James 1:15 – A Good Idea

James 1:15

Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

John 8:34

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

Romans 8:10

If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

John 10:10

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

I remember very clearly a few years ago, after a lifetime of the pleading voices of our kids, we gave in and got a dog. Travor, our mini long-hair dachshund, was about the most adorable thing you will ever see, but he was equally naughty. Among the many house training activities we had been engaged in since he came into our home, he had also began thinking it was a good idea to begin chewing electrical cords. I am certain that he was drawn to them because of the rubbery texture up against his teeth and how the cord flipped and flopped as he chewed. As he enjoyed the few moments before I would catch him, I’m sure he was thinking, “This is the life!”

No matter how many times I had told him “no”, he continued to find opportunities to do it again. What he didn't know that I knew is that if he chewed for too long he was going to get the shock of his life. I was much less concerned with the $6 cord that I would have had to replace and much more concerned for his safety and well-being. To add to my frustration for him, we had bought toy after toy and bone after bone for him to enjoy, yet he continued to go back to things that we tried to keep him from.

This is the same kind of concern God shows for us daily, but in a far more perfect way. He cared so much about us that he gave us instructions on how to live this life to the fullest. Yet, so many times, we choose chewing on an electrical cord of sin over the vast array of enjoyable good things God as provided for us. I find that we tend to lose the real intention of the word “sin” at times. We focus on the fact that it is a forbidden action, a no-no, and that doing it is breaking God’s instructions. While this is true, I think it is better to focus on the fact that God was providing us guidelines on what is best for us. He is not trying to keep us from something worthwhile but to draw us to the much better things.

Sin always promotes self-slavery. It masters us, controls us, overpowers us. Those who are without the sanctifying work of the Spirit in their lives cannot escape it. They find in themselves a battle that, while they may want to be and do good, they can’t escape sin's mastery. Why would someone like us who has experienced slavery and been freed ever want to return to it?

Sin always steals the good life from us. For years, the outside world has viewed the Christian life as a restricted and repressed lesser life, but it is the exact opposite. Living life the way it was intended to be lived, the “righteous” way, is the only thing that can bring true life. It is the overflowing abundant life that Jesus secured for those who would trust Him.

May we be those who are known for living “right”, so that the world can see what an abundant life can really be.

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