Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our "Besetting Sin"

“One is tempted by one’s own desire.... Then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved.” (James 1:14-16)

Today I began a new series exploring the life and teachings of Jesus as found in the gospel of Luke. We began with the story of the “temptations” of Christ found in Luke 4 [Read the complete sermon here]. Along these lines, several years ago a friend gave me the poem below by Irene Holsted which speaks of the dangers of temptation, and how we humans tend to minimize it until it becomes too big to handle:

“There came a gentle tapping ‘let me in!’
I opened and beheld a very little sin.
He entered with apologies and scarcely raised his eyes
As if abashed to contemplate tempting one so wise.

I found myself amused at this and set out to explore
This little cunning sin I’d let inside my door.
I petted him and teased him & gave him bread & wine,
Grew fond of him, then adopted him, this little sin of mine.

He twined around my heartstrings & grew so very dear
I loved him & assured myself he was too small to fear.
He soon spied out my weakness & therein was the rub,
He built himself a treadmill, my weakness at the hub.

With every revolution my darling little sin
Enlarged himself and multiplied over and over again.
At last he stooped & lifted me & placed me on his knee,
Now he is my besetting sin and makes a pet of me.”
[--Author Irene Holsted]

My prayer is that whatever “temptation(s)” or “besetting sin(s)” you are facing, you’ll trust Christ to walk with you to victory over them, lest you become a victim of them -- and always remember that I and all of our church’s pastors are available to help you privately and confidentially if you are struggling with something in particular, as well. Never forget that God loves you and I do, too (no matter what your “struggle” is)!

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