Tag Archives: Sin

The Yo-Yo Lesson


Recently, as an introduction to a lesson about knot tying, we were discussing Proverbs 5:22 in one of the children’s classes I teach. It says,

The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
    the cords of their sins hold them fast.

My question (what is this saying?) after reading the verse was immediately followed by that “deer in the headlights” looks from about 95% of the group.

Awesome. Let’s try this again, I thought.

We read it again, and again I asked, “What is this communicating?” I got a couple of answers this time and then the thoughts started coming…

“I think it’s saying the more you get in sin, the harder it is to get out….” Good.

“Oh, it’s kind of like evil will tie you up.” Yes- now you guys are on track…

Then a couple thoughts (and a lot of distractions) later, I noticed the demeanor of one of the girls change… her eyes lit up, she sat a little taller in her chair, and as soon as she made eye contact with me, she raised her hand up in the air. “I’ve got it!” she exclaimed.

“So my brother used to do yo-yo- like A LOT. He would do yo-yo tricks all the time. Well, if he got a knot in the string, the trick just would not work. It just doesn’t work to have a knot in the string. That’s what it’s like for us. If we get sin in our life, it just makes life not work. We can’t do things like we are supposed to. That’s what it’s about. Sin messes us up.”

“That’s brilliant,” I said. There really was not much more I could add to that. I think they figured out the proverb….


Deeper Issue


There are parts of learning that I really like. Sometimes the process of learning is very difficult, but for the most part, I enjoy it. I enjoy knowing intricacies and details. I think part of why is because learning more helps me feel better prepared to make decisions.  I also just really enjoy making a new discovery. This is one of the things I really appreciate about scripture. No matter how often I have read a passage, God will almost always teach me something new or show me a new detail.

Today I was reading in John 5 and part of the story recorded in this chapter stood out to me in a new way. The main story in the chapter is about Jesus healing a man who is described as an invalid for 38 years. Jesus heals him and then disappears in the crowd. Later, Jesus finds him in the temple and makes a very powerful statement. This is what stood out to me today. Jesus says, “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

What struck me about this statement was the truth of how powerful the effects sin are. It is nothing really new to me- it did not take me very long in life to realize the damage that sin causes- but there was a new comparison for me in this story that made the truth come alive. The impression left on me is that Jesus was saying to the man, “You thought being a lame, invalid for 38 years was bad… Sin is much more devastating.”

I know that “the wages of sin is death.” I know it destroys relationships and causes pain. But something about comparing the outcomes of sin to being worse than living an invalid… that connected to me. It would be really bad to be in that guy’s situation- an invalid with no help, no hope, continually being overlooked, and no one who cares. It’s a bad place to live. But Jesus says living in sin is worse…. There is a deeper issue than just being sick and invalid.

This has caused me to stop and think. During this season of Lent, part of the focus is to realize the gravity of our sin and what it cost Jesus to overcome it. This passage, in a new and fresh way, is helping me focus. I hope it maybe stands out to you as well.


Day 27 of 46


We are just over half way in the journey to Easter. It feels to me that Easter Sunday is approaching very quickly. I was thinking this morning about how quickly it really will be here and how I want to be ready to experience as full and exciting as a celebration as possible when Easter does finally arrive. Today’s passage is helping me in preparing.

I think to fully experience the joy and the excitement of Easter, I must first sense the gravity of my sin and the greatness of God’s grace. This is what Paul is after in Ephesians 2:1-10. I would encourage you not to just read through the passage, but to linger in it… allow it to focus your heart on who we are, who God is, and who God desires us to be.

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 


Sin and Death


We are entering the fourth week of Lent. Again, it is a journey towards Holy Week when we were remember the death of Jesus and celebrate His resurrection. It is a time for us to prepare for that week; to really reflect and consider our condition so that we can truly celebrate what Christ has done for us. Here is what I read today to help me reflect:

For some Christ-followers, sin and death weave so familiar a narrative that we’ve become numb to their sting. For others of us, the wages of sin and our subsequent spiritual death weigh so heavily that we refuse to accept God’s gracious mercy.
The balance in which God calls us to rest is our certainly dissatisfied with both extremes. As we begin to understand our current spiritual story through the eyes of Christian history, we grieve as we own the sins of humanity yet rejoice with the saints in the climax of our shared salvation story.(Holy Bible: Mosaic)

I don’t ever want to take lightly the story of salvation!

Today’s scripture passage is from Luke 15:1-32. As you read, consider these things… What parable do you identify with? How do you see the interplay between our sin and God’s salvation? What stands out to you? What does it mean for you today as you reflect on sin, death, and God’s salvation?


Desperate Need


Today’s passage in from Genesis 2:4-3:24. It is a rather depressing account. It is so early in the story of God and everything is falling apart.

As I read it, I was overwhelmed with my desperate need for a savoir- for someone who could help free me from sin and it’s curse. Here are a few things to think about as you read:

Do I realized the gravity of the sin that is in my life? How do I see the effects of sin and it’s curse in my life and the world around me? Do I see my desperate need for a Savior?

“All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them.” E.M. Bounds (1835-1913)