Sin’s put us all in deep debt–the kind that brings death (Romans 6:23). But His gift is eternal life in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8). It’s likely that every reader of BYH knows this basic fact of redemption. It’s the theme of the Bible. But it’s very unlikely that every reader is enjoying debt-free living in Jesus. The devil is crafty and he makes sin alluring. For the woman who has lived in his clutches for a significant part of her life, he makes getting out of debt seem like a very lofty and labor intensive effort. Are you someone who’s been intending to “do better” about sin for a long time now? Perhaps it’s disrespect of your husband. Maybe it is pornography. Perhaps it is laziness when it comes to Bible study. Maybe your prayer life is almost non-existent. Maybe you have a temper problem. Perhaps you are living in an extramarital adulterous relationship. Maybe you are having sex with a boyfriend. Maybe your pet sin is immodest dress or unclean language. Maybe you’ve become a lot less serious about being present for worship every time the saints assemble. Is it that you’re there, in worship, but never mentally engaged? Are you abusive, physically or verbally, to your spouse? Are you failing to restrain your children? Are you lazy about parenting, allowing your children to participate in activities that compromise their spirituality? Are you too connected to sin via television, music and the internet? Are you entertained by worldliness? Maybe it is that alcohol is ultimately destroying something that is precious to you.
Whatever it is that’s intentional, continual sin is keeping you in debt. It’s what killed your 2016. It’s what kept you from real and sustainable happiness in 2016. My husband is on the phone right this moment with a couple whose marriage is in very real jeopardy. 2016 has been a very bad year for this couple. There has been little happiness. There has been a lot of betrayal and distrust. The marriage has come very close to self-destructing. I have already counseled this morning with a woman whose marriage is going to continue, barring any changes, in perpetual unhappiness because of selfishness on the parts of both partners. I’ve also spoken with a woman this morning whose life is forever altered because of a man who made a conscious decision to walk away from God and join forces with the devil….And it’s only 8:30 a.m! The devil wants your unhappiness to just re-emerge over and over again. He want to take next year, too…and the next, and the next…until you find yourself bound to him for eternity. He is keeping you in debt.
Somewhere nestled in the middle of the incomplete list of sins above is a foundational sin that’s making happiness elusive for many of us. It’s a failure to fill our lives with His Word. It’s laziness with regard to Bible study. Over and over, in counseling and life-repair situations, I am painfully reminded that when people get out of the Word, problems quickly and powerfully pursue. Contentment is sucked into the vacuum of ignorance to the Will of God. You cannot be happy if you are not in the Word. Failing to study is the sin that keeps on sinning.
Here’s the download. You don’t have to have this download to be happy. (There are lots of methods, teachers, workbooks, commentaries, websites and study guides to help you get into THE book. Digging Deep is certainly a personal favorite.) But you DO have to be in the Word to be happy. I wish I could convince all of the women who come to me with broken lives that this is the basic bedrock upon which all other healing steps are taken. I can, without reservation, recommend this beginning to you:
Do you really want to continue along with the status-quo of your life? Do you want 2017 to be just like 2016? If you have lived this year as a faithful Christian, of course you do! But if you are not happy, stop self destructing. Make a firm choice to get into the Word in your schedule and in your decision-making in 2017. Help yourself to happiness.
Recipe for the day:
I tried this pot roast with my family this week and it could have been a winner in the contest! It was a winner at my house. And easy. I love easy. It was from Lynne, but she did not give her last name. Who are you, Lynne? My family loves you!
3 pound chuck or other flat roast (no need to brown)
McCormick Savory Pot Roast packet
Au Jus packet …also McCormick brand
12 oz Coke ( I used Coke Zero)
Place roast in crock Pot. Mix packets with 1 cup warm water. Pour over roast. Pour Coke over this. Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Before serving stir gravy from bottom edges of Crock Pot.