Saturday, January 2, 2010

Crouching at the Door

I don't always start the new year at Genesis but this year it seemed good. I was in need of feeling that sense of beginning, of creation. While reading today I was struck by the story of Cain. When he offered his sacrifice and it was unacceptable he was downcast. In other words he felt rotten. Whether that was because he actually wanted to please God or he just felt it wasn't fair only God knows. What struck me was the way that God responded. He reassured Cain that if Cain did well his sacrifice would be acceptable. Then He warned Cain. Sin is crouching at the door. It desires to have you. You must master it. Three very true and sobering statements, as true today as they were for Cain. First God reassures us. He wants us to be in the Kingdom, to walk with Him. He wants us so much He sent His Son as the only Acceptable Sacrifice for our sin. Unlike Cain we have a sacrifice made that is sure and acceptable. It is ours for the taking and like any sacrifice for sin it is free and costly. It is free, we cannot pay for it or earn it, we cannot make it better or somehow more acceptable. It is costly, we give our lives and our wills to the Savior. We should see the cost as small as God loves us and wants our best but it is hard think for the flesh to turn over control. It is the war we fight daily between the flesh and the Spirit. But God is rich in mercy and accepts our repentant hearts when we blow it and casts our sins into the deepest part of the depths, not to be fished out. But God's warning is for us also. Sin is crouching at the door and when it comes in it brings death as Cain would learn. Sin starts small, cutting corners, small lies, a lingering look, a harsh word....Sin grows until it is stopped. The only stop for sin is repentance. That is where the words "you much master it" come in. While we cannot overcome sin ourselves we must repent of it and put it to death. The mastering comes when we renew our mind with the Word of God daily, the mastering comes when we avoid, run from, and turn from every thought that would lead us to sin, from every situation that causes us temptation, every UnGodly influence that invades our life. It is serious. God takes sin seriously. Yesterday may have been a fresh, new year but in my house sin was lurking at the door and I did not master it well. I was irritable and said things that I regret. I am thankful my family was gracious to both put up with me and forgive me. I am thankful that like New Years day today is a new day, a new day to serve the God I love so much, a new day to love my neighbor, a new day to love my family, and a new day to master that sin that still crouches at my door.

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