Tuesday, January 24, 2017
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You may have seen an actor named Iron Eyes Cody in a lot of roles as an Indian. He used to tell an old legend about a young Indian brave, going through the rites of manhood. As he hiked solo into this beautiful valley, he decided to test himself against that rugged, snow-capped mountain that dominated the valley. When he reached the top, he felt like he was standing on the rim of the world. Then he heard this rustle at his feet. It was a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke. He said, "I am about to die. It's too cold for me up here and there's no food. Would you put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley?" The young brave refused. He said, "I know your kind! You're a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you'll bite me and you'll kill me." But the snake said, "No, I promise to treat you differently. If you do this for me, I will not harm you."
Finally, the young man was persuaded, so he tucked the snake under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. But as soon as he laid it on the ground, the snake suddenly coiled, rattled, leaped and bit him on the leg. The young brave could only cry out, "But you promised!" As the snake slithered away, he hissed back his answer, "You knew what I was when you picked me up."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Sin's Deadly Secret."
The story is a legend. But the Indian brave's mistake has been repeated in real life over and over again. In fact, we've all been snake handlers at one time or another. You might be messing with one right now. God wants you to be sure you know exactly what that snake is-and what it will do to you-before you're fatally bitten.
Which takes us to our word for today from the Word of God in James 1:15; it's an anatomy of how sin gets us to pick it up and what the inevitable outcome will be. "After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin." Looks good...looks harmless-or at least I think it's worth the risk. First, I want it, then I do it, then I pay for it. It goes on to say, "And sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
See, sin always works the same way-first it fascinates, then it assassinates. Always. The killer snake will always be a killer snake, no matter how harmless it appears or how likely it looks that you'll get away with it. Not a chance. Sin always kills. It kills your self-respect, it kills your reputation, your relationships, your body, peoples' trust in you, your closeness to God. You're not going to get away with it. God says, "Be sure that your sin will find you out." (Numbers 32:23).
Just like that young man in the story, you're handling something you should have never touched-or, at least, you're tempted to handle it. You might be entertaining thoughts right now that you should have never let in, flirting with something you should be fleeing, making compromises that have brought you to the edge of a spiritual disaster, getting close to someone that you should be getting away from, or you could be harboring hard feelings that you really should have let go of by now.
Down in your soul, you know what it is. It's sin that killed your Savior, sin that God hates, sin that always bites the one who handles it. And just because you can't see any consequences now, don't be fooled. Satan will be sure you're hooked and in a position where your fall will do the most damage-then you'll feel his fangs. This is God's loving warning, "Drop it now, while you can, before the inevitable deadly consequences come."
You can't afford to hold the snake of sin close one day longer. You know what it is when you pick it up. And you know what it will do.