Monday, March 22, 2021
Sometimes when I have a really crazy day at work, or a challenging day, or people problems, etc., I tell myself this, "if it wasn't for sin, I wouldn't have a job." I don't like thinking that, but sometimes the stuff I have to deal with in my own life and in working with other people just reminds me that sin is a reality in life. I would love to just preach a sermon and say, "if you sin, stop. Amen." That would be great! But here's the problem: it's hard to tell a person who has a sin nature and sometimes chooses to sin, even when they're Christians, to stop sinning. So what I want to do is tell you that sin is bad, and you shouldn't sin. But today, I want to focus a little differently. I want to focus on this idea that if you sin, have a short account with it. I don't encourage sin, but unfortunately, being who we are, it's inevitable. So, have a short account with sin, and I will unpack how to do that.
In James 1:13-15, James says, 'When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." When James says that God does not tempt anyone, that means you can't say, "God made me do it," or, "God put me in a position where I had to sin." That's not what you can say. You can say the devil made you do it you, but you're still pawning off and making excuses. That's what Adam and Eve basically said. But then James goes on to say that each one is tempted by his own evil desire. And he's speaking to Christians, which means Christians still have evil desires. He says, "he is dragged away and enticed," so he's talking about sin dragging us away. Unfortunately, we've all been caught and dragged away by sin. But watch this. Here he talks about the danger of having a longer account with sin. If you engage a sin, and you continue in the sin, here's the process. He says that after the desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. That means desire is a sin too. If you desire something wrong, that desire is a sin as much as sin itself. Because he says when desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin. The moment desire conceives that's a sin and sin when it is full-grown gives birth to death. What does this say? The longer you hang on to sin, the more destructive it is in your life. Let me be clear, I highly encourage you not to sin. Let me also be clear, we all sin.
So here's the rub. When you sin, cut it off quickly. Have a short account with sin. If you don't, sin will give birth to death. You might say, "will I die?" Listen, I don't know. I'll let God be the judge that. I know in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 Paul said "hand that man over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his spirit might be saved in a day of the Lord." In other words, what's he saying there? He's saying, take this guy out physically. So it could happen. But I'm saying it could lead to other kinds of death, perhaps death of a relationship, of peace, of satisfaction, of contentment. Do you want that? Remember that when you sin, that it has long-term implications. So have a short account with sin, apologize where needed, stop looking at what you're looking at, if it's sinful, and stop doing what you're doing. Whatever it is, stop it, before it leads to further damage, destruction, and death.
Father, we all sin, forgive us of that. And also give us the power to have a short account with sin. To repent of it, to turn from it, to stop it, so that it doesn't lead to further damage in our life. Help us have the power to do this, and we ask it in Jesus' name. Amen. Shorter accounts with sin. That's the goal of life. Thanks and have a great day.