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,


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Be Willing to Experience Conflict

Part 6 on Obedience

conflict.jpg     Many times our obedience to God may place us in a situation where the majority of those around us don’t like us.  We will certainly be viewed as unpopular.  I can recall several times in my life where standing up for what God views as right meant accepting some negative peer pressure.  Conflict always follows someone who stands for there beliefs, espeacially those of a Christ-Follower.  There are two main reasons for this that I can see,

1.  The “world” is corrupt and broken.  Sin has made our world see thousands of shades of grey instead of black and white.  Remember the old westerns?  Black hat= Bad Guy;  White Hat= Good Guy.  Today no one wheres a hat at all.  When we watch a movie the bad guy is the good guy.  There are no moral or ethical absolutes anymore.  The Ten Commandments have become the Ten Suggestions.  Even “religious” figures are failing morally.  The thing we need to remember about all this is that Jesus is not the world.  He is not touched by sin, He is not broken.  He never failed morally or ethically, and He is beside us without fail.  The Bible says that He never leaves us or abandons us.  Hebrews 13:5.

2.  Conflict causes us to stay with Jesus.  When life is hunky dory we tend to forget about God.  We have everything and feel secure, no need to bother God today.  Eventually, if we are not careful, we stray from God and what was once wrong we begin to justify.  “Well, it can’t be that bad, I”ll just try it this once.”  Soon, we fall into a pattern of sin and become just like the “world”.  Conflict makes us uncomfortable and discomfort turns us to God.  As a child when I was hurt or uncomfortable I expressed it to my parents, most of time very loudly.  We do the same with God.

Conflict is a natural, normal part of life.  It serves a great purpose, to direct us to God.  Remember how I said that standing for what is right makes you unpopular?  Let me ask this question, whose oppinion really matters more?  God’s or the “worlds”?

Remember- Aaron Tippin sang, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”  Stand for God!