The Bible View #839 — Sin’s Grasp

In This Issue:
Free the Slaves
Sin’s Damage

Volume: 839     December 20, 2021
Theme: Sin’s Grip

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Free the Slaves
Bill Brinkworth

When speaking of slavery, most immediately think of those taken against their will from Africa and other countries in the early-to-mid 1800s. However, forced labor continues today and is more prevalent than in the 1800s. 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated in 2013 that 20.9 million men, women, and children around the world are “forced to work for little or no pay and at the complete mercy of their ‘employer’” (, 11/2013). Some estimates make the count closer to 30 million.

Those forced to work in mental or physical slavery or controlled by an “employer” are not even close to the numbers of those in bondage in a different, less obvious way.  Those in this type of slavery outnumber the 30 million many times over.  To make matters worse, those in this popular type of bondage often do not realize they have lost their freedoms!

The Bible has much to say about this type of oppression:

  • There are two choices in this world.  One can serve himself and one’s selfish desires, which are often sin and sometimes the devil’s destructive ploys or one can serve God.  There are only these two choices, whether man recognizes it or not.
    “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [the self-serving desires of our flesh].” Matthew 6:24  Also: Luke 16:13.
  • Although sin is always an individual’s choice, it becomes “addictive” and leads to more iniquity.  Soon sin controls one’s thoughts and is a demanding and controlling force in one’s life.

Lying and deceitfulness oftenlead to more lies and alienation from others as one becomes mistrusted. Bitterness , unforgiveness, resentment, and jealousy rob many of peace and good relationships. Drinking, drugs, pornography, and most sins never fulfill one’s lust and often lead to committing more iniquities in hopes that their cravings will be satisfied. Sexual sins ruin lives and families, wreck relationships but leave the committer with a feeling of loneliness and failure.

On and on goes the list of the consequences of sin.  No one gets away without paying the horrible cost to one’s life because of sin. Iniquities leave one’s life changed and often physically damaged from its commission.  Iniquity never does anything but rob and destroys what is good in one’s life.  Its grasp robs one of joy and makes one a slave.  The committer of sin is led by desires and loses freedoms.

  • When one chooses to do his own thing and ignore the life God desires one to have, the person will not only reap the terrible consequence of sin but will alienate himself from God.
    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15
    “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4
    “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Gal. 1:10
  • Jesus addressed a group of saved Jews and told them they could be free (John 8:31-32).  The believers responded that they were not in bondage.
    “They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” John 8:33

Then Jesus pointed out to them that they were indeed slaves to the sins they had committed.
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34

  • Those given over to sin have no permanent desire to live a life that pleases the Lord.
    “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” Rom. 6:20
  • Trusting Christ’s payment for all our iniquities is the only way one can be free of sin’s control and from the ultimate price for committing them — the Lake of Fire!
    “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Rom. 8:2
  • The choice is always up to the individual!  One does not have to serve sin, although many choose to continue committing it.  We have the liberty to do right.
    “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5:1
    “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.” I Cor. 7:22
  • When free from the desire to sin, one should strive to live righteously.  However, the longer one is involved in sin, the harder the battle will be against the temptations it will present.  Halting sin can be changed to a lifestyle that is pleasing to God.
    “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Rom. 6:18
    “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Rom. 6:22
    “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” Mat. 12:18
  • One freed from the desire to sin has the opportunity to serve God freely, and in so doing, one should get their sights off themselves and desire to help others.
    “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” Mark 10:44
  • Although one may choose to serve God, it is servitude out of gratitude and love, not out of forced bondage.  When one decides to surrender control of selfish desires and live the way God commands, one will have a life that is blessed and honored by God! God looks at his servant not as a bond slave but with special love — as a friend.
    “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15:15
    “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26
  • Jesus, our example, was this type of servant also.
    “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Philippians 2:7
    “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Mat. 25:21   Also: Mat. 25:23.

The most dangerous and ever-present threat to anyone, even a saved person, is the commission of sin.  It always has a price tag that no one would ever dream would come when committing it.

The charge for getting involved in iniquity usually continues longer than anyone would ever want to pay.  Its bill often comes due when the sin’s commission is forgotten, but there is always a payday for sin.  No one avoids its cost.

When a believer sins, one can always go to the Father in prayer, seek forgiveness, and plead with God for strength not to commit the trespass again. The guilt may be gone, and one will not have to answer for the sin.  However, its temptation will often appear again in one’s life and be a future difficulty one must battle to avoid.

All the good intentions and halting of sin’s commission will not remove sin’s payment.  One must realize one is a sinner and trusts Christ’s death on the cross as the only payment God will recognize to cover one’s wrongdoings. When one does that and asks God to save him, the eternal wage for sin will be removed.  You must be born again (John 3:3) to have the free pardon from all sin.

