Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year: Resolve to Turn Your Back on Sins

Chuckle:  A pastor said to his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach on the sin of lying.  To help you understand the sermon, please read Mark 17 this week.”  The following Sunday, as he prepared to preach the sermon, the pastor asked for a show of hands of those who had read Mark 17.  Every hand went up.  The pastor smiled and said, “Mark only has 16 chapters.  I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.” 
Quote: "Sin has always been an ugly word, but it's been made so in a new sense over the last half century.  It has been made not only ugly but passé.  People are no longer sinful.  They are only immature or underprivileged or frightened or, more particularly, sick." --Phyllis McGinley
    “Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to its lustful desires … Sin is no longer your master (you are no longer its slave)" (Romans 6:12, 14 NLT).  Listen as God issues the challenge to turn your back on your sins.
After the civil war was over and the slaves were joyously set free, some chose to stay with their former masters with whom they had become comfortable.  The Bible says many Christians still choose to obey their old master, sin, even after Christ died to set them free.
Sometimes, Christian writers refer to something called "besetting" sins.  These are sins we are prone to repeat time and again -- the sins we really battle with every day.  They can cause us to live double lives, public and secret.  Maybe that is how you lived over the last year, constantly defeated by the same old sin.  It's like a man with a huge wart on his nose.  He won't do anything about it -- he has just learned to live with it.  Too many Christians have this attitude about their besetting sin.  They won’t do anything about it -- they learn to live with it and this sin cripples their spiritual life and robs them of joy.
Is your spiritual life crippled because you have learned to live with and give in to a besetting sin?  These could include dishonesty, a quick temper, a sharp tongue, a critical attitude, a sexual sin, etc.  God asks you to stop letting it control the way you live.  He wants you to stop giving in and obeying your old master.
God says you are no longer a slave to sin so don’t live like one or act like one.  Ask for God’s forgiveness and power to resist that sin and begin anew in your spiritual life.  Don’t miss this new year opportunity.  Our last four lessons teach us that this new year can be much more than a calendar event if we make and keep these four life-changing resolutions for 2015: (1) Resolve to forget your past failures -- forgive yourself.  (2) Resolve to let go of your grudges -- forgive others.  (3) Resolve to heal broken relationships -- ask forgiveness from others. (4) Resolve to turn your back on your sins -- ask God's forgiveness.
Living by these resolutions, in the power of the Holy Spirit, will make the New Year something special and a reason to celebrate.

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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