Our loving and merciful heavenly Father hates sin, not just because it is an offense to Him, but because in His wisdom He knows it can hurt or destroy us, who are the very objects of His love.  The Ten Commandments were given to liberate us, not to impose arbitrary rules, but as boundaries to keep us out of trouble and to protect us -- because He cares for us.

Sometime ago I was talking with a dear, beloved minister friend who had left the pulpit.  His life had crumbled around him.  He was separated and divorced from his wife and all kinds of problems resulted. 

I knew him to be a man of the Word, a man of prayer, a man who had unusual gifts and abilities to discern the will of God and who had led thousands of people to Christ.  So, as we talked together, I felt led to pointedly ask, "What happened?" 

He then quoted that statement you have probably heard, "Sin will keep you from God's Word or God's Word will keep you from sin."  He said, "I knew and believed that, but with all the circumstances and all the comings and goings of my life, I more and more ceased to depend on the Lord and His Word, until finally there was little time for God at all.  That is when it happened."  He then confessed to me how he had fallen into sin.

Oh, dear readers, sin is such a terrible trap.  It can seem so attractive, but it is a deadly snare.  We must always be on guard by reading and claiming the promises of God's Word, with prayer, "so that you will not fall into temptation" (Luke 24:46, NIV).

Are you struggling with a certain sin?  Remember God's words: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1).

The Holy Spirit gives this warning, then comforting words, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:11-13).

Dr. Bill Bright is founder and chairman of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 25,000 full-time staff and 553,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. Bright is also the author of more than 50 books. He recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to "Touch, Teach and Train" ministers around the world 24/7/365 at
http://www.globalpastorsnetwork.org.