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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Give the Devil and Sin An Inch!

Give the devil and sin an inch!

(Ralph Venning, "The Plague of Plagues!")

Beware of such sins as the world calls little sins! They say: "What harm is there in an innocent lie?" Alas, what a contradiction this is! Can a lie be innocent? One says, "Oh, it is only a trick of youth!" Yes, but it is such a trick as may cost you going to Hell! Another "deceives his neighbor and says: I am only joking!" Proverbs 26:19. Yes, but he who sins in jest or makes a jest of sin--may be damned in earnest!

Consider that no sin against a great God, can be strictly a little sin--though compared with a greater one, it may be. But however little it is--to account it so, makes it greater.

The nature of the greater sin is in the least sin. A spark of fire, or a drop of poison--have the nature of much more sin.
God has severely punished sins that have been looked upon as little sins, indeed, some of them well-meant sins--as when Uzzah took hold of the Ark when the cart shook (2 Samuel 6:6,7). When men onlylooked into the Ark--it cost them dearly! "The LORD killed seventy men from Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark of the LORD!" (1 Samuel 6:19). Gathering a few sticks on the Sabbath was severely punished! (Numbers 15:32-36).
These seem to be small matters--but in sin, we must not consider so much what is forbidden--as why it is forbidden, and who forbids it.

Besides, a little sin makes way for a greater sin--just as a little boy-thief entering a house, makes way for a man-thief to enter.

It is hard to sin once and only once--to commit one little sin and only one. Give the devil and sin an inch--and they will take a mile! Vain babbling increases to more ungodliness. A little leak in a ship, may by degrees fill it with water and sink it. The Devil does not much care by what sins we go to Hell, whether small--or great; whether by religious formality--or open immorality.

If a man makes no conscience of little sins, to which the temptations can be only little--then how little conscience is he likely to make of great sins, to which there are greater temptations?

If Judas betrays his Lord for thirty pieces of silver--then what would he not do for more?

Beware then of little sins!
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The time is short--our obligations are unspeakably great--and Heaven will make amends for all!

(John Newton's Letters)

"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows." John 16:33 

Every step we take, brings us nearer to our Father's house! We shall soon be at Home--where the wicked cannot trouble, and where the weary are at rest. 

How wisely the Lord varies His dispensations! 

They are not all painful--lest we should be too much cast down.

Nor are they all pleasant--lest we should forget what and where we are. 

Nor do our troubles come all at once. They are parceled out at different intervals, that one wound may be well healed before another is inflicted. 

The Lord has wise reasons for all that He does--and we shall, before long, know them more clearly. In short, He does all things well! May we even now be thankful and yield a sweet submission to His holy will. He has a sovereign right to dispose of us as He pleases--and He has promised that He shall work all together for our good. 

He has promised us peace in Himself--but in the world, He bids us to expect many trials and sorrows. The same or equal or greater afflictions--are common to all His people. We would never say, "This is too hard!" if we considered that we are sinners, and therefore always suffer less than we deserve. 

The time is short--our obligations are unspeakably great--and Heaven will make amends for all! Surely then we should cheerfully, yes thankfully, take up our crosses, and follow our Lord--since we are assured that if we suffer with Him and for Him, we shall also reign with Him. Time flies apace, and past troubles will return no more. Every pulse we feel, beats a sharp moment of the pain away--and the last stroke will soon come. Then sorrow and sighing shall flee away--and joy and gladness shall come forth to conduct us Home! That time will come--yes, it is drawing nearer every hour!

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