Do you realize that your sin is against what God desires for your life?  Confess it to God. He knows about it already but wants you to humble yourself and admit it.  Seek to live the way God commands in His Word, the Bible.

Obeying God and living the way He desires you to live will break the chains of sin that are keeping you in bondaget.  You can be free.  There is hope!

The way to keep the heart quiet is to keep ourselves in the love of God and to do nothing to offend him.”  — Henry

Sin’s Damage

Sin is composed of naught but subtle wiles,
It fawns and flatters and betrays by smiles;
‘Tis like the panther, or the crocodile,
It seems to love, and promises no wile,
It hides the soul and hates when it vows most love.
It plays the tyrant most by gilded pills (unpleasant people),
It secretly ensnares the souls it kills.
Sin’s promises they all deceitful be,
Does promise wealth, but pays us poverty;
Does promise pleasure, but doth pay us sorrow;
Does promise life today; pays death tomorrow.
No thief so vile, nor treacherous as sin,
Whom fools do hug and have much pleasure in.

“Sin will keep you from the Bible.  The Bible will keep you from sin.” — D. L. Moody

The Bible View #820 — Guilt

In This Issue:
A Different Person
Always Looking over His Shoulder
No More Guilt!
None Guilty?
The King’s Pardon

Volume: 820    July 26, 2021
Theme: Guilt

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A Different Person
Bill Brinkworth

King David never forgot his sinful past. However, he did not go around with guilt and not forgiving himself, as some do.  He encouraged himself by remembering, because of God’s help, that he did some things that were “righteous” in God’s eyes.

David recalled he had:

  • A godly testimony and character (“integrity”) — Psalm 26:1.
  • To the best of his ability, obeyed God’s commandments — Psalm 26:3.
  • Not associated himself with people of false self-worth — Psalm 26:4.
  • Done his best to not be in the company of those that portrayed themselves as they were not. Today, we would relate those to people that appear like Christians on Sunday but live the same as the ungodly the rest of the week — Psalm 26:4.
  • Not associated with those doing evil — Psalm 26:5.
  • Been grateful and had given God the glory for the great things He had done — Psalm 26:7.
  • Loved to be in the Temple and to be around the things of God — Psalm 26:8.

The closer to God we try to be, the clearer we see the defects and sins in our lives.  Sometimes, the hardest critic we have to deal with is ourselves.  If we have asked God to forgive us, He has. Unfortunately, sometimes our guilt remains, and many are not free from their past.

Rather than dealing with guilt, David moved forward.  He knew he had done all he could by asking God’s forgiveness of his sins. 

Not out of pride, but as an encouragement, the king reminded himself of the great changes God did in his life.  He recalled what he had become, not what he was.

We also need to have the same attitude about our past.  If we have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, then His blood suffices to cover all our sins.  God has forgiven and forgotten them. 

We, as did David, must not dwell on our old life.  We must remember and brag on God for all the changes He has done in us. We are new creatures in Christ.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. — II Corinthians 5:17

Always Looking over His Shoulder
C. H. Spurgeon

A man was constantly in debt and continually being arrested for his failure to pay his bills.  Once, when going by some railings, he caught his sleeve on one of the handholds.  He instantly turned around and said, “I don t owe you anything, sir.”

He thought an arresting bailiff was tugging on his sleeve.  So, it often is with unforgiven sinners. Wherever they are, their guilt hauntingly follows them, and they are continuously cautious of being found out. They enjoy little.

When a man is forgiven, he can walk anywhere. There is no guilt. His conscience is at rest.

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”   Isaiah 32:17

No More Guilt!
Bill Brinkworth

Before Paul’s salvation, he did all he could to serve God his way.  In so doing, he unknowingly became an enemy of God and Christians.  He was responsible for having many Christians killed and did much to slow the spreading of the Gospel.  When he was saved, Paul became one of the sincerest servants for Christ. 

No matter what he did after salvation, he still had a past.  There was no way to undo what he had done.  All he could do was go forward by doing the right things after being forgiven and do all he could for the cause of Christ.  He did that with all his heart.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” I Corinthians 15:1

Many are plagued with a guilty conscience of their past, even after they are saved. Years ago, I remember listening to a Christian radio program where the host answered live scriptural questions.  One caller, choked with guilt, called and told the host, “I am saved, I know I am forgiven, and my sins are forgotten, but I just cannot forgive myself, and that is why I am going to take my life.”  Immediately, the program was changed over to music, while I imagine the radio preacher dealt with the man’s guilt and desire to take his own life. Sadly, many will not forgive themselves and still live a defeated life, even after salvation.

We all have pasts. No saved person should have any joy in the wrong he has done.  If we could do it over, most of us would choose never to have committed the sins we have, but we still had done them.  No remorse or guilt is going to change our past.  When we trust Christ for salvation, our sins are not only forgiven by God but they are forgotten (Psalm 103:12).  Our sins are under His blood.

