"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried,
he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to
them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:
for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."
Yep, I call it my sin tree!
“What?!” you respond; even as you look at the picture and think it is beautiful!
A few times each year, this tree buds and I get excited, anticipating the beautiful purple, tulip shaped flowers. They look lovely against the clear, azure February sky. I call it my sin tree because it is so enticing. I want to cut all of the flowers and bring them inside, as they seem to instill a sense of happiness to me.
The problem… After the flowers have bloomed, they quickly fade and their petals drop to the ground and sour! Sometimes the putrid smell is over powering as I rush in or out of my house. I cannot escape it fast enough.
I have likened this tree to sin. It’s tempting… it provides momentary pleasure…that leaves a lasting stench! The lingering smell has destroyed the delight I once took in its beauty. Sin can be that way. It entices us, appeals to us and flirts with us. Once we have indulged, we give off a noticeable odor. This “odor” can show up in bad attitudes, withdrawal from friends, and a lacking desire to spend time fellowshipping with the Lord. I find it interesting that it was also a tree in the Garden of Eden that elicited some of the same desirable characteristics; however, it was not the tree itself that caused the sin, it was temptation and the choice of disobedience that led to the fall. We are all tempted with things and in various forms. It is our response to the temptation that leads us either closer to the Lord or drives us away from hearing His still soft voice. Have you heard from the Lord lately? Perhaps there is sin in your life that has broken fellowship with the Father. Ask Him for forgiveness and to restore what has been broken.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
1 Corin. 10:13
So what about the voice on the other shoulder? Actually, I should say in the heart!
Someone who obeyed that small still voice blessed me this week! Perhaps when she reads this blog she will comment and give her perspective, but for now, this is how I experienced it…
Pick up the phone and call that person. Add another item to your grocery cart. Drive home a different route. There are blessings all around us if we chose not to ignore them. Even if you think you can’t go one more step, press on…just a tiny bit more. It might make a huge difference in someone’s life.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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