Blogger’s Note: Another month and another opportunity to go deeper into the knowledge of my Savior and Lord through His word. This month, again with the help of my devotional shepherd, Dr. John MacArthur, from his devotional book, Strength for Today, I will be delving into the nature of my sinful self, and I’m sure It’ll be like looking into the mirror of truth and learning how to deal with myself and seek my God, Who resides in me. So, if you come along with me, we’ll likely be getting closer and closer to our God. … Looking into a mirror can be painful at times; but it can be very revealing and health; and I’m sure it will be a very good thing for any who come with me!
Passage of the Day: Romans 3: 23 [see underlined in bold] … 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
My Journal for Today: This month, again with John MacArthur’s help, I will be looking at the topic every Christian should understand, and that is “sin.” I say the latter because sin is likely the only thing in this life to be feared by a Christian. In his devotional for this date from Strength for Today, MacArthur quotes an early Church leader, Crysotom, who wrote, “I fear nothing but sin.” Obviously, believing today’s highlighted passage/verse, we know that sin is pervasive in mankind, a force with which ALL Christians must deal. Therefore, understanding the dimensions of sin is of utmost importance to ALL believers. If you are reading this, I would assume that you might be as interested in learning more about how to avoid and deal with sin … as do I; so, let’s dive in and grow in Christ together.
First, we know that sin causes death, physical and spiritual death; and it leads to eternal separation from God. Therefore, follow the logic with me. If we, as Christians, pursue God; and sin separates us from God, … then would it not behoove all Christians to do all we can to avoid sin? However, as we will see, all our efforts are futile unless we surrender our ALL to the One Who atoned for our sin … Jesus Christ. I boldly maintain that the most prominent reason most Christians cannot or do not avoid sinful choices is their incomplete surrender to God’s Spirit, Who has saved them; and as we saw in my devotional study last month, it is God’s Spirit Who is fully willing – and most certainly able [see 2Cor. 12: 9] - to provide us with the grace we need to overcome sin,… if – and it’s an enormous IF – we humbly receive God’s enabling grace to do so.
MacArthur, in today’s devotional, scripturally defines sin with something that struck me to my core. He wrote, “Sin is the only thing that God hates (see Jer. 44: 4).” And MacArthur goes on to declare that since God hates sin so infinitely much, so should we hate sin, … those of us who call ourselves by His Name. Oh, I hate sin and my sinfulness! Do you? I’m going to assume that any Christian who reads this hates sin and anything in our lives which contributes to sin.
Maybe you don’t hate sin as much as you think you should? Well, join the club! This month, as I wrote above, I’m going to be exploring more of the dimensions of sin to determine just how deeply I understand the nature of its hold on me or any Christian. … I want to learn to hate sin so much that my choices will avoid the consequences of sin and draw me ever closer to God.
Are you with me in this? If so, come along with me daily; and we’ll do all we can, with the help of God’s word and John MacArthur, to more fully protect ourselves against our own sin nature. And in doing so, I’m sure we’ll all get closer to our God and farther away from our common enemy who’d love to see us choose to relent to our own sinfulness.
My Prayer Today: Lord, separate me from my own sinfulness and draw me closer to You. Amen