Even though God knows all we did, He still offered us a way, by His grace, to His Heaven. Since He has forgiven and forgotten our past, we must also forgive and forgot what we have done.

When people remind you of your past, remind them that Jesus dropped the charges. — Author Unknown

None Guilty?
Sunday School Times

Paul Loizeaux once said, “Oh, how hard it is to find sinners! If only I could find one, I have a marvelous message for him.” Of course, he meant sinners who know themselves to be sinners.

To be a sinner is one thing. To know it is another. But, whether or not we realize it, God knows our sinnership and knows if we go on without His saving help, we will perish. To deliver us from perishing, He sent us His Son to prepay for our sins.  He offers us the great gift of salvation because of His great love for us and because He knows of man’s great need.

“… the righteous are bold as a lion.”:  If a man is not guilty, he can stand up and speak out.  If his own mind is free from guilt, he is not afraid of the thoughts and minds of other men.”  — J. Vernon McGee

The King’s Pardon
D. L. Moody

A man was once being tried for a crime, the punishment of which was death. The witnesses came in one by one and testified to his guilt, but there he stood, quite calm and unmoved.

The judge and the jury were surprised at his indifference. They could not understand how he could take such a serious matter so calmly.

When the jury retired, it did not take them long to decide on a verdict of “guilty.”  After the judge passed the sentence of death upon the criminal, he told him how surprised he was that the criminal could be so unmoved by the prospect of death. When the judge had finished, the man put his hand in his bosom, pulled out a document, and presented it to the judge. He then walked out of the courtroom a free man.

Ah, that was how he could be so calm. He had a free pardon from his king, which he had in his pocket all the time. The king had instructed him to allow the trial to proceed and produce the pardon only when he was condemned. No wonder then that he was indifferent to the result of the trial.

That is just what will make us joyful on the great Day of Judgment. We have a pardon from the Great King, and it is sealed with the blood of His Son. We that are saved will miss that White Throne Judgment!  We have the King’s pardon!

The BIBLE VIEW #817 — Sin

In This Issue:
It Will Turn Up
No Matter What They Decide
How to be Forgiven

Volume: 817    July 5, 2021
Theme: Sin

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It Will Turn Up
Bill Brinkworth

Twenty years previously, Aaron Giles lost a small identity bracelet he was wearing. He was about five years old and was never sure where he lost it.  Aaron believes he lost it when he was playing at his grandfather’s farm in Fairmont, Minnesota.

A lot of time has gone by since, and his grandfather’s farm is no longer standing.  How surprised he was when the piece of jewelry was returned to him. It was found by a meat cutter, who found it when removing a chicken’s gizzard. The object was in good condition, and the name was still legible. It was believed the animal came from a farm near where the boy had lost it 20 years previously. It was there the fowl swallowed the shiny object.

Many times, deeds done a long time ago rear their reminding head.  If it was a good deed, and we are reminded of it, we smile and remember happily.  If, however, the deed was something we are now ashamed of ever having done, we cringe at the remembrance that we were the ones who did the shameful act.

Again and again, crimes that were done a long time ago come under re-investigation. Surprised are the villains when the law arrives at their door to arrest them for a crime that they may have even forgotten they had done. 

Adulterous acts have often been revealed to spouses many years after the sin was committed. Government officials running for office have had to resign from their race for office after it was discovered that they had cheated on a long-past college exam.  People have been rejected from getting jobs because of the discovery of their criminal activity many years before.

Like Mr. Gile’s bracelet recovery, the wages and the public exposure of sin can occur long after the act was done or performed.  There is a principle taught in the Bible about iniquity.  It is that no one gets away without paying a price tag for their transgressions. The act may have been done in secret, but it will not always be hidden. As Moses reminded His people, “… be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Many suffer in this life from a payday of sin long after the deed was committed.  Adulterers often pay for their trespass by eventually losing their families. Thieves’ salaries for their sin are often paid by jail time.  Liars pay time and a half for their dishonesty by separation from friends that no longer trust them.  All, if unsaved and not receiving Jesus’ death as payment for their sin, will suffer in a dark, lonely, painful, eternal Hell.

God wants no one to suffer the after-shocks of sin.  That is why His desire is for us to keep far from the damaging grasps of iniquity.  No matter who you are, your sin may be revealed – somewhere, sometime.  Its embarrassing reminder can turn up.

“Sin may open bright as the morning, but it will end dark as night.”
 – Talmage

No Matter What They Decide
Bill Brinkworth

Before Joshua’s death, the leader gathered the people of Israel together. He reminded them of all the great and mighty things God had done for them and their fathers. Joshua rehearsed how God took, gave, sent, plagued, brought, put, destroyed, and delivered for them in over 17 instances (Joshua 24:3-13).

