In A Nutshell | October 29, 2021

Lifting the Burden of Sin and Living a Christ-Like Life

Some years ago, when I was working part-time in radio, I struggled with many of the technical aspects of the job, such as how to patch into the network news feed at the top of the hour or how program the automation to keep the station on the air overnight.

I could tell that the program director was becoming frustrated with my failings, but he remained patient and supportive. Finally, after another series of mistakes, I went to him and said that I would understand if he felt it was time to terminate me. He paused for a moment, and said, “No, I can still use you.”

I was both humbled and gratified by his show of support. It strengthened my resolve to reapply myself and do my job better. Eventually, things worked out, and although there would still be some missteps along the way, I gradually became a more competent and capable programmer.

Our faith journey is similar in many respects. We strive to be obedient to God’s Word and to serve him with good intentions, but because of our humanness, we continue to slip up, stumble, and even fall.

Despite our best efforts, we often become discouraged, downtrodden, and eventually defeated. We come before God, as Moses in the desert, to confess our failures, and wonder openly if He would be better off without us.

But God has a much wider vision and a much greater plan for those who wish to serve Him. Sure, we are all flawed in our current state, but He didn’t send His Son to die in vain. He did so, not only to absolve our sins, but also to cleanse and purify us so that we would be prepared for the greater glory He has planned for us.

In the meantime, our enemy is constantly conniving, not only in an effort to lead us into temptation, but also to affirm any thoughts we may have about being beyond redemption. Scripture makes it clear, that Jesus died for ALL people. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready or willing to accept His gift of salvation.

The bottom line is that while we must acknowledge and confess our transgressions, we are not to be weighed down, much less defeated, by them. The process of remorse, repentance, reconciliation, and redemption releases us from the burden of sin. It allows us to move forward and celebrate our life in Christ.

While it is true that temptation and evil lurk around every corner, and that even the most faithful and devout among us fall victim on occasion, we know that Jesus is always with us to give us an out — an escape route — and the encouragement to “sin no more” or at least to ensure that “sin does not reign within us.”

Living a holy and obedient life begins by living in His Word, following His commandments, engaging in worship, and serving others — all of which can be achieved through active involvement in the church.

Even those of us blessed with good physical health occasionally get sick. Likewise, in our spiritual lives, there are moments of “illness” rooted in ill-advised behavior, but we can live healthy spiritual lives by exercising our faith and seeking a remedy when we stumble through the grace and mercy of our great and powerful healer — our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Remember, God still wants to use us to advance His Kingdom here on earth, so always keep these encouraging words from II Timothy 4 in mind, “fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith.

Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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