Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Dare Not Go Near the Border of Sin
"Though Jesus Christ did sometimes converse with sinners, yet he could receive no infection by them; his divine nature was a sufficient antidote against the contagion of sin. As the sun cannot be defiled with the thick vapours which are exhaled from the earth, and fly into the middle region, so the black vapours of sin could not defile the Sun of righteousness. Christ was of such spotless purity that he had no receptibility of evil. But the case is otherwise with us; we have a stock of corruption within. Therefore it is dangerous to incorporate with the wicked, lest we be defiled.
"Such as revere the divine majesty dare not go near the borders of sin. Those who went near the fiery furnace, though he did not go into it, were burned (Dan. 3:22)" (Thomas Watson, The Great Gain of Godliness, p.40).
Lord God my Redeemer: blessed be the Creator of heaven and earth--the One who causes the sun, the earth, and the moon to align to form an eclipse, allowing me to look to the heavens with the ability to observe and wonder (abilities you have given me), so that I can declare Your glory. The heavens declare Your glory, Lord, and the sky above proclaims Your handiwork.
Oh Father, thank You for sending Your Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, thank You for humbling Yourself and taking on human flesh. Thank You for bringing upon Yourself such great humility, allowing Yourself to be nailed to a tree. Thank You for dying, for shedding Your blood to wash away my sins. While in Your humanness there was nothing about Your physical form to cause mankind to look upon You with awe, You now sit at the right hand of power. You are now robed in majesty--divine majesty. It is with reverence for Your divine majesty that I come to You and seek Your help.
Keep me from the borders of sin!
It's too easy, Lord. It's too easy to move across the border from holiness to sinfulness. It's too easy to cross from godliness into sinfulness. Lord, please help me to loathe even the borders of sin.
Tomorrow, Lord, like almost every other day of my life, I will be surrounded by those who hate You. I will be in the uncomfortable company of young men and women who drink iniquity like water, who love the world and the things of the world, whose lives are governed by the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of possessions. Some will taunt and bait. Others will blaspheme and mock. Still others will insist they are my brothers or sisters while joining the throng of unbelievers, whose garments are polluted by the flesh, trying to stop the preaching of Your gospel.
Holy Spirit, please help me, even if completely surrounded, not to even go near the borders of in. Help me not to revile when revile. Help me not to respond in kind. Help me to answer their lack of control with godly meekness. Help me to respond to hate with love. I cannot succeed with out You. I cannot grow in my sanctification without You. I cannot stay outside the borders of sin without You.
Lord God Almighty, as hard as it is to stay away from the borders of sin when sinfulness dances about me, when wickedness hides not in the shadows but flaunts itself in the open, it is just as hard when the sound of a dropping pin can be heard. When I fail to take every thought captive for Your glory, when I fail to dwell on things above, even far quieter times can be fraught with the danger of crossing the borders of sin. Oh Lord, renew my mind. Cleanse my heart and mind of every wicked thought, every evil plan, every vengeful scheme, every "I'll show you" response when wronged.
Father, I want to converse with sinners, just as my Lord did. But protect me from any and every spiritual infection they may carry. Holy Spirit, please inoculate me from the pestilence of depravity and unrepentance. I know how dangerous it is to incorporate with the wicked--how easily the defilement of their hearts and minds can spread to my own, with the open wounds of pride and arrogance in my spirit allowing blood from their sin-stained hearts to mingle with the new spiritual platelets of the new man. No! Please help me to be holy as You are holy. Help me to be in the world, but not of the world.
Lord Jesus, allow me to be further conformed to Your image. Like You, Lord, I want to walk among and converse with the spiritually dead so that I can offer them their only hope, the only cure, the gospel. Like You, Lord Jesus, may my only aim be the conversion of their souls. Oh, may my heart break for them as I plead with them to repent and believe the gospel.
I love You, Lord Jesus. And may I show my love for You by not so much as even daring to go near the borders of sin. In Your name, I pray, Lord Jesus. Amen.