Joshua also rehearsed all the failures of His people. He reminded them how they continued to backslide from God and repeatedly had to be saved from the consequences of their poor choices. Many of God’s rescues were because the people had not learned their lesson and were still of two beliefs.

Sometimes they served God, and other times they served the losing side and its false gods.  Trying to live for God was a constant struggle for them.  Their minds were not completely made up, or they would not have had made the same mistakes repeatedly.

No matter what Israel’s loyalty to God was, it was not a hard decision for Joshua.  The leader’s mind was made up.   He had previously decided who His God was and that he would be faithful in obedience to Him. It was no longer a struggle for Joshua to know whom he would serve.

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15

Israel’s leader used interesting terms in describing many of the people’s desire not to serve God.  He used: “… if it seem evil.”  This wording indicated that some people thought that serving their Creator and Protector was physically, socially, or morally bad for them. This thinking is not unlike the thoughts of many today.  Too many think serving God and obeying His commandments, as recorded in the Bible, is unprofitable to them because:

  • They think they will miss all the “fun” if they follow God’s commandments.  Sin is only “fun” for a short time, however.  It usually has regrettable consequences that come at a later time.  Iniquity never gives genuine joy, only temporary satisfaction.
    “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” Hebrews 11:25. 
  • They do not know that there is a price tag for sin. No one gets away with sin.
    He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverb 28:13
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • His way is not the world’s way.  By following His way, they will appear different from others.  It is often more important to some to be like everyone else rather than pleasing God.

Yes, God’s way is different.  Yes, you will not fit in if you are obedient to God, but why do you want to be like the losing side, anyway?  God’s way is always better.  He has raised billions of children, and Father knows best.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

  • They only see the now and forget the eternal.  There is life after death. There is an eternity in either Heaven or Hell.  What sense is there in missing an eternity in Heaven for temporary satisfaction for a relatively short time here on Earth?
    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36

The world’s reasons for not serving God are not much different than those of Joshua’s day.  The excuses come from the same rebellious and disobedient heart. No matter the time, the answer to God can be the same as Joshua’s: “… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15.  No matter what others think or do, we can always be different and do right!

“Sin and dandelions are a lot alike; they’re a lifetime battle to control that you never quite win.”  —White

How to be Forgiven

  • Know all have sinned — including you.
    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
  • Know that eventually there is a cost for your sin that has to be paid.
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • Know that the price for your sin has already been paid — no matter what you have done.
    “ But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
  • Know that you can apply Jesus’ payment to your sin account and have ALL your sins forgiven.  You can have God’s promise of Heaven!
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 
    (“Confessing” is admitting your faults to God in prayer).

“God hates the sin, but He loves the sinner.”  — D. L. Moody

The Bible View #816 — Forgiven

In This Issue:
Remember, You Are Forgiven!
Moody’s Mother’s Forgiveness

Volume: 816    June 28, 2021
Theme: Forgiven

Bill Brinkworth

“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his [God’s] Son [Jesus], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, . . . when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Heb. 1:2-3

The Apostle Paul starts his letter to the Hebrews by bragging about Jesus.  Although much is pointed out about our Saviour, one little word is easily skipped. That word is “purged.” The term explains why anyone can go to Heaven and why they can have a peaceful life.

Noah Webster defines “purge” as “to cleanse or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure.” When one accepts Jesus’ death on the Cross as payment for all his sins, he is purified of the one dirty thing that keeps all out of Heaven. He is purified from all the iniquities he has committed and the ones he will do in the future. His sins were all carried off by Jesus when He died.

Mr. Webster further defined “purge” as clearing “from guilt or moral defilement.” When Jesus’ finished work at Calvary is accepted to cover one’s transgressions, he is relieved from any shame his sin can bring him.

Many have been saved and know God has forgiven and forgotten past sins, but they still hang on to guilty thoughts of what they have done.  Paul has told us there is no need to have any guilt.  Since God has forgiven us, we must forgive ourselves. 

A Christian is purged! All our sins are carried away.  We do not have to continue in them, and we certainly do not need to dwell on what God has forgiven.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

Remember, You Are Forgiven!
Bill Brinkworth

When we are saved, our whole life should change. We are forgiven, and our sins are forgotten. Our old ways are dead and hidden (Colossians 3:3), as far as God is concerned. We are to bring our bodies under subjection (“mortify” – Col. 3:5). No longer are we to let sin control our lives (Col. 3:5-10). We should put our “old man,” what we used to do and be, far away from us.

