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Scriptures and Meditations to Help You Fight Sin

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It’s so easy to get trapped by desires for sin. They can corner us, pressure us, and basically take over our minds. Your best defense is to proactively pursue joy, pleasure, and above all rest in God’s character and promises. They are incredible beyond our wildest imaginations, and yet when we walk through our days not actively remembering God and taking pleasure in Him, we quickly begin to view God as someone else entirely. This leaves the door wide open for sin to seek our deepest pleasure and draw us away in temptation. As you enter 2017, I hope these scriptures and meditations help spur you to remember that your primary calling is to enjoy the Lord. May these help you fight sin and find rescue when you need it most.

Ephesians 2:1-10
God, I'm going crazy with my mind stuck in these sinful thoughts! But though it feels like it takes incredible effort to rip my heart away from desiring this sin and to rip my mind away from fantasizing constantly about it, the truth is that you created this repentance for me already. God, thank you that all I have to do is receive it from you and walk in it. I can rest my way out of this insanity. You have that rest waiting for my right now.

Psalm 23, Romans 8:28
God, when I think about this sin, I believe in my heart that it is incredibly good for me, and I long for it deeply. I feel as though you are keeping from something good when you command me not to desire this sin. But I know the truth, God. You give me only good things, and you never keep me from something that is truly good for me. You are protective and open handed in your love for me. Make your incredible provision for me in Jesus vivid and real to me. Make this Psalm a movie I replay in my mind and in my heart over and over. Lead me to enjoy your loving provision more deeply and trust you when the longing for this sin comes on me again.

Romans 6:1-14
God, it feels as though desire for sin has taken control of me. I feel defeated and helpless. But I know the truth is that Jesus absolutely destroyed sin's power over me, and it can never again command my heart to move this way and that. Only you have that power now. Lead me to rest in your defeat over sin on my behalf. Lead me to say no to sin's control right now and to realize your control. 

Romans 8:1-5,31-39; Hebrews 3:13; 10:19-22
God, I have already sinned grievously, and my heart tells me that I am guilty, filthy, and that you are disgusted with me and want nothing to do with me. My heart also tells me that since I've screwed things up so badly, I might as well just go on sinning. But I know that the truth is that you never saw me as disgusting, even while I was sinning because Jesus has fully atoned for me and made me clean once for all time, and nothing can separate me from his love. The truth is that you look at me as though I'd loved and obeyed you forever as your perfect son. The truth is that you grieve incredibly deeply when I sin, and the more I sin, the more I see you as a different god than you really are. I don't want that distance from you anymore, God. I love who you are, and I don't want to be blinded from you by more sin. Lead me to rest in your incredible, never-changing love for me and to reject the lie that I lose nothing by continuing to sin. Lead me to see your love more clearly, and undo the blindness that came from my sinful desire and actions.

Posted by Matt Norman with

Slug Bug

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It’s one of the most unique cars ever designed: the original slug bug- the Volkswagen. I should know; I had a 1972 VW Beetle when I was 17 years old. It was a stick shift with the air-cooled engine in the back, trunk in the front, and felt on the floor. The vinyl upholstery, baked in the west Texas sun, produced a smell that no car I’ve ever had could duplicate. It was yellow, riddled with minor dings and irregularities in the body. That, by no means, discouraged me from polishing it, so that every wrinkle in the steel was accentuated by a glossy sheen. I loved it. It was my freedom; it made me feel like a man. At that age I was starting to love things that made me feel like that, and hating things that didn’t. That is probably why I was beginning to hate Monday nights- scout meeting nights.

I was a proud member of The Boy Scouts Of America-had been since I was a wee cub scout. Olive green pants, red scarf, khaki shirt, merit badges and all. And, as if that wasn’t already feeling a little weird for me to wear at age 17, my overly pocketed scouting pants were getting too short, which revealed my thick wooly scouting socks. We had meetings every Monday night at 7:00 P.M. I was growing weary of being a boy scout, and was rapidly being influenced by the new friends I was making at the high school I had recently begun attending. I started there after I moved in with my dad, who taught math at the school, and I felt I was outgrowing scouting. My dad disagreed. He, like many wise fathers, wanted me to finish what I started. After all, I was getting very close to finishing up the requirements that would earn myself the honor of Eagle Scout. But, going to meetings and holding up three fingers, while reciting the scouting pledge, was grating on my too cool teenage nerves.

One night my friends called and invited me to play hooky from my scout meeting. Here was the plan: I, and the rest of them, would go out to one of their houses to hang out; then I would drive home at the time the meeting would normally be over. My dad would be none the wiser. The house was out of town a few miles down some dirt roads, surrounded by cotton fields; no one would spot me skipping the meeting. The scheme seemed fool proof, and my tempters assured me that I would not get caught. I went for it.

Things did not go quite as planned, though. (I know! I was shocked too.) Along the way, we got distracted by a large, low area of red dirt where water used to collect and sit. It was nestled between cotton fields. It had dried up, and was now calling to us, beckoning us to some good ole fashioned teenage fun. I drove my friends straight out into it to do some doughnuts, but to my sudden consternation, as we sped into it, we found ourselves tire deep in red, farm mud. The car had quickly sunk clear down to the chassis, but not, of course, until we had sputtered all the way to dead center of the dry “pond”. One of my friends called his uncle who owned a tow truck to get us out. He took his sweet time getting out there and assaulted us with a brow beating, peppered with cuss words that were drawn out through a stubbly, country accent. My alibi was shot. By the time I got the VW washed and drove up to my house, I was inexcusably and undeniably much later than my scouting meeting had ended.  My dad had gotten worried and called the meeting location; I had been caught.

Had it all been worth deceiving my dad? Had it been worth the discipline I received for my disobedience? The truth is, my dad would have taken us out to a dry lake to do doughnuts, if I had asked.  He was the one who taught me to drive that standard shift Beetle out on a dirt road, anyway. But even if he hadn’t, he would have had a good reason.   He did what was good for me. He was a good dad. I was blessed. Yes, but, I wasn’t satisfied with that. I didn’t like my dad’s rule, so I rebelled, and, as it turned out, it was much more trouble than fun (though some of it was actually exhilarating), and punishment ensued.  

This Psalm helps me comprehend it a little more:

Psalm 19:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules[a] of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Great Psalm! One problem: We have not followed God’s rules. Does that mean, then, that this Psalm is useless, that it is bad news? No! Jesus did two things with the law. He took the punishment for our failure to keep it, AND he obeyed it for us. We have failed over and over again, but through Christ, we can begin again today living under God’s loving rule.  We can begin again tomorrow, obeying God’s good commands. “In keeping them is great reward.” Jesus kept them! Now, He leads us to His great reward, and, get this, He IS our great reward. Our encounter with Jesus is an encounter with His Father:

John 14:10English Standard Version (ESV)

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Some of us have not had the blessing of a good father here on Earth, but we can, through Jesus, by His Spirit, experience and enjoy The Good Father who is in Heaven!

Posted by Kevin Gentry with