Beware of Little Sins

“It is easier to keep the enemy out than it is to expel him after he has gained entrance.” – Author Unknown

Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon entitled  Little Sins on April 17, 1859.   It’s a warning about the danger of little sins in our lives. How we have a tendency to let them slide past us since they are so small and slight that they seem harmless. Such a little thing! Why make such a big fuss over such a little lie, a little taste, a little look. It is harmless…

Spurgeon reminds us that “the  best of men have always been afraid of little sins. The holy martyrs of God have been ready to endure the most terrible torments rather than step so much as one inch aside form the road of truth and righteousness.” Were they being extreme or wise? How seriously should we take the matter of little sins in our lives?
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What am I Practicing to Become?

“Your whole life ought to be disciplined (i.e., structured, set up, organized,and running day by day) toward the goal of godliness. Everything that happens and everything that you do should contribute something toward reaching that goal. Monday through Saturday, not only Sunday, you must move toward the goal, one step, or two steps or ten steps further down the road. You will become that much more like God only because of what you have done and thought and said each day.”  – Jay Adams,  Godliness Through Discipline.

I ran across this quote in this little book called Godliness Through Discipline by Jay Adams. It’s a tiny book, 25 pages,  but it packs a big punch.  As Christians, we talk a lot about godliness, we know our Lord calls us to holiness, and is conforming us into the image of Christ, but do we truly make it a point to literally practice  godliness as 1 Tim. 4:7-8 says,  “Rather train yourself for godliness;  for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Simply said, we become what we practice. Aristotle once said,  “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” For those of us who practice lying, we will become better liars. Those who practice deceit, will become expert deceivers. Those who practice gymnastics will become great gymnasts and athletes. Those who practice body building will become great body builders. Those who spend hours practicing law, will become great lawyers.   When you practice something, you become better and better at it each time you repeat it.  Today we are devoted to practicing many things with our time and resources to become adept and proficient, but how many of us are devoted practicing godliness and set our goals toward it? Why not?

How many of us are becoming better and more hardened sinners because of our refusal to practice righteousness? If we are not focused on practicing righteousness, then the fact is, we are practicing something else, sin.  Sin is natural to us, righteousness is not. If we are not steering towards righteousness, we will be drifting into sin at any given moment. Ephesians 4:19 is a warning,  “They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity“. Here we see an anxiousness to practice sin, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But if we would only practice righteousness, even though it feels awkward at first and unnatural, we will become righteous God promises us.  “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” (1 John 3:7 ESV)Continue Reading

How to Clean Your Heart

Create in me a clean heart, O God,and renew a right spirit within me. – Psa.51:10

I dislike coming up with journal and blog entry titles until after I am done writing. I never seem to know what I am going to write until after I have written it. I may start out with an idea or an impression but very rarely will my writing go in that direction and end there.

More often than not, when I sit down to write in my prayer journal or pray aloud, in the end I find myself in an unexpected place, examining a chamber of my heart that I forgotten about or had no intention of returning to but somehow the Lord leads me there and gently turns on the lights. He reveals to me what we are really studying and addressing this morning or evening. Before we can go any further in the direction I was intending to go in our conversation, we need to address this particular fear first, this worry, this bitterness, this misunderstanding, this anger, this heartache, this sin.

In many ways I am still such a child. I still have a tendency to hide things, to deny things, to pretend and color things up just a little bit.   Left to myself, I am afraid you would find me procrastinating, avoiding conflict,  shoving things under the bed and into the closet out of sight, straightening up only what another’s eye could see, surface stuff. I use to do that as a child, I hate seeing that I still do that as an adult, that I still need the accountability of an authority figure standing lovingly beside me in order to motivate me to clean my room entirely instead of merely rearranging and wiping only what can be seen. Continue Reading

Sin’s Seductive Nature

With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him.
All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.
And now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.
– Proverbs 7:21-27

Reach The voice of temptation is soft and sweet. Soothing even as it attempts to deceive us by offering it’s false comforts and salvation.  It would have you believe it is not your enemy at all but instead appears as if it were your best friend, your high counselor having your best interest at it’s heart. An angel of light even.  (2 Cor. 11:14) It offers parts of it’s own kingdom, a permanent dwelling within it’s palace, satisfaction for all our desires, riches, pleasure, entertainment and distraction, freedom from fears. It promises life, a better life than one could otherwise have without it – here and now, immediately available,  without any sacrifice at all.  A short cut, an easy path to our destination of  joy and peace that we seek. God’s way is long and hard it says; there is another, better way to find the joy and life we seek….if only we would follow it instead of Christ.Continue Reading

Captive or Captivated?