We are new creatures in Christ (II Cor. 5:17) and have a fresh start.  We have a “new man” (Col. 3:10) that we should put on and strive, with God’s goodness and help, to “wear” well!  Our new attitudes and actions should try to be:

  • Holy and dear to God’s heart (Col. 3:12).
  • Merciful to others, as we have received much mercy from God (Col. 3:12).
  • Kind  (Col. 3:12).
  • Humble  (Col. 3:12).
  • Meek  (Col. 3:12).
  • Longsuffering (Col. 3:12).
  • Willing to put up with what others do to us repeatedly  (“forbearing” – Col. 3:13).
  • Forgive what others do to us and others.  God certainly has forgiven us thousands of times.  Why cannot we forgive those that have wronged or offended us (Col. 3:13)?
  • Loving and caring to all — unconditionally (Col. 3:14)!
  • Peaceful to one another (Col. 3:15).
  • Thankful (Col. 3:15, 17).
  • Ruled and guided by God’s Word (Col. 3:16).
  • Submissive to authorities, God says are over us (Col. 3:18-22).

It would be impossible to do all God has told us to do, as new creatures in Christ, and not be happy and content. However, it is when we allow the “old man” to be temporarily resurrected that we have our problems. When our old ways return, they rob us of the peace and joy that should be ours. Has the “old you” gained control in your life again?  Ask the Lord to forgive you and help you regain what is yours!

Feed the ‘new man,’ the spiritual you, and he will grow stronger every day.  Do not feed the ‘new man,’ and he will suffer from spiritual malnutrition.

Edmonsan, 1871

When on the fragrant sandal tree
The woodman’s ax descends,
And she who bloomed so beauteously.
Beneath the weapon bends,
E’en on the edge that wrought her death,
Dying, she breathes her sweetest breath,
As if to token in her fall
Peace to her foes, and love to all.

How hardly man this lesson learns,
To smile, and bless the hand that spurns;
To see the blow, to feel the pain,
And render only love again!
One had it — be He came from Heaven,
Reviled, rejected, and betrayed;
No curse He breathed; no plaint He made,
But when in death’s dark pang, He sighed,
Prayed for His murderers and died.

“The habit of judging and condemning others is usually a great deal more serious blemish than are the things we so glibly point out as flaws or faults.” Author Unknown

Moody’s Mother’s Forgiveness

D. L. Moody

Before I was fourteen years old, the first thing I remember was the death of my father. He had been unfortunate in business and failed. Soon after his death, the creditors came and took everything.

My mother was left with a large family of children. One calamity after another swept over the household. Twins were added to the family, and my mother was taken sick.

The eldest boy was fifteen years of age.  Mother looked to him as a stay in her calamity, but all at once, he became a wanderer. He had been reading some of the trashy novels, and the belief had seized him that he had only to go away to make a fortune.

Away he went. I can remember how eagerly mother used to look for tidings of that boy. She used to send us to the post office to see if there was a letter from him.  I recollect how we used to come back with the sad news, “No letter.”

I remember how in the evenings, we used to sit beside her in that New England home. We would talk about our father, but the moment the boy’s name was mentioned, she would hush us into silence. Some nights when the wind was strong, and the house would tremble at every gust, mother’s voice was raised in prayer for that wanderer who had treated her so unkindly. I used to think she loved him more than all the rest of us put together, and I believe she did.

On Thanksgiving Day, she used to set a chair for him, thinking he would return home. Her family grew up, and her other boys left home.

When I got so that I could write, I sent letters all over the country but could find no trace of him.  While in Boston, I remember how I used to look for him in every store.  I looked amongst people for anyone who had a mark on their face, as my brother had.  I never found him.

One day while my mother was sitting at the door, a stranger was seen coming toward the house, and when he came to the door, he stopped. My mother did not know her boy. He stood there with folded arms and a great beard flowing down to his breast.  His tears trickled down his face.

When my mother saw those tears, she cried, “Oh, it’s my lost son,” and implored him to come in. He stood still.

“No, mother,” he said, “I will not come in until I hear first you have forgiven me.”

Do you believe she was not willing to forgive him? Do you think she was likely to keep him standing there? Instead, she rushed to the threshold and threw her arms around him, and breathed forgiveness.

Ah, sinner, if you but ask God to be merciful to you, you can ask Him for forgiveness. Although your life may have been in sin, ask Him for mercy, and He will not keep you waiting long for an answer. He is looking and waiting for you!

“It is vain for you to expect, and it is imprudent for you to ask of God forgiveness on your behalf if you refuse to exercise this forgiving temper to others.” — Hoadley

The Bible View #804 — “Heart” Problems

In This Issue:
Heart Problems
A Hardened Heart
Our Hearts — Summed Up
Muddy Water
If the Heart Is Right

Volume: 804    April 5, 2021
Theme: Spiritual Heart Problems

 Heart Problems
Bill Brinkworth

There are many excuses available for any mistake or sin in our lives.  Psychologists often blame a patient’s difficulty on their environment. Social workers label many behaviors as peer-pressure related. Income, hereditary, age, and race are also some of the popular excuses for wrongdoing.

