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Friday, August 12, 2011

Rick Dellinger

Rick Dellinger recalls: "I encountered a mean, barking dog. He had the look
that said, 'If I live long enough, sooner or later, I'm going to bite you!'
As is my habit, I tried to entice the dog to let me pet him, to which he of
course, wanted no part, and became even more vicious. As I came close
enough to see his teeth, I snatched him off his feet, and wrapped my arms
completely around him, thus disabling his means of attack....

As I examined him, he had this look of distress, almost desperation in his
eyes, and it was then I noticed the huge thorn in his front paw. I decided
I must remove the thorn at once, and he decided at once I would not! As the
battle raged, eventually I won. I put him down, and imagine my surprise, to
find he wasn't near the snarling, mean dog I had imagined. Because of the
removal of the thorn, he now was a dancing, prancing, full of love
puppy-dog, who seemingly had no care in the world."

Dellinger continues: "Thus is the SIN in our lives. It becomes a THORN in
our lives which, if allowed to, consumes our very being."

In Psalm 32, we read the words of a suffering psalmist:

"When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in
the heat of summer" (vs. 3-4).

Why was the psalmist suffering - wasting away and without strength? It was
due to the "thorn" of his sin! He was trying to keep silent about it so
that no one else would know, but his guilt was making him miserable.

But then he realized that there was another option. If he would acknowledge
His sin and repent, then God would remove the thorn! So, he turned to the
Lord:

"I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I
will confess my transgressions to the LORD,' And You forgave the iniquity of
my sin" (v. 5).

Each of us through our wrong choices has been pierced by the thorn of sin.
Then, if our consciences have not become seared, our hearts are pierced with
guilt.

But there IS a remedy.

God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins so that we might
have forgiveness and eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 1:7).

Due to the "thorns" of OUR sins, He was mockingly given a crown of thorns
(Matthew 27:29) and His body was nailed to the cross as payment for our
sins. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might
become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Once we ACCEPT His offer of salvation, we can KNOW the joy and blessedness
of forgiveness (see Psalm 32:1-2).

We accept Christ's offer of salvation by: placing our faith and trust in Him
(Acts 16:30-31), turning from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31),
confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed)
into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).

Dellinger concludes: "Christ says He can remove the sin, IF we allow it.

Many times we fight the CAUSE, many times we fight the SOLUTION, but when
it's finally removed, how sweet it is to know His grace."

YOU can have the "thorn of sin" removed from your life and thus know the
sweetness of God's grace if you will trust and obey Him.

Won't you?

David A. Sargent

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