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Seeds of the Kingdom

Present and active

by John Berry

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
Romans 6:12, NIV

The lake here at Glyndley Manor is getting a significant amount of weed in it again, even though we prayed and removed it once before. It was a lot of hard work by some staff members with nets and waders.

Unfortunately the problem is back in greater proportions, partly because we didn’t have the time or staff to keep the weeds under control. The consequence is that they are multiplying faster than we clear them. The problem’s so bad now that very little water is clear. The visiting fishermen are unable to pursue their hobby, and the moorhens have to work hard to paddle through it. The only good thing is the heron is thwarted from his poaching activities!

I was reminded of this verse in the Bible: ‘do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies’. The Greek for the word reign is a present active tense, implying a continuous process, not a one-off. In order for us to keep our lake clear we need to be continually working to remove the weeds that grow. It’s the same with sin in our lives. If we’re not continually dealing with the effects of our carnal nature, the enemy will grow behaviours and attitudes in us which are against the mind of Christ. Our healing is to be present tense, not just in the future, and it’s to be an active part of our walk with God.

We know that forgiveness is offered by God on the basis of Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice, but we are also aware that the enemy is continually prowling around trying to deceive us and to tempt us into ungodly activity. We must continually be on our guard dealing with the things in our lives that God exposes, as we’re being transformed into His likeness, changed from one degree of glory to another.

The image of Christ in us can’t be seen when it’s obscured by the ongoing sinful ways that we allow to remain in our lives. Maybe we have dealt with the big issues, but we must make sure we don’t let sin reign in our carnal nature through things like wrong attitudes to each other, jealousies, rebellion and unguarded tongues. Dealing with ‘stuff’ as it arises prevents a lot of hard work later! Being present tense and active believers saves unnecessary future crisis.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help us to be real about the ‘weeds’ in our lives and reveal how we should deal with them now, instead of putting things off until they become big issues in the future. Thank You that Your forgiveness is always sufficient for us and that Your blood can cleanse us from all sin. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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