Sometimes, the excuses mentioned above are legitimate, but they are often scapegoated justifications for the problem’s real source. The Bible often speaks of the heart as the origin of wickedness.

By “heart,” the blood-pumping organ is not what is referred to but is more the center of thoughts, feelings, and our will. There is no one location where a surgeon could, under dissection, point to and identify as, “this is where lying comes from” or “this organ generates the desire to steal.”

It is this “heart” that Mark speaks of when he writes, “… Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly…” Mark 7:1-19

Things entering the body cannot make us do wrong unless our “heart” is in such a state as it would allow our bodies to perform the sin. Although many under the influence of drugs and alcohol do wrong things, it is not totally what went into their bloodstream that is at fault. Their “heart” was most likely in a tolerant-to-sin state to allow such a thing to happen in the first place.

If this were not true, then anyone partaking of alcohol or drugs would have the same desire to fight, rape, curse, steal, and get into more sin. This, however, does not happen every time booze is swallowed. It is the already willing, desensitized-to-sin heart that allows a person to sin further.

Nothing entering the belly can defile the man. There is not one un-Koshered pickle, a third scoop of vanilla ice cream, or anything man puts into his mouth that he should blame as the reason for his wrongdoing. The source of sin generates fromman’s own “heart.”

“Don’t put off doing what the Lord has shown you to do today.  You may not have another opportunity or another tomorrow!”

A Hardened Heart
Bill Brinkworth

One of the most dangerous conditions for anyone to have, Christian or non-Christian, is mentioned in Hebrews. That condition is having one’s heart “hardened” (Hebrews 3:8). It is not a problem with one’s physical heart. It is the spiritual part of a person that has determined not to do what God had urged it to do. By refusing to do what God has shown it to do, it is directly disobeying God — a most serious situation!

To make it clear to the Hebrews, Paul reminded them what hard-heartedness cost their forefathers in the wilderness. While in the wilderness, the Jews had a wonderful opportunity to follow God to a land He had reserved for them. By day, God led them in His direction by going before them in a column of cloud that stretched from Heaven to Earth. When it moved, they moved. When it stopped, they stopped. At night, it changed to a column of fire. Although they had many proofs of God’s helping them, they still doubted. Unbelief, the root cause of hard-heartedness (Hebrews 3:12), crept into their thoughts, and they doubted God. 

This provoked God (Hebrews 3:8) and caused the Israelites to have many unnecessary testings, trials, and tribulations. They missed many of the blessings they could have had because their hearts were fixed not to believe or trust God. Because of their hardened hearts, a possibly six-day march to the land God had prepared for them took 40 years. None of the hard-hearted people ever got to see the promised land, although their offspring did. Their hearts of unbelief cost them much.

A hard-hearted condition can just as easily be obtained today as it was then. When God shows a person what salvation is and that they should trust Christ as Saviour today, they are hardening their heart when they postpone the decision.  When their heart is shown to do something, such as being saved, faithful in church attendance, praying, reading their Bible, tithing, or telling others about salvation, their not doing it is a direct refusal to God. Even slow obedience to a command, or justification in not doing as they were shown, is still unbelief and distrust.

Four times (Hebrews 3:7, 12, 13, 4:7), Paul mentioned the key to not having a hardened heart. The key is “today.”  When God shows you something or quietly speaks to your heart in conviction, you must obey Him then! Not tomorrow! Not later! It should not be open to debate!  Doing it when we want, and not when He commands, is a step in hardening one’s spiritual heart. 

Slow obedience is no obedience.”   — Author Unknown

Our Hearts — Summed Up

He who makes a watch or engine knows all the workmanship in it. God, that made the heart, knows all the motions and fallacies of it.”  —Watson, 1696

“God sees hearts as we see faces.” — George Herbert.

“Before men, we stand as opaque bee-hives. Others can see the thoughts go in and out of us, but they cannot tell what work is done inside. Before God, we are like a glass bee-hive.  He knows, sees, and understands all our thoughts.”  — Beecher.


Muddy Water
Scriver (edited), 1629-1693

In a vessel filled with muddy water, the heavy sludge soon settles to the bottom. It leaves the water “clearer” until it seems perfectly clean. However, the slightest motion brings the sediment again to the top and makes the water as thick and turbid as before.

Here we have a picture of the human “heart.”  The heart is full of the mud of sinful lusts and carnal desires.  No good and holy thoughts can flow from it. It is filthy and contaminated, no matter how it appears.

A man’s “heart” is a miry pit and slough of sin, in which all sorts of ugly reptiles are bred and crawl. Many are deceived by their spiritual condition and never imagine their heart half so wicked as it is.

