Daily Devotional for Thursday February 5, 2009
The John Edwards Affair
(Job 24:16; Psalms 90:8; Ephesians 5:12)
The John Edwards affair. Last August, John Edwards, the former North Carolina Senator, Presidential candidate, and the man who ran as Vice President in 2004 with John Kerry, admitted that he had committed adultery. Today's Devotional is not to delve into the sordid details of this affair, though they be many, but to use this as another sad example of how true the Bible is when it says in Numbers 32:23 that your "sin will find you out."
The Bible has much to say about secret sins, and how the sins we do in the dark will be exposed by the light. Sadly for Edwards and his family, even in his confession he continued to clearly lie about the child he fathered, the extensive attempts to cover up his sins, all issues that will also come to the light of day soon.
We can only pray for John Edwards and his family as they go through this sad time, part of the consequences of his sin. We also need to pray for this woman he had the affair with and the child that became a byproduct of their adulterous affair. As in all sin, there are many, many peripheral lives that are being touched by Edward's sin. They also need to be in our prayers. There are no winners from sin, only broken and destroyed lives.
My heart is breaking because I know that many who read these words this morning are hurting. To those in your life, everything looks wonderful. Many envy you. Most see you as a person who is strong in the Lord and a pillar of faith. You are a business person, a mom, dad, son, daughter, or pastor. You serve God in many ways. You love God. You have put your faith in Christ. But there is sin in your life. Secret sin. Sin nobody else sees. Sin that possibly has been part of your life for many, many years. Sin that you have swept into a back closet so nobody else would know about it. SIN THAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM THE JOY, PEACE, AND ABUNDANCE THAT GOD HAS PROMISED FOR YOUR LIFE.
What is this sin? For each person that is different. For some it is alcohol. The two beers each night, the scotch after work, have become so much a part of your life that even though you are not classified as an alcoholic, you know and God knows, that you HAVE to have it. THAT is a problem. Some of you woke up this morning after not sleeping well because you are deeply involved in gambling. Possibly you owe a local bookie for sports bets. Or maybe it is those lottery tickets you HAVE to buy each day. Or maybe it is the local casino down the road that you just can't stay out of. Just as bad are those who play the markets each day, not investing for the future, but looking for the daily "hit."
Others of you are dealing with sexual sins. Pornography is the easiest since it can be just you and your movies, or magazines, or computer. Possibly you have evolved past the solo stage and it involves other people. Still others of you are secretly involved in drugs, legal and illegal. Actually, those who use prescribed drugs to get that "high" outside of the medicinal purposes it was designed for, is a MUCH larger problem than the more publicized illegal drug problem. However, that is a multi-billion dollar a year industry so SOMEBODY is buying all that cocaine, pot, heroin, meth, ecstasy, and the rest. Still other so you are involved in the sin of greed. Making money is more than just a way to support yourself and family, it is an obsession. Money is your drug of choice. And of course, there are a multitude of other sins people are secretly involved in.
You see my friend, the Bible says that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. That verse is talking about believers. How does that happen? We know that if we give our lives to Christ by faith we are saved. The enemy can't have our souls. But he can destroy us from being the productive servants God has called us to be. The easiest way to do that is to get us trapped in sin. Sin is like cancer. It starts out almost innocently. But it grows and spreads.
Very few who are involved in gambling, don't drink. Very few involved in drugs are not involved in sexual sins. Very few are tied to just one secret sin. As a matter of fact, once you let sin into your life, and practice sin, it opens the door for other sins. You see, at some point it doesn't matter any longer. The great justifier satan says, "oh well, you already are this deep, what harm could a little more sin do?" This my friend is the trap. It is like quicksand. You get in, and get deeper, and deeper, and deeper, and getting out becomes harder, and harder.
The Bible tells us that what we do in the dark will be exposed in the light. Never forget, you don't sin in a vacuum. Sin is like the ripples on a pond when you toss a pebble on it. Those rings expand out slowly, but get larger and larger. Sin is the same way. Your sin eventually touches many lives. Even if you think you got away with it and nobody saw you, remember, God saw you. There is nothing you do He doesn't see, nothing you say He doesn't hear. Your sin is never a secret from God!
I realize that this word today has made some turn their computer off, some have hit the delete button, and others are sitting right now in tears. You see, the Holy Spirit is talking to YOU! God is speaking to you this moment louder than He could if he were on a public address system at a stadium. He is talking to YOU and saying READ THIS . . . THIS IS YOU!!! The Prodigal Son came from a Godly, good home. I think when he went out, he was a good person. I think like many brothers and sisters in Christ, he simply allowed sin to enter into his life, and it ate him up to the point of near destruction. But in the end, he knew when he hit the bottom, there was only one place to go . . . HOME to his father!
Were there consequences for his sin? YES! His inheritance was gone, he suffered the damage of the horrible experiences he encountered. He probably had some health issues. But the point was, when he "came to himself" he went home! MY WORD FOR YOU TODAY IS THAT GOD LOVES YOU. GOD CARES ABOUT YOU. NO AMOUNT OF SIN CAN EVER STOP HIM FROM LOVING YOU. READ 1 JOHN 1:9. YOU DON'T HAVE TO CONTINUE IN YOUR SIN, BUT YOU CAN STOP TODAY AND LET GOD HELP YOU. THE CHOICE IS YOURS. AT THE END OF THE ROAD YOU ARE ON IS DESTRUCTION. GOD IS THE FLAG MAN WITH THE ORANGE VEST SAYING . . . STOP NOW!!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I wish I was able to help make it all okay by snapping my fingers. I would but that is not reality. Sin didn't start overnight, didn't occur overnight, and the effects of sin won't go away overnight. As a matter of fact, they will be with you the rest of your life. Sadly, that is one of sin's by-products. But you can have victory over sin today! Today can be the first day of victory over sin in your life. But the first step MUST BE YOURS!!!
Here is some practical advice for you to follow if you really want victory. You are in a battle. To win a battle, you must have a battle plan. Pray, sit down and let God give you a plan that you can faithfully work each day. Then, you need someone you can be accountable to on a daily basis. You can't win this fight alone, you need someone to stand with you, and to hold you accountable. Lastly, you need the strength you can only get from God. That comes from your daily relationship through prayer and the Word, from being in church, from finding ways to serve the Lord. All of this working together will help you overcome this battle and see victory.
I will be praying for you today. There is victory in this life, victory for Jesus. The biggest trap we as Christians must avoid are those secret sins that will eat away at us from the inside. Destroy us from the inside. Make us virtually useless in serving God. Never forget, our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify Him with our lives. The easiest way for the enemy to stop us from fulfilling that purpose is to get us entangled in sin in our lives. We can live FREE from sin if we choose to. That is what God is calling you to do today. Turn from your secret sin, and turn fully, 100% to Him.
Again, know that I am praying for you. I can't do this for you, YOU have to do it. But know that I am here praying for you, standing with you for victory over the sin in your life. God will strengthen you, embolden you, and help you see victory. The first step, however, is yours. The prodigal son had to go home before he could get victory. Bury your pride since God already knows the full story, and go to Him today. My prayers are with you.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller