The main theme in my current teaching, reading, hearing, and thinking seems to be SIN. I know - it is such a fun topic to think about - but we must do it as believers - I think it is part of the work of sanctification. Not to dwell on the actual sin of course, but to dwell in the place where we are continually convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit. The heading of this blog came from a closing thought Rach sent me today in an email - also having to do with many things we have been struggling with as of late.
The chastisement (discipline) of the Lord is something Prov 3.12 talks about - hence I heard it Sunday night at WXR. It is something God does to those He loves and delights.
I taught on it this weekend as I looked at the life of Uzzah in 2 Sam 6 and then David's sin with Bathsheeba in 2 Sam 11 and the coming conviction in ch 12. Some girls got it, some girls it went right over their heads - but I pray the Spirit would convict them that sin is more than just the wrong things we do - it is a disease that infects all of us and our only Cure is Jesus.
In my Psalms reading (14) today - it is in there in a roundabout way. In verse one the psalmist talks about the person who says there is no God - is a fool and does nothing right. Now, I definitely believe there is a GOD and he is the YAHWEH God. But, how many times does the way I live my daily life reflect the folly of my own heart? Do my actions speak louder than my beliefs?
I've also been reading two books recently: The Screwtape Letters (CS Lewis) and
The Mortification of Sin (John Owen) both having to do with Sin. The first I picked up this weekend while I was teaching about sin and how it is always against the very WHO of God - His glory, His Name. It was amazing to me the depth and creativity of which Lewis wrote - from the side of a demon to a novice demon. There are so many things that we do on a daily basis that is sin - that we wouldn't even count as sin. How often do we gossip or think negatively, or worry w/o even thinking about it? The second is definitely on the other side of the spectrum from Lewis' book. It talks about (in a way only Puritans can write) about the dying to self and putting away of the flesh. That is such a convicting book. Pick both of them up (and accompany them of course with Scripture and as another random book - Valley of Vision) and read. I pray the Spirit would convict you as He has been doing me.
Here is a quote from John Owen - not knowing where it is from - but definitely one worth reading:
Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, if it has its own way it will go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could, every thought of unbelief would be atheism if allowed to develop. Every rise of lust, if it has its way reaches the height of villainy; it is like the grave that is never satisfied. The deceitfulness of sin is seen in that it is modest in its first proposals but when it prevails it hardens mens' hearts, and brings them to ruin.
My prayer - as Rach and talked about on Sunday - is that God would be glorified in my life by the mortification of sin in my flesh - that I may "walk by the Spirit so that I may not gratify the desires of the flesh" - and this is only done by the Spirit - b/c I by myself can't do it.