The problem of sin

Sin. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we are from. All humans struggle with sin. It doesn’t even matter when we are living (although most seem to always think that it is worse now than it has ever been). David wrote about this in Psalm 14 and Paul quoted it in his letter to the Christians in Rome.

“There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

Although we might not like this applied to us, deep down we know that too often we wander after sin and do not seek God. If the truth be told, we often seek sin and ignore God. When it comes to wanting what we desire, most choose sin. As David went on to say, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18). Continue reading “The problem of sin”

Look to Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the complete answer of God for the problem and need of mankind. Our problem is not ignorance, which education will solve. Our problem is not poverty, which more robust social programs will eradicate. Our problem is sin. It’s consequence, eternal and spiritual, is separation from God, Isaiah 5.1-2; Colossians 1.21. We cannot now imagine the despair and suffering caused by our rejection of God. No human action will repair that damage. So God sent his Son to pay the price for our sins, 1 Corinthians 6.20. Our Lord declared time and again that he came to save us from ourselves, Luke 19.10. This is the great act of grace on his part, Titus 3.4-7. Continue reading “Look to Jesus Christ”

All of us wither like a leaf

The proud colors of autumn are but a precursor of their own demise. The process that turns the tree’s leaves such beautiful hues is the very thing that causes the leaf stalk to separate from the branch.

The abscission layer – the cells at the base of the leaf stalk – stop allowing moisture and minerals to reach the leaves. When the leaf is unable to manufacture chlorophyll, the green color fades and the yellows and oranges are revealed.

Eventually, this abscission layer completely severs the connection, and the leaves fall to the ground…and on the driveway…and the porch….and into the house…. Continue reading “All of us wither like a leaf”

Five hideous truths about sin—and one great truth of hope

Behind sin works a living, personal, spiritual force called Satan. He opposes God and he considers mankind his battlefield. We know little about his origin, but we have learned much about his tactics and objectives. These should be studied carefully.

When we speak of sin, therefore, we are actually speaking of the work of Satan against God’s special creation of mankind.

Sin overpowers

It cannot be controlled. It is the lion crouching just outside the door ready to pounce and kill, Genesis 4.7; 1 Peter 5.8. It is the kudzu that will not stop growing until it has covered every good intent and smothered all good works. There is no dabbling in sin, no setting limits for sin, no negotiating with sin. Continue reading “Five hideous truths about sin—and one great truth of hope”

What is propitiation?

The threads of salvation are interwoven through every page of Scripture. Certainly, we should do all we can to understand them.

Sometimes the terminology eludes us because we don’t use it in daily life. Propitiation is a prime example. We find it in Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10 and since it pertains to our Lord and our salvation, it’s imperative that we understand it. Continue reading “What is propitiation?”

Who am I? The target of God’s redemption

Earlier, we explored man’s identity and worth in terms of being created in God’s image. Today, a second truth gives us importance: we are the focus of God’s efforts to save.

Man’s identity and value to God become evident when his eternal plan is explored and appreciated. What makes his plan so impressive is its extension, its reach, and the cost required to carry it through. Continue reading “Who am I? The target of God’s redemption”

Little Red Riding Hood – an obituary

“Little Red” was parked yesterday in her favorite spot, where she can photobomb any garden pictures along the path in the front corner garden.

This car won’t look as good as she did in the photo from 5 years ago, now that her paint is peeling. We thought about getting her a new coat of paint. But since she just passed the 333,333 mark on her odometer, it didn’t seem wise. Continue reading “Little Red Riding Hood – an obituary”

I once was lost

Overshared.

That’s the word I use to describe some of the losses that have occurred in the garden. Sharing plants is actually good insurance against losing a plant permanently, and I’ve experienced a few times when I’ve been asked for a piece of a plant that was previously shared with me.

But when my favorite iris dwindled down to one rhizome, I knew I had to take action. It was languishing in the shade of a peach tree, having been crowded out by stronger irises when the peach was smaller and let in more light. Continue reading “I once was lost”