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Prayer to Overcome Sin

O everlasting God, let the light of Thine eternity now fall upon my passing days.
O holy God, let the light of thy perfect righteousness fall upon my sinful ways.
O most merciful God, let the light of Thy love pierce to the most secret corners of my heart and overcome the darkness of sin within me.

– John Baillie

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Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 2

Q. 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery? (Modern English: How do you know about your misery?)
A. Out of the law of God.
[a]

Q. 4. What does the law of God require of us?
A. Christ teaches us that briefly, Matt. 22:37-40, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
[a]

Q. 5. Canst thou keep all these things perfectly?
A. In no wise;
[a] for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbour.[b]

Thou: old term for you, some people think is more polite when speaking about / to God. It really isn’t. It’s simply the term used at the time. If you are studying English you don’t need to use it (unless you want to) but you should know what it means.

                Thy is related and means your

-est: Most often seen in modern English with adjectives, strongest, for example. In Older English, the endings “t”, “st” and “est” were used with verbs with the 2nd person (you)

In these questions: knowest, shalt

“Like unto it” = is similar.

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The Fertile Soil of Temptation
 
temptationex0“Each one is tempted, when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.”James 1:14,15 
 
There is this thing called “desire” in all of us. You can’t avoid it. It pulls us in various directions. It can pull us in the direction of pride or humility, lust or love. When this pull is in the direction of sin we call it “temptation.”
 
Temptation builds its power over time, and the longer the soul debates its response to temptation, the more likely it is to concede. It is rather like a battery charger. The longer you leave it running, the stronger the current it generates. Or imagine it to be like a spring, the more you wind it up, the greater the energy it can discharge.
 
Desire comes to life

Notice what James says next: “After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (v15). There is a moment when desire conceives, a moment in the soul when desire comes to life. The members of the Board cast their votes and the soul responds to the desire that its members have debated.  
 
When desire has conceived, there is no stopping it. The longer the will allows the soul to debate with sin, the more likely it is that you will capitulate to it. 
 
Call the question

Some of us have been in a board meeting where a discussion has gone on for too long, and then eventually, someone will say “Call the question!” We have gathered information from the mind. We have considered the feelings of the heart. It is time to make a decision.
 
When you face temptation, the sooner you call the question the better.  Temptation is like an unwanted salesman, the further you let him go, the harder it is to get rid of him.
 
All at once…

There is a powerful picture of temptation in Proverbs 7. Solomon was writing the book of Proverbs when he looked out his window and saw a youth who lacked judgment. He saw how this man was confronted by temptation in the form of a particular woman who came out to meet him.
 
The conversation develops, and a plan is discussed. Then Solomon says “all at once he followed her” (Proverbs 7:22). He allowed the situation to develop to a point where the outcome was inevitable.
 
That’s what happens. If you allow your soul to go on and on debating with evil, there will be a point where some members of the Board in your soul will give in. They’ll do so only because they’re fed up with the meeting.
 
Don’t let the power of temptation build within your soul. Practice early response. Call the question. The longer you allow the debate in the soul to continue, the more difficult it will be for you to resist sin’s proposal.

 

That’s this week’s LifeKey.

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Responding to a group member who confesses a secret sin

Ryan Zempel 

 

Okay, suppose you’re doing a good job leading a small group. You’re building relationships among group members, people seem to be growing closer to God, and everything seems to be going swimmingly, when suddenly, Whammo!—one of your group members (or even your co-leader) confesses that they are struggling with a secret sin. Now what do you do?

Well, for starters, the title of this article is not the suggested response. 🙂

It’s important to recognize that confession of sin is a good thing. You shouldn’t assume your group is under some sort of spiritual attack. One of the aims of our small groups is (or should be) to create a safe environment where people can grow closer to God. Well, growing closer to God often involves the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the need to repent of sin. If someone’s confessing, it means you’ve done a good job leading your group and you should give yourself a pat on the back. (Okay, you can actually give God the credit, but you get the point.)

So, what sort of sins am I talking about? Not the “Oops! I messed up and said a bad word today” kinds of sin. I’m referring to serious sin patterns in people’s lives that they’ve been convicted of and that they need to deal with. This can also include secret sins that people have been silently struggling with for years.

*      “I’m addicted to pornography.”

*      “I’m anorexic.”

*      “I’m sleeping with my boyfriend.”

*      “I struggle with homosexuality.”

*      “I demean and belittle others to make myself feel better.”

 

For the rest of the article click here

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“All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions.”
— Reinhold Niebuhr

“Live in such a way where the only thing you have left to do is die.”

 

Any Soul

In every person, there lies all souls that ever were and will be.

After all, all of consciousness began in a single being, with a single breath of G–d within that being. And so, just as every cell of the human being contains the blueprint of every other cell and of the whole person from the makeup of his brain to the swirls of his fingerprints, so every single person contains the entire humankind.

If so, He has rendered each of us the master of human destiny. In the liberation of any one of us lies the liberation of us all. – Chabad

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