How Big is Your Spread?

You spread out our sins before you – our secret sins – and you see them all.  Psalm 90:8 (NLT)

I read Westerns.  I never used to like them but as I have grown older they’ve grown on me.  My favorite author is Ralph Compton.  While reading and watching Westerns I have heard the word “spread” a lot.  “How big is your spread?” or “I really want a big spread when I get done driving these cattle.” are common phrases. 

 

What they are talking about, for those that don’t know, is a piece of land.  “How big is your piece of land?” 

Let’s ask ourselves something.  How big is our spread?  The difference is that I’m referring to our spread of sin.  If God spread out my sin or your sin how big a spread would it be?  Would you have a lot, a block, how about an acre?  Maybe you are a hell-raiser and have a 40 acre spread.  I would be willing to bet that most of us have a pretty good size spread, I KNOW I do.  Today alone I have sinned at least 5 times that I can think of and I have only been awake for 30 minutes. 

Most of them are “secret” sins.  You know those right?  The ones we are ashamed for people to see.  The thoughts and intentions that if anyone got a good look at they would run screaming to the police that we were some kind of monster, yeah those.  We all have sins that it’s ok for others to see.  Mine are jokes.  I have a hard time controlling my humor.  It tends to get racy and mean.  I try to be careful but the words seem to flow out on their own.  And while this isn’t good the sad fact is that if you could look in my head and see what is really flying through you would probably be scarred for life.  BUT, (and it’s a big but) I bet the same would be true for you if I looked inside your noggin’.

The cool part is that not only does God see all our sins, even our secret ones, but He forgives all our sins as well.  We only have to ask. 

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.  1 John 1:9 (NLT)173662_1979

This does not mean it is ok to sin.  It’s not ok to do wrong.  When we sin, when we go against God it does several things but mainly it hurts God and hurts us.  It hurts God because of His sacrifice to forgive our sins.  If we sin and keep sinning the same way over and over we make a mockery of what Jesus did on the cross, His sacrifice for us.  It also hurts us.  Sin repels God’s blessings in our lives.  Sin cuts our communication with God.  Sin hurts our relationship with others.  Sin can cause physical illness.  Sin destroys families. 

BUT!!!!   But, if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong.  That’s not to say the consequences from sin won’t still be there, but the relationship with God will be restored.  When my kids get in trouble and tell me they’re sorry I forgive them but the consequences remain.  They may not be as steep if they realize what they did and seek forgiveness, but the consequences are still there.  I am teaching them and reinforcing the lesson just like God does with me.

How big is your “spread” pardner?  It’s not nearly as big as God’s ability to forgive!

 


It’s all about Him,

Shawn

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Diapers in the Wash

Diaper    I am going to give any new parents out there a little advice.  It is important so I need you to pay close attention.  Don’t wash disposable diapers in the washing machine with your clothes.  Pampers and jeans DON’T mix.  Here is what happened, I opened the washing machine to be a great husband and help my wife with the kids laundry, we have three kids so there is always laundry, and as I pull the clothes out there is this fuzzy, grainy, slimy, not sure how to explain it, stuff all over the clothes.  I ask my wife, “Baby, what in the world is all over these clothes?”  She comes and looks and says, “I washed a diaper with the clothes.”  To which I reply, “On purpose???”  For which I get a smack on the arm, I get hit a lot!!  Generally I deserve it.  She says,”No not on purpose, one of the kids must have thrown it in there.”  WHOA, whoa, whoa, I can’t blame the kids when I pass gas but she can blame them for this.  That is wrong on several different levels.

Here come the fun part.  She tells me all the clothes have to be taken outside and each one has to be shaken out, turned inside out and shaken out again.  She, of coarse, has a headache or some other debilitating sickness, so I gamely say, “I’ll do it Honey.”  She smiles a knowing smile and walks away.

I get all the clothes out of the wash and go out on the porch and begin to shake the clotes out.  This is a horrible job.  Each piece of clothing has to be shook out individually, remember these are kids clothes, which means there are approximately 1,352 pieces of clothing in the laundry basket.  Onsies, long sleve onsies, jeans ( with lots of pockets that have to be turned inside out), sweaters and jackets with hoods, socks, more socks and socks after that.  I think you get the picture.  I was out there for what seemed like an hour.  The other problem is that as you shake the clothes out the little diaper boogers fly all over the place, on me, in my hair, on my glasses.  Nasty work.  Thankfully it was a pee diaper and not the alternative!

I got to thinking, isn’t our spiritual life the same way?  Stay with me for a minute and it will make sense, or at least more sense than it does now.  Lets say the diaper represent sin and the clothes represent different areas of our life and the washing machine is the world.

We are going through our cycle of life and somehow a diaper of sin gets thrown in, a few minutes later, boom, it explodes and shoots sin boogers all over us.  They are every where, in the creases, in the folds, in all the cracks and crevasses.  The only way to get rid of them is to stop the cycle and shake each part of your life out, turn it inside out and shake it out again.  We should constantly be examining ourselves for sin boogers.  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”  We all have sin boogers, not one of us is perfect.  But that is ok, God gave us a way to get rid of sin, in Romans 6:23 He tells us “the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you are already a Christ-Follower you should always check the laundry of life to see where the sin boogers are.  Maybe they are in your work laundry.  You should be living right at work but your not.  You claw your way to the top, stepping on anyone that gets in the way, or maybe you steal from work, pens, tools, how about time?  When you should be working your goofing off.  Maybe it’s your home laundry,  you should be spending time with your family but you are always out with friends or at the bar. How about your marriage laundry, are you washing someone else’s clothes with yours?  Then there is the internet laundry, did you visit a site by accident and then another and then another?  Take a look at your laundry, are there sin boogers on it?  Does it need to be shaken out and rewashed?  Stop the wash cycle and take a break, look at each piece carefully, sometimes sin is very small and hides from you.  Once the sin is found the only thing left is to shake it out, ask God for forgiveness.  1 John 1:9 says “But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.”

If you are not a Christ-Follower and would like some more info on becoming one go here,  Christ-Follower.

Remember- Sin is the path of least resistance, but God’s forgiveness is the way to a fulfilled existence!