Life or limb?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When sin enters into our lives, what are the choices? It seems they may be limited. We can try to cover it up and hope it goes away or we can confront it, and cut it out of our lives. Which way keeps the sin from diseasing our lives altogether? You choose?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

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There’s been an ongoing drought in our little valley on and off for decades now. Although there’ve been periods of sufficient rainfall at times, the winters have generally been less than generous in terms of snow cover. Grass recovers and flower beds and gardens can be watered. Even farmers’ fields seem to survive somehow, although crops might be a bit stunted and perhaps only two crops of alfalfa are harvested as opposed to three. It seems that the trees suffer the most however. Living in the middle of a woods here at Beech Springs is testimony to that. The shortage of water nicks away at the Beech and Maple trees here year after year. Even when we happen to have a snowier winter or wetter spring, the trees won’t reflect the change right away. They bank water and reflect last year’s shortage even though the year seems more generous from a moisture standpoint. One of the indicators of drought with some trees is that leaves become smaller, and patches of dried-out brown spots appear. Trees are also more susceptible to disease in a drought. It shows up first in a limb here and there. Eventually, the entire tree may die. And, if you don’t cut off the diseased limbs, the disease spreads even more quickly throughout the tree. Working on the assumption that one limb is better than no limb, I’ve spent more time in the last few years limbing diseased branches. Ironically, to save the whole tree, I’m often forced to destroy parts of it.

Similarly, when sin enters into our lives, we have to make a choice. We can try to cover it up and hope that it goes away or we can confront it, and cut it out of our lives.

Here’s a story: The drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he'd received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he'd pulled one over on his wife. When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. “You were drunk last night weren’t you!” “No, honey.” “Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the Band-aids on the bathroom mirror?” (Source unknown)

Is there sin in your life today that needs to be cut out? Perhaps there’s some sin you’ve lived with uncomfortably for a very long time. You’ve tried to put a Band-aid on it, but it just doesn’t stick because your aim is off target. You’re trying to bandage what isn’t wounded; trying to fix the wrong thing. There’s a better way. Take the first step toward eradicating these sins by putting yourself into the mindset that sin needs to be removed not covered up. You and I can’t tolerate it in our lives or the lives of those around us. (Yes, God demands that we not only address the sin in our lives, but that we speak the truth in love to others. Not in judgment but in love. A loving Christian will speak to any sin, his, her’s or others.) Like dead limbs that only serve to disease the healthy body, the sins of this world must be cut off like diseased limbs. We need to look out for sin, not look away from it! Remove it before it sinks its fangs even deeper into our lives. The surgery may be painful but, it’s far better to lose a limb than a life.

We pray. Heavenly Father, sin works its way on us. At first we think that it’s not so bad, and suddenly its captured us completely. It never makes sense to procrastinate, especially when the object of our neglect is sin. Forgive us Father when we make tolerance and acceptance our companion with sin. Help us Lord to cut sin out and stop its spread before it’s too late. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!"

<> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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