“The Deceitfulness Of Sin”
“Sin will take you farther than you want to go,
keep you longer than you want to stay,
and cost you more than you want to pay”
Attributed to Ravi Zaccharias
Listen to our message
“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today’, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
Last Friday we shared a message titled “A Lesson From Yeast” a teaching that even a little bit of something (like yeast) can result in a lot of good or a lot of bad. The progression of a little matter becoming bigger and bigger and more and more destructive is a consequence of “the deceitfulness of sin”.
We have seen many illustrations of this in our ministry. People dabble and then dabble more, than they are caught in sin’s trap. We are always sensitive regarding confidentiality but an older recollection comes to mind going back some 15 years. I was in a small prayer group and one of the members seemed to have an earnest walk with the Lord. However he became involved with another woman who was not his wife and just crashed. Now admittedly I don’t know the specifics but likely it was a progression of bad choices that lead to his fall. His heart was hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
The writer of Hebrews gives us a command we can all seek to obey. It’s a command for all, not a specific spiritual gift for a few. It also makes a tidy three point message:
What are we to do? “Encourage one another.” We tend to limit the meaning of the word, “encourage” in the English to be an uplifting, positive message. However the underlying Greek word Parakaleo, while certainly including this sense, has further depth and is translated in some versions “exhort”.
Biblical encouragement is an exhortation to live faithfully for the truth. An online resource states, “Parakaleo can include the idea of giving help or aid but the primary sense in the New Testament is to urge someone to take some action, especially some ethical course of action. Sometimes the word conveys the idea of comfort, sometimes of exhortation but always at the root there is the idea of enabling a person to meet some difficult situation with confidence and with gallantry.” *
When are we to do it? “Day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today’“. I have always thought the writer might be employing some humor here demonstrating the ongoing need to encourage, after all, each current day will always be called “Today”! This verse along with Hebrews 10:23-25 is the basis of our ministry’s name “Daily Encouragement”
Why are we to do it? “So that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin“both the encourager and the one being encouraged, similar to the Proverb that states, “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25). We must always be on our guard lest we develop a hardened heart toward spiritual truth and obedience due to the deceitfulness of sin.
The deceitfulness of sin is rampant in our world and has been ever since Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. But we believe the many means of being deceived by sin is increasing, especially due to technology. May God help each of us to boldly stand firm while contending earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. We urge, exhort, and warn you to be on your guard against the heart-hardening effect of sin’s deceitfulness.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as believers, we are put to the test daily regarding our adherence to the Scriptures that teach right from wrong, truth from error. The Bible includes numerous examples of those who were obedient to Your laws and from those who chose to disregard them. Help us to remember that disobedience, disregard, or dilution of the Scriptures will weaken us and eventually harden our hearts to spiritual truths. We choose either to be shaped by the world or by the Word. Our will and desires cannot be shaped by both. We choose this day to be Your obedient servant no matter the consequences, for Your blessing is more to be desired than the applause of the world. Amen.
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Yes I Will” Video Vertical Worship Great song posted we yesterday and dedicated to those going through a valley but the link did not work after I posted!
For further study here’s some excellent exposition on Hebrews 3:13
Flooded road near Little Swatara Creek 7/8/19 (Phil Huber)
This morning we will be making a chaplain call to Audrey’s in
rural Lebanon County. Yesterday Phil, a friend who works there, sent me a photo of the flooding of Little Swatara Greek on the road we will be on today. We’ve had a lot of rain but it’s sup- posed to clear up today.