In the message “Guard Against The Yeast” we saw how Jesus warned about allowing even a little hypocrisy to enter our life. When we compromise any area of our beliefs, we are in grave danger of allowing the compromise to spread “through the whole batch of dough” (Galatians 5:9).
In the days of Jeremiah, God warned the people of Jerusalem about the destruction which was coming unless they turned from their evil ways. But the people continued in their sin and refused to listen. God gave them many opportunities to repent, but they had become comfortable in their sin and were unwilling – possibly even unable – to change.
“And if you ask yourself, ‘Why has this happened to me?’ – it is because of your many sins. Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”
One of the devastating results of sin is that it causes separation from God; and separation causes the defense against temptation to weaken. Unfortunately, a weakened defense makes it easier to continue in sin…causing further separation. The cycle of sin and separation had continued in Jerusalem until sin was viewed as normal behavior. The “yeast” had been mixed into every part of the dough and their conscience had become “seared as with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2).
We need to understand this when ministering to those who are lost. People without Jesus have a difficult (if not impossible) time recognizing their sin. What we may see as sinful, they see as normal behavior which has no need of change. Rather than attempting to correct their specific sins, we must share the love of Christ – His purpose and plan of forgiveness – and help lead them to faith in the Savior. Only Jesus can create true change; only His grace can reveal and remove sin.
We also need to understand the perils of the sin cycle in our own life. Is there sin which we are beginning to view as “normal” behavior and allowing to hinder the joy of being in His presence? Is our sin forming “spots” which we now call ordinary and acceptable? Remember that sin causes separation which leads to more sin…and greater separation. This cycle must be recognized and stopped!
Although we may have wandered from God, all desire for change is fueled by the conviction of the Holy Spirit calling us to repentance; calling us to respond to the love of Christ; calling us to keep our conscience from becoming seared. Let’s break the cycle of sin and return to a life which glorifies our Heavenly Father in ALL we do. Let’s never become so accustomed to sin that we develop the unchangeable spots of a leopard.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Aug 12 Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40; Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7
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