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Girlfriends in God - July 30, 2012

  • 2012 Jul 30
  • COMMENTS


July 30, 2012
That “Little” Sin
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Matthew 7:3 (NIV) “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Friend to Friend
My husband, Dan, was a church pastor in South Florida for several years. One of our favorite traditions at that church was the Thanksgiving Day breakfast. Even our kids got in on the action. We woke while it was still dark and headed to the church to help dozens of volunteers mix and cook mountains of pancakes, stacks of bacon, and, as they say in the south, a heap of eggs and biscuits … in short, a scrumptious Thanksgiving breakfast. Following the breakfast, we had a time of worship, and Dan shared a brief message after which families headed home to enjoy the rest of their holiday.

Then the cleanup began. We all shifted into high gear, breaking down tables, washing dishes and getting the buildings ready for the weekend services. The kids quickly completed their assigned tasks and promptly disappeared to play until it was time to head home.

I was finishing up in the kitchen when our daughter came running in, crying, holding a paper towel over her eye. “What happened, honey?” I asked. “I don’t know, Mom. We were playing and something flew in my eye and it really hurts!” she cried. I looked at our son and his friends for a translation. “We were having a mulch war and Danna got some in her eye.” Since I wear contacts, I always carry saline solution and thought that would take care of the problem. I couldn’t see anything in Danna’s eye, but after washing it out she said it felt better and we headed home. However, as the day wore on, it was obvious that something was in her eye as the pain increased and the eye began to swell. We called a friend who is an optometrist. Since he lived close by, he sweetly agreed to drop by and take a look at Danna’s eye. After a quick exam, he said, “She does have something in her eye but I will need to see her in my office to remove it.” He applied numbing drops, an eye patch and said he would meet us at his office in the morning. Even though I still couldn’t see anything in our daughter’s eye, I knew it was there.

When we arrived at the doctor’s office, he went to work and within seconds handed me a tiny speck of mulch nestled on a tissue. I could barely see it. But Danna blinked a couple of times and grinned. “It doesn’t hurt any more, Mom.” I remember wondering how something so small could cause so much pain.

Sin is like that. We may view it as nothing more than a little lie or an insignificant transgression, but it was enough to send Jesus to the cross. If we refuse to deal with sin it will surely cause pain and damage in our lives.1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right.  He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done” (NCV).

This verse was written to believers as an encouragement to deal with sin and as a promise that when we do so, God will be faithful to forgive us and clean up the mess that sin has caused. We are not perfect – just forgiven.  To experience that forgiveness fully we need to keep short books on sin. That means being sensitive to sin and immediately choosing to do something about it. God is serious about sin. We need to be as well.

1.     We must confess sin continually.  “Confess” means to agree with and is a present tense verb meaning that we must confess sin frequently, without stopping.

2.     We must confess sin completely.We commit sins one at a time. We need to confess them one by one as well.

3.     We must confess our sin confidently.Once we confess and repent of our sin, we can put it behind us. God is just and fair – seeking only one payment for sin. Jesus has already made full and complete payment with His death on the cross. 

One of Satan’s favorite tactics is to resurrect buried sin. Wrapping that confessed transgression in his vain taunts and useless accusations, the enemy hauls it back into focus, hoping that guilt will paralyze and imprison a soul set free. Satan can hold us prisoner if we let him. But how often do we believe his empty lies – and by doing so, grant him access to that which he has no right? To break the hold of sin, we can and must stand against the enemy, trusting not in our feelings but in the facts of God’s word. And those facts are unchanging and crystal clear – when we confess sin, God forgives it. 

Let’s Pray
Father, do not let me ever forget the price You paid for my sin. Thank You for the forgiveness and freedom You purchased with Your death on the cross. Bring swift awareness and conviction when I sin. Give me the strength and power to deal with and turn from the sin in my life.
For Your glory and in Your name I pray,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Set aside time each day to pray and study His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of every sin that stands between you and God. Confess that sin. Choose against it and walk on in His power and forgiveness. Ask yourself the following questions:

What sin do I need to confess right now?
Why have I held on to this sin?
What effect has this sin had on my life?
What changes do I need to make in order to “turn” from my sin?
Do I really believe that God can and will forgive this sin? Why? Why not?

More from the Girlfriends
Looking for a Bible Study that is both practical and powerful?  Check out Mary’s E-Book Bible Studies. Each one includes a study guide that you can download for your personal use or for a small group study. 

Be sure to check out Mary’s weekly Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. Enroll now and have access to all 2012 lessons. Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

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