14 June 2005

I've been thinking about sin...

I was chatting on MSN the other day, just talking to my cousin about his friend's problems and giving him advice about God and stuff like that. The problem of sin is one that we all have to think about. It's something we face everyday, and we have to understand what God wants for us if we are to handle it properly.

I guess the more you know and understand of God, the less you let sins get you down because you know guilt's not the point. Of course, that's not to say you shouldn't care about sins. You should care insofar as caring about trying not to sin is concerned. And that's really hard, because we're all only human.

Paul is a very good example for us. He himself said in 1 Timothy 1:15 that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."

Some people may say, "Hey, here's Paul, and he says he is the "foremost" of all sinners! So what, he's still a sinner and doing all those bad things!"

But that's, of course, not true at all. In verse 13, Paul says that Christ saved him and used him as a servant "even though [he] was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor" (Emphasis mine). In verse 15, Paul was claiming to be the foremost inasmuch as the history of his sin and his current possibility of tendency to sin is concerned. We all know how many sins can come back to haunt and tempt us.

Moreover, in verse 16, Paul continues, saying, "Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life."

So here we have it-- Paul tells us of Christ's mercy and perfect patience. Mercy and patience that is ever-present for those who do His will and set their hearts on it, despite the danger and possibility of committing a sin due to their weak bodies and natures.

We turn away and fall, and feel all the guilt. Then God tells us it's OK and encourages us to get up and turn to Him again. "Give Me the sin, and keep running the race," He says.

In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Pauls says:
6Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
We should all try our best to do our best; we should do all the good that we know we should do, because God has taught us how to be good people. And God is able to "make all grace abound" to us-- He can give us the strength and resolve we need to be the best we can be... that we can be ready "for every good deed".

Paul also says in Philippians 4:6-8:
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
So, all we need to do is ask. Once we give our anxieties about our sins to God in prayer and trust Him to help us, all we have to do is focus on whatever is good. We may fall from time to time in the future, but if we keep our eyes on God, our hearts set on His will, and our minds on all things pure and good, we can rest assured that we will always be on the right path in this race.

No doubt there will be times when it seems like we fail. But you should never let sins make u give up. 'Cause that's what Satan wants-- All he is trying to do is make you give up. He knows that once a person wants to go back to God, they can because he knows that God's love knows no limit. His ultimate agenda is to make them lose hope and stay down when they've fallen.

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'Cause that's when he can build on his work. Defeat is the one of the foundations on which he builds his evil. Defeat is what empowers the other evils. If you keep hope and faith, then whatever gets you down is thrown off easier because you have God reminding you that it's not over.

But once you give up and stay fallen, then the sin and evil just keep piling on. It's like falling down and getting dirt shovelled on top of you-- the best way to get it off is to stand up and keep running... if you stay down, you'll risk getting buried.

Peter said it best in 1 Peter 5:6-10:
6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
7casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
10After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Let's keep the faith, guys! Let's keep praying and encouraging one another! Amen!


Note: All verses quoted from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) version. It and other versions can be found here.

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