At times, one’s lusts are at rest and sink, as it were, to the bottom. The iniquities of one’s past are often forgotten. On some occasions, one’s thoughts appear to be holy and devout, desires pure and temperate, words charitable and edifying, and works useful and Christian.

This period of apparent “Christianity” and good living lasts only so long as one is not “shaken.”   As long as one is without opportunity or incitement to sin, a wicked heart is hidden.   However, when worldly lusts are aroused, one’s thoughts, words, and works show no trace of anything but slime and impurity.

A sinner is meek as long as he is not thwarted, but cross him, and he is like powder, ignited by the smallest spark, and loudly explodes.  Some are temperate, if he is separated from the wrong companions or while others’ eyes are upon him.  The “mud” is still there, at the bottom, do not shake it up.

Slow obedience is no obedience.”   — Author Unknown

If the Heart Is Right
Author Unknown

It doesn’t so much matter
What path our feet may tread,
Or, whether the cheering hopes we knew
In youth are vanished — dead.
We shall find a gleam in the darkness
To guide in the dreary night,
And a joyful song as we journey along,
If we go with a heart that’s right.

We sip from the cup of sweetness
And then the bitter gall;
Blossoms and friends are swept away,
Dreams are forgotten — all.
And you have known the tugging
That comes to the heartstrings tight,
Know of the balm, the peace, and calm
That comes from a heart that’s right.

The thorns that beset the causeway
May fester and wound the feet;
The cup you drink may end with gall,
Drowning the cherished sweet;
But the nectar for which you hunger,
The roses that suffered blight,
Will be yours to taste and smell again
If you go with a heart that’s right.

“To sin is to walk the way of the heart.”  — Matthew Henry

The Bible View #792 — Cost of Sin

In This Issue:
It Ain’t Free!
How Much Does Sin Cost?

                                   Volume: 792    January 11, 2021

It Ain’t Free!
Bill Brinkworth

After using a piece of equipment for one day, I returned it to a local store as it stopped working. It should have been a normal merchandise return, but an inconsistency alerted the clerk.  Apparently, a serial number on the item and the one on the box did not match.  They suspected that I was trying to pull something over on them with some type of scam.  Eventually, I proved to them that the return was legitimate, and they refunded the full amount of my purchase.

I was quite embarrassed and a little mad that they would accuse me of doing something dishonest. Soon, I realized the clerk most likely dealt with dishonesty much of her day.  They did not know me, so how would they know that I was telling the truth?

My being accused of something others do reminded me of how others’ sins affect so many.  Perhaps, the employee who packed the box was lazy and did not match up products with serial numbers. I was the one that paid the price for his lack of care that others may have been affected.

This error is nothing compared to how others are hurt by other’s sin.  The iniquity of others has changed this world.

On and on the list could go of how sin affects and hurts others.  No one gets away with sin.  All sin has repercussions. It ultimately hurts the one committing the iniquity but hurts so many others. No wonder God hates sin!  Avoid sin like the plague because it spreads and hurts so many others, and its price tag is more than any want to pay.

  • Thievery from businesses costs mistrust of many customers. Eventually, it raises the prices of items in the store to cover the loss of stolen merchandise. 
  • Speed limits had to be placed on highways because so many drove recklessly, endangered, and hurt innocent drivers.  Signs had to be purchased, and employees were hired to make and install the warnings.  Innocent taxpayers had to pay for the cost because of selfish, inconsiderate, often impatient drivers.
  • Because of being too lazy to work, those that do work have to pay higher taxes for those that refuse to be employed while the slothful collect welfare and other forms of government handouts.  There is no such thing as “free” money.  Someone somewhere is paying for others’ “free” rides!
  • The sin of adultery destroys many marriages when unfaithfulness is discovered.  The innocent spouse is left without a mate and, in most cases, must financially and mentally suffer because of the other’s selfish infidelity.  Children in the family also suffer because of not having both parents, and in most cases, have their lives turned upside down.
  • Killing babies by abortion destroys innocent lives and emotionally scars the mother.  It may also pave the way for others to do the same when they have an unexpected pregnancy; “My friend got an abortion, so it must be okay, so I’ll get one too because of my situation,” or “I want to have premarital sex, and if I get pregnant, I’ll just abort the baby.  No big deal.”
  • Many politicians assure themselves of their jobs by making laws that pay and encourage others’ wrong actions, law-breaking, and immorality to get more votes to keep themselves in office.  Societies have been destroyed by years of self-serving officials who were more concerned about their prosperity rather than how their governing affected others.
  • Drunkards drive under the influence of alcohol and kill innocent pedestrians.

“There is a terrible price on ALL sin that no one wants to pay when the ‘bill’ is due!

How Much Does Sin Cost?
Author Unknown

Sin is the breaking of God’s commandments. He hates our sins, and our committing them has dire consequences.

