“If it's true I live in a world where hope has all but died, and if I really have a living love alive in me,
How am I letting it be known? How am I letting it be seen?
These are the signs, these are the signs of life: the love that proves there is a living faith inside…
These are the signs, these are the signs of life: the compassion and concern that make this world turn…
These are the signs of life!”

-Steven Curtis Chapman

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It was a beach day. The weather is ideal, the breeze is just right, the sand was warm and the waves were crashing in sync with my iPod’s current song…

It was that kind of day last week. When I found out work would be ending early, I packed my swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and sandals. The minute I was off, I drove straight to the beach. It was great. The sun was warm, but not so much that I was sweating… it felt good…

It didn’t feel good a few hours later when my back was bright red from the sun’s caress.

I’m fair skinned. When I go step foot in the sun, I use sunscreen, and reapply at the appropriate intervals. Judging by my resemblance to a lobster, I’d wager I didn’t reapply often enough that day.

At the time, it felt fine. On the drive home, it felt fine. But that night I was in HURTING!

I believe that sin is exactly the same.

Lately, God’s been pointing out areas in my life where sin that I deem “minor” are in discord with Him. It always seems like the tiny, insignificant things that trip me up the most: a lie to avoid hurt feelings, serving others for the wrong reasons, allowing disrespectful thoughts to take root in my heart. That is just what I’m struggling with right now. But each of those “small things” develop and increase and pile up, until I’m left wondering how everything snowballed so quickly.

I don’t believe sin just creeps up on people. I chose to put myself in the sun; I choose to allow myself into situations that I know tempt me towards sin. Each little thing seems pleasurable and harmless at the moment… but in the end, I’m burned.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” - Psalm 119: 9 – 11

To avoid sunburns, I reapply sunscreen. To avoid sins that trip me when I’m chasing God, I’ve been told to hide His word in my heart. As a child of God, I'm told to do more than just read His word, I'm told to "hide it" in my heart!

That means, for me... I have to go deeper than just reading it. More thorough than just reading to check it off on my To Do list. More earnestly than just reading and having no application. I'm to study, to read, to apply, to be saturated in Him. I'm to be washed by His word (Ephesians 5:26). It's to invade every area of my life, every crevice of who I am. I long for it. Not just once, but every day, every single moment, I need it to be reapplied to my heart, my mind, and my soul.

The sunburn has faded away. Time heals it naturally. But it is ONLY with the forgiveness of Christ that the burn and penalty of sin is healed.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23

My prayer is that you and I learn to apply and reapply the Word, so we avoid the burn of sin. May you become soaked and saturated with Him, as I learn to do the same.

By grace alone,

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