’d already received forgiveness from God).  Unfortunately, there were other recent incidents where I had opened my mouth inappropriately and these occurrences tugged at my heart.  I hadn’t confessed those to the Lord yet.  I’d pushed them aside as acceptable sins.  The bottom line – would I ever learn to keep my big yap shut?

Kay asks, “If I want to live this life (a life sold out for Jesus), am I willing to pay the price?”

Am I willing to really come to grips with my inability to keep my mouth closed when it isn’t necessary to speak?  Am I able to look with such love toward others that a critical thought never enters my mind again?  It’s certainly become a prayer of mine.

Think this week about your cross.  Or at least one of them – because I know I have many myself!  What can you, once and for all, give up to Christ by next weekend?  What can you cut out of yourself like fisherman gutting a newly caught snapper – all for the sake of Jesus?  I don’t think we have time to waste, my friends.  Jesus may arrive at any time and I want to see you on that narrow path with me!