John 10:10 begins with "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. . ." I thought of these words when faced with recent situations that reveal the ugliness of sin. These stories brought tears to my eyes and caused me to cry out to God in prayer. Isn't it sad that often sin is camouflaged enough to appear pleasant and inviting, but occasionally we are exposed to sin's true ugliness? Sin batters and bruises its victims and yet they return for more. Caught in sin's ugly grasp, the sinner is powerless to escape unless a Rescuer reaches down to deliver them. Yes, the Rescuer (our Savior) does the delivering, not the sinner.
My heart is saddened to see the broken relationships, the lies, the hatred and the addictions that are the product of sin. If I had to select an image representing sin, I think I would have to choose a side-by-side comparison of a beautiful young woman. This woman is attractive enough to be a model, but the comparison picture shows a face that is unrecognizable. The face has been marred by mere months of addiction to meth. The once-beautiful skin is marred by acne, several teeth are missing, the hair is unkempt. You may have seen photos like this at The Faces of Meth.
My heart hurts for those suffering from sin's ugliness. I know sin's grasp and am not completely out of it's reach until I reach Heaven. I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit indwelling me and guiding and convicting me. Too often I've ignored that still small whisper and lived to regret it. Regarding sin, A.W. Pink says: Wherein lies its fearful potency? Why, in its power to deceive us. It
lies to us. It did so to Adam and Eve. It gives us false estimates of
values so that we mistake the tinsel for real gold. To be saved from the
power of sin, is to have our eyes opened so that we see things in God’s
light: it is to know the truth about things all around us, and the
truth about ourselves. Satan has blinded the minds of them that believe
not, but the Holy Spirit hath shined in our hearts "unto the light of
the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor.
As you know, John 10:10 doesn't end with the destruction of the thief, but finishes with "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Friend, are you living in the midst of sin's ugliness or enjoying Christ's abundant life?
|Morning at Tuttle Creek|
|Morning at Tuttle Creek|
This Sunday I came across a hymn written by Francis Scott Key in 1832. I thought it fittingly accompanied the photos of the beauty of creation.
Before the Lord We BowBefore the Lord we bow, the God who reigns above,
And rules the world below, boundless in power and love.
Our thanks we bring in joy and praise, our hearts we raise
To Heaven’s high King.
The nation Thou hast blest may well Thy love declare,
From foes and fears at rest, protected by Thy care.
For this fair land, for this bright day, our thanks we pay,
Gifts of Thy hand.
May every mountain height, each vale and forest green,
Shine in Thy Word’s pure light, and its rich fruits be seen!
May every tongue be tuned to praise, and join to raise
A grateful song.
Earth, hear thy Maker’s voice, thy great Redeemer own;
Believe, obey, rejoice, and worship Him alone.
Cast down thy pride, thy sin deplore and bow before
And when in power He comes, O may our native land,
From all its rending tombs, send forth a glorious band.
A countless throng, ever to sing to Heaven’s high King
This hymn was found here.