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Boiling Water



A mother preparing dinner for her family gets ready to boil a pot of water.  She tells her young son to stay away from the stove and to not get close.   He has no problem staying away till he sees the steam rise and hears the water start to boil. His curiosity leads him closer and closer only to have his mother rebuke him and tell him to stay away.  We understand the danger that this young boy faced by getting close to  a pot of boiling water…yet as Christians we often get close to boiling water ourselves.    We often start out with good intentions to stay away from sin and obey our Lord, yet, just like this young boy, we become curious or tempted by sin and we inch closer and closer.  Why do we do this?

From the beginning Satan has disguised sin as pleasurable.   Adam and Eve and been told by God to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   Eve however made a decision to listen to the serpent.    Genesis 3: 4-5, “4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Of course we know that Eve ate and sinned.  Eve had made a decision to go against the will of God.   She did not fully trust in what the Lord had told her.  She had been tricked by the serpent.

Satan will also deceive and trick us by other methods as well.   2 Cor. 11: 14-15, “14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” Satan will disguise himself as an angel of light and as a minister of righteousness.  What a sobering thought!  So how can we truly stay away from Satan and far away from sin?

We must study the scriptures and practice what God has told us to do so we will not be deceived by the devil.  There are many people in this world who are sincere.  They have good motives and good hearts yet they are untrained.  They have not studied the scriptures with an open heart or have decided that their motives are right before God.  They are leading people away from God and closer to Satan

Col 1:9-10, “9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…”  We must pray to God for guidance as we study the word.  If we study with an honest and pure heart he will fill us with wisdom and spiritual knowledge.   We will be fully pleasing to him and understand what sin truly is and stay away.

 Paul tells the young evangelist Timothy in 2 Tim 2:15, “15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”                               We must be diligent in our bible study and prayer.  We must be a worker for the Lord.   We must handle the word of truth the way the Lord has instructed us to.  If we do these things then we will overcome the devil.

2 Peter 3: 17-18 “ 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Not only should we know how to handle the truth but we also have to grow in grace and knowledge.  If we fail to grow we will fall away.  We will not remain steadfast but will inch closer and closer to sin.

We must also make the decision to flee from sin.   It is not a question as to when sin will come; it is a question of how you will act when it knocks on your door.  Will you decide now that you will flee or will you hang around watching to see how close you can get?  When you see the steam rise and the water starts to boil will you get closer?

  Daniel is good example of young man who made a wise decision early on.  Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”  Daniel made a decision…he “purposed in his heart,” not to sin and defile himself with the delicacies from king Nebuchadnezzar.   Have you purposed in your heart not to get close to sin, have you purposed in your heart to stay away from every form of evil, have you purposed in your heart to flee?

James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Have you submitted fully to God?   If we resist the devil he will flee from us and look for an easier victim.

Lastly not only should we stay away and flee sin for own salvation we must do so to set a good example to the world around us.  We must glorify and represent Christ in all we do.   Those outside the body of Christ look to us as an example of the Lord’s church.  When we do those things that are contrary to the Lord’s will we bring shame to the name of Christ.  

1 Peter 2:12  “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”  Our conduct must be “excellent” to those outside the body of Christ.  We cannot partake in actions that may lead others to question the role of us as a Christian or question the role of the Lord’s church.  How can we teach others about Christ if we decide to stay close to sin?   We will appear no different than the world around us.  They will not see Christ living in us and our light will be dimmed.  Matthew 5:16 “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”   Our actions should lead others to glorify God.

Hebrews 3: 12-13 “12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Sin is deceitful… can come across as something pleasurable, it may even come across as something righteous.  The outside world may see nothing wrong their actions however as Christians we must take time to study, pray and learn the will of God.  We must encourage one another daily to stay strong in the faith.   God will strengthen us if we truly trust in him.   We must make the decision to flee when sin comes.  Our actions are being watched by the world around us and we must, rightly handle the word of truth so that those outside the body of Christ will see Christ glorified through our good works. 

Have you prepared yourself spiritually to rightly discern the word of truth?  Have you made the decision to flee when sin comes knocking?   Is your conduct excellent to those outside the body of Christ?  How close will you let yourself get to sin?

How close are you to boiling water?

Craig Barth