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” – Luke 21:36

Toast In our battle against sin, it does not matter if we win or lose. Victory belongs to the Lord. (Pro. 21:31) What matters is that we fight against it with whatever level of ability we have been given. As John Owen so aptly said, “we must be killing sin or sin will be killing us.

There are some sins that we can easily overcome with the strength the Lord has given us. There are other sins that we will spend our lifetime fighting against only to be interrupted by the Lord’s return, then we can be sure He will finish them off for us.

But my question is this for those who have been taken captive, are you now fighting with all your heart, all your mind , all your strength and all your will against your adversary;  or have you given up and learned to just live with it, no longer putting up any defense at all?Continue Reading

John Owen’s Seven Considerations for Killing Sin

John Owen’s  seven considerations for mortification:

1. Consider the dangerous symptoms of lust;
2. Get a clear sense of :
     a. the guilt of the sin,
     b. its manifold danger,
     c. the evil of it;
3. Load your conscience with the guilt of the perplexing sin;
4. Have a vehement desire for deliverance;
5. Employ ways of dealing with sins deeply rooted in men’s temperaments ;
6. Prevent the occasions and advantages of sin;
7. Vigorously oppose the first actings of sin.

Yet I Sin

Thou art good beyond all thought,
But I am vile, wretched, miserable, blind;
My lips are ready to confess, but my heart is slow to feel,
    and my ways reluctant to amend.
I bring my soul to thee;
    break it, wound it, bend it, mould it,
Unmask to me sin’s deformity,
    that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
My faculties have been a weapon of revolt against thee;
    as a rebel I have misused my strength
    and served the foul adversary of they kingdom.
Give me grace to bewail my insensate folly,
Grant me to know that the way of transgressors is hard,
        that evil paths are wretched paths,
        that to depart from thee is to lose all good.
I have seen the purity and beauty of they perfect law,
    the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns,
    the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls,
       yet I daily violate and condemn its precepts.
Thy loving Spirit strives within me;
        brings me Scripture warnings,
        speaks in startling providence,
        allures by secret whispers,
            yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt;
                impiously resent, grieve,
                    And provoke him to abandon me.

All these sins I mourn, lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief that trembles and fears,
    yet ever trusts and loves,
    Which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly
    The brightness and glories of the saving cross.

Download this Poem Yet I Sin

What’s Your Delicacy?

Delicacy – something delightful or pleasing, esp. a choice food considered with regard to its rarity, costliness, or the like. Sometimes visuals are great aids to help us put things in their proper perspective. Here is a little story that might help you change your view of sin and I apologize in advance to anyone with weak stomachs. A picture is worth a thousand words and when it comes to seeing the full ugliness and repulsiveness of sin, we need all the help we can get to break it’s captivating spell over our hearts.

I once had the most adorable little puppy.  It was a tiny tea cup Chihuahua about 10-12 weeks old. He barely weighed a pound. He looked like a squirrel but acted like the Tasmanian devil so I called him “Taz”. Despite his absolute adorableness, he had the nastiest habit you can imagine.

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No Quick Remedies



The soul which rises from out of sin to a devout life has been compared to the dawn, which does not banish darkness suddenly, but by degrees. The slow cure is always the surest, and spiritual maladies, like those of the body, while they are apt to come on horseback and express, tend to depart slowly on foot.

So we must be brave and patient, my daughter, in this undertaking. It is sad to see souls beginning to grow disheartened because they find themselves still subject to imperfection after having made some attempt at leading a devout life…to give up in despair and fall back; but, on the other hand, those souls are in worse danger who, through the opposite temptation, imagine themselves purified from all imperfection at the very outset, and who count themselves as full-grown almost before they are born. Be sure, daughter, that these are in great danger of a relapse through having left their physician too soon.

– FRANCIS DE SALES (1567-1622) Saint, bishop of Geneva

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