Chapter 1: And So It Begins

| 28 January 2020

"Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else." Ephesians 2:1-3 (NLT)

Now don’t you feel encouraged. Don’t you want to just sit and meditate on your sin nature? No? Well, neither do I.

Still every great story has a problem that needs to be solved — and ours is sin. As Romans 3:23 says, … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

But out of all that muck and mire of our sin, God transforms us. 1 John 1:8-9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Now this is where the story really gets good! As only Christ can do, he tills the dirt of our lives until it becomes fertile ground where he can grow the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Does God still need to prune our sin tendencies

so we can be a sweet, fruity aroma to others? As any Christian can attest, giving our lives to Christ doesn’t make us perfect. We still need to sit with God on a regular basis and ask what weeds need to be pulled from our lives so the fruit of the spirit can grow and flourish.

Today, spend some time thanking God for rescuing you from your sin nature and asking if there’s anything in your life that needs to be pruned. Here’s a sample prayer:

Lord, thank you for rescuing me from my sin nature. You have transformed me with the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). Forgive me when I fall back into my old sinful habits. Specifically, Lord, please forgive me for ___________. Empower me to live out the fruit of the spirit in my life every day.

Cyndie Claypool de Neve
Senior Creative Director