Don’t Get Bitten!

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,” –Matthew 24:12 (NIV)

Frostbite is not a pleasant thing to have. It occurs when one has had prolonged exposure to subzero temperatures without adequate protection. As a result of this exposure to the cold, the blood vessels in the body begin to constrict; preventing the heart from pumping blood to the exposed areas. If not treated in time the affected areas can develop gangrene or even fall off as the skin tissue deteriorates. Frostbite has claimed the fingers, toes, and even limbs of soldiers fighting in freezing temperatures, scientists working in the frigid polar regions of the globe, and ordinary people who simply did not prepare for the cold. That is why we dress warmly before going out into winter’s chill; so that we are protected from the consequences of frostbite.

Sin is like frostbite to our souls. It slowly creeps into our being and in the process causes love to be cut off from our lives. While it may seem tantalizing at first, Satan uses sin to deceive us into thinking that bringing glory and pleasure to ourselves is the highest good. However, while we are being deceived, our wickedness will enslave us to destructive habits which will only bring pain and misery to ourselves and to others. Just as how frostbite causes limbs to fall off, sin will make sure that love is absent from our hearts as it directs us to the worship of ourselves. But as we see ourselves crumbling piece by piece through sin’s vicious work, we wonder if there is any way we can regain what was lost. Yet the great assurance is that there is healing and restoration through Christ. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts and carry out His redemptive work in our lives, He will purge evil from our lives and clothe us in His righteousness. Through His death His blood has washed of our sin and through His resurrection we are given a new nature marked by His love. By being clothed with His Spirit and keeping in step with Him, sin will not gain a foothold and will thereby allow His love to shine brightly for all to see.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

A Better World With Christ

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” –Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

People want to live in a world where love forms the basis of human relationships. It is a sentiment reflected in the lyrics of songs, in the aspirations of visionaries who dream of utopia, and in the goals of organizations which seek to promote peace in the world. However, history has shown that man is incapable of bringing about this perfect world where everyone acts in love towards one another. While it is truly a noble and admirable pursuit, our innate human sinfulness prevents us from realizing this desire that we have for a better world. What ends up happening is that selfishness and pride take over our minds; causing us to sabotage any attempts that humanity may undertake to create a world where love is paramount and where everyone lives together in harmony and peace.

In the face of this reality it is easy to fall into disillusionment and hopeless. But the wonderful truth is that there is hope for a better world. However, this hope does not stem from human action. Man has proven that he cannot bring Heaven on Earth. For this reason, God seeks to bring healing to this chaotic world. He is in the business of restoring us from our fallen state and breaking the bonds that our sinful nature has enslaved us to. That is why Christ had to die for us, so that by His blood we are cleansed of our sin and through His resurrection we adopt a new nature characterized by His righteousness. When we have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts, He will carry out the work of making us like Him in His love. Just as how Christ has shown His sacrificial love for us in paying the penalty for our sins so that we may have life, that same love will animate us as we allow His Spirit to make it overflow from within our hearts. As children of Christ we are to love one another with the love which can only come from knowing Christ as Lord; giving those around us a glimpse of the hope that we have in Christ when He will complete His restorative work to make all things new, and reign on Earth.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Run Away From Sin!

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV)

It is interesting that Paul would tell Timothy to flee from wickedness instead of fighting it head on. Perhaps the best way to fight sin in our lives is to run away from it. Too often we have the notion that we must suppress sin in our lives with our own hands and efforts. But such an attempt is like us trying to stop a speeding train by standing in front of it. Conquering sin is too great a task to accomplish by our own strength or willpower. That is why all that is required of us is to simply run from temptation. However, what often happens is that when temptation comes our way, we act like deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car; unable to move in time and thereby allowing sin to destroy us.

In the face of sin, our legs prove to be weak in running away from it. But there is hope in that our legs can be strengthened only by Christ’s work in our lives. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts and seek to follow after Him, He will give power in our legs to flee from sin the moment it rears its head. If our eyes are focused on our sin and on us trying to overcome it, we will only find ourselves being pulled further and deeper into it. But if our eyes are fixated on Christ, we will find ourselves being drawn closer to Him as His Spirit works within us and perfects His righteousness within our hearts. With Him guiding our minds and our steps, we will know that to be in His presence is the safest defense against sin. Elevating our minds to the things of above, we will develop such a revolt for sin that we will want to flee from it; acknowledging that we can only do so by God’s strength alone.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.