“All things for good.” Sin too?

All sin is evil. No sin is worth it. It’s always better that we not sin. However, sin is also part of the “all things” that God works together for the good of His people (Rom. 8:28). Consider 12 “goods” that can result from sin that is repented of and forgiven.

1. We are humbled: When we fall into sin we realize our pathetic weakness and vulnerability. We are not as strong and impregnable as we thought we were.

2. We are sensitized: We often fall into sin when we are spiritually hard and cold, but when we are humbled and broken by the Holy Spirit, our spiritual senses are revived and re-stimulated, making us tender and sensitive again to God’s Word and Spirit.

3. We are silenced: We so easily get arrogant, self-confident, and full of ourselves, with an opinion on everyone and everything. But when we are convicted of our sin, we talk less favorably of ourselves and less judgmentally of others.

4. We are drawn nearer: Having wandered slowly and imperceptibly away from the Lord, we are now shocked to see how far we have travelled, how distant we have become. We find ourselves longing for the nearer presence of the Lord again as He begins to woo us back to Himself.

5. We are dependent: Sin is usually the result of relying on our own strength and wisdom and failing to pray, “Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.” When we are convicted by God’s Spirit, we learn to depend on the Lord like a little baby on her mother. Looking away from ourselves, we do nothing without seeking God’s help and blessing.

6. We are careful: Often our sin comes about when we have been spiritually careless. We’ve played with temptation. We’ve walked too close to the edge, then fallen over. Now, our scars and memories make us much more cautious about letting even the first thought of sin to lodge in our minds and hearts. We run away from the edge of the cliff.

7. We hate sin: When we see the evil of sin and the misery it produces, we no longer view it as harmless or humorous. We hate it with a passion and want to kill it at the roots.

8. We fight the devil: Looking back on our sin, we see the role that the devil played. He was well-disguised, for sure, but now we seem Him unmasked in all his hideous ugliness. We resolve to go to war with him, and never again to let him seduce us.

9. We are disciplined: When we re-trace our steps, we realize that we had become irregular and half-hearted in our Bible reading, prayer, family worship, and church attendance. We now realize how much we need to use these God-given means to keep us on the right track and become much more regular and disciplined in our daily and weekly use of these resources

10. We love Christ: Whether or however we loved Jesus before, we love Him all the more now. He who has been forgiven much, the same loves much. We are even more thankful for Christ’s atoning work and gracious salvation. We love His cross, we love His mercy, we love His love.

11. We are helpful: Having experienced the power of the Gospel to forgive and restore, we are better able to draw alongside others and humbly apply the Gospel to their sinful failings and faults.

12. We long for heaven: Oh to be free from sin, to never want to sin, to be with and like Jesus!

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4). The mourning is essential, but it’s not the end, it’s not the destination. Comfort is. And part of that comfort is seeing how God can bring spiritual good from even our worst sins.

Check out

The Central Tragedy of This Case
A fine article from Dr. Mohler on the Trayvon Martin killing.

The Puritans: John Owen
Tim Challies has started a series of potted biographies of the Puritans. Definitely “a gap in the market” for this.

The Six Types of Atheists
“Two researchers at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga found that atheists and agnostics run the range from vocally anti-religious activists to nonbelievers who nonetheless observe some religious traditions.”

How Jonathan Edwards Wrecked My Soul
“Awe of God has been replaced by activity for God. I’m worn out and my joy in the Lord has faded. Activity for God, and even pursuing knowledge of Him, is not the same as savoring and treasuring Him.”

God has a prayer book – are you using it?
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have the definitive book on prayer, one that included both forms of prayers and words to pray, one that could be used in any season of life?” Actually, that sounds like the Psalms.

Checklists for Effective Meetings
Yes, please!

Children’s Daily Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s the second year of morning and evening readings in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books. Further explanation of that here.

Old Testament

New Testament

Check out

Kirsten Powers Testimony
How a Liberal Democrat and Former Atheist Came to Know Jesus Christ as her Savior.

Your Teen’s Porn Brain
A psychologist makes the case that porn is leading to neurological poverty in our teens and adding to their woes.

Zimmerman, Trayvon, and the Taking of Human Life
Joel Miller mines the church fathers and emerges with some challenging insights about the seriousness of taking human life in all cases.

The verdict is in and we all lost
Victor Montalvo is the lead pastor at Reality Community Church in Sanford, FL, the closest church to where Trayvon Martin was killed– just a few blocks away.

Depression and Suicide: Football’s secret uncovered
The “football” here is the original version of it, “soccer.” However, I’m sure the same lessons apply to the Americanized version, and indeed to many professional sports.

Why pastors should blog
“Writing is important for those who teach God’s Word and lead His people. It clarifies, cleans, and circulates the thoughts that you think after God’s.”