No one sins and does not have to face its terrible wages. Here is a biblical study on what sin has cost others and what it can cost us:

  • Sin cost Adam and Eve their lives. The first couple would not have died if they had not disobeyed God and sinned. Because of their transgression, the desire to sin was passed to all generations.
    “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
  • Sin cost Adam and Eve fellowship with God. They were forced out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin.
    “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:23-24
  • Sin cost some innocent animals their lives. God killed some animals so He could clothe Adam and Eve. From the commission of the first sin, others have been hurt and affected by others’ iniquities.
    “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
  • Sin cost this planet many changes. Because of Adam and Eve’s transgressoin, there are now weeds, sweat, and death. Before the first sin was committed, those things did not exist.
    “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen. 3:17-19
  • Sin cost Cain an unhappy, lonely life after he killed his brother.
    “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.” Genesis 4:11-13
  • Sin by others cost Joseph a normal life with his family. Because of their sin of jealousy, Joseph’s brothers threw Joseph in a pit, sold him into slavery, and caused Joseph’s life to be much different than what it could have been.  Sin often hurts the innocent.
    “ And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.” Genesis 37:23-24
  • Sin cost Moses life in the Promised Land. God told Israel’s leader to speak to a rock, and water would flow from it. In his anger, Moses hit the rock twice with his staff instead. Water came out. God still provided for Israel, but because of Moses’ disobedience to God’s command, the leader was kept from going into the Promised Land. He died just on the other side of the land he worked so hard to reach.
    “And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20:11-12
  • Sin cost Samson his eyesight and life. Samson knew he was to live apart from many temptations. He disobeyed God and had a relationship with an ungodly woman. Because he disobeyed God, Samson also suffered much embarrassment.  Israel’s judge did not achieve all he could have if he were obedient.
    “And she said [Delilah], The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” Judges 16:20-21
  • Sin also cost others much, including Miriam, Abel (killed by his brother), Absalom, Ahab, Barabbas, Bathsheba, David, Eglon (oppressed Israel), Herod, Jezebel, Jonah, and others. Sin hurts all of us!
  • Sin can cost each of us life in Hell and ultimately the Lake of Fire unless we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins!
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
    “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” I Cor. 15:21
    “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Rev. 20:11-14
  • Sin always has consequences. No one ever gets away without someone paying for their sin!
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • Sin costs us our freedom. When one lies, often another lie is needed to cover the first lie. When one steals one thing, it is usually easier to steal again. One alcoholic drink is often followed by another. Sin leads to more iniquity, and soon we are enslaved by sin.
  • Sin costs one his self-respect. Most have lost much self-esteem when they discover they went down a terrible, regrettable road where their sins led them.
  • Sin costs us our joy. Sin’s consequences often rob one of much happiness and brings pain and suffering into one’s life.
  • Sin costs having God not guiding and directing one’s life. Because sin can break our fellowship with God, He may not direct our lives. In Romans 1, it cost many because they did not do what they knew God would have had them do.  Their wickedness was so great that God gave up on them.
    “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” Roman 1:24
  • Sin can cost one a life God intended one to have.
    “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1
  • Sin cost Satan a life in Heaven and eventually will cost him an eternity in the Lake of Fire.
    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Rev. 20:10
  • The sin of others cost Jesus His life on Earth. He paid for our sin debt with His blood.
    “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” II Corinthians 5:15
  • Sin will cost this Earth its existence.
    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. “ Revelation 21:1

The most expensive thing on this Earth is not gold or even precious gems. The most costly item  is one’s sin. Payday for sin’s commission may not be today, but its wage will be someday. That is why God warns us repeatedly to stay away from the tenacious tentacles of sin. It is not that He wants to rob any of us of our “fun.” It is because God knows that there is always a terrible price for sin.

If you are a Sunday school teacher or preacher and would like to teach this lesson to your class, I can send you a free Powerpoint presentation of this lesson if you have Microsoft’s Powerpoint.  E-mail me your request, and the name of the lesson  to, and I will send it to you.

“In diving to the bottom for pleasures, we bring up more gravel and dirt than pearls.”  — Author Unknown

The Bible View #763

Articles in this Bible View: “To Really Stop Violence,” “Others,” “Crime,” “You May Duplicate What You Saw,” …
Theme: Why Violence? Why Sin?

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The Bible View #757

Articles in this Bible View: “There’s a Battle Raging,” “Oh, Happy Day,” “Avoid Temptation,” “Too Much Bridle,” …
Theme: Temptation for the Christian

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The Bible View #750

Articles in this Bible View: “The House,” “Hymn Writer Loses Joy of Salvation,” “When God Gave Them Up”
Theme: Backsliding

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The Bible View #744

Articles in this Bible View: “No ‘Little’ Sin,” “The Difference between Sin and Sins,” “God’s Way to Heaven”
Theme: Sin

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