Earlier this summer, a clinic opened on a side street behind my favorite grocery store. Not just any clinic, but one of those that would counsel a woman to abort her baby. Not long after it opened, I drove by again and saw a lone little figure dressed in black standing on the sidewalk in front of the clinic.
Her shoulders hunched slightly, making her seem even shorter than her 5' frame, and a black habit covered what I suspected was greying hair. Dark stockings led to sturdy black shoes. She stood facing this building holding a book in her hands. A Bible.
One woman took a stand in 110 degree heat. All alone. She stood against something that broke the heart of God. Tears streamed down my face as I drove on, praying for God to protect this precious, bold sister.
The picture of that woman rises in my mind with regularity. I may never know her name, but she changed my life. She lived out her faith in a way few do.
I wonder if our generation has lost sight of sin. Well, really, it isn't just a problem with our generation. One read though the Old Testament, and we see that it's been an on-going problem for people of God.
God keeps trying to tell us to separate ourselves from sin, and we keep insisting we can somehow dip our toes in the pool of temptation without getting wet. If I really ... really ... saw sin as God sees it, I wouldn't get near it. I'd see that pool of temptation and it would look like a pool of blood. Would you put your toes in it then?
My idea behind my devotion today is not really about what our actions reflect. You see, I can do all the "right" things as a Christian woman. I can read my Bible, pray with my children and attend church regularly. I can tithe, reach out to my neighbors and teach a Bible study. But what really matters is what's going on inside my heart.
Jesus prayed this prayer for His followers:
"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." John 17:15-17 (NIV)
The word "sanctify" means to "set apart for sacred use." It's interesting that we are set apart by what's inside us (truth) not by what we do. We aren't going to get away from sin, but we are to be set apart from it by the truth we stand for in our hearts.
There are two questions I'd like to pose today:
1) Do you know which thoughts, words and actions are sin?
2) What do you really think of sin?
If you've been avoiding the issue of sin for awhile, perhaps this is the time to re-evaluate where you stand. I believe God is looking to bless people who choose to stand for Him.
I'd like to give away a book today, written by my friend Rachel Olsen. It's called "It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know." As we talk about God's truth, this is the perfect book for a woman to read. I highly recommend it!
To enter the drawing, just post a comment on this topic of sin. You can answer one of my questions, or post one of your own. Or you can make an observation. I'll leave this up over the weekend, and announce a winner on Monday.
Also, please visit my post from yesterday about leadership where I'm offering another book as a giveaway.
Thanks for visiting today, and may the Lord bless you richly as you take a stand for His truth.
In His Love,