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Mosquitoes: A Look at the Matter of Sin

By Philip Gunther
The Bible points out that when we allow our own selfish desires to control what we do, think and say, that the conditions for sin to hatch are perfect. It is when our desire 'hatches', that it gives birth to sin. Again, James pens, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice (James 3:16)." It appears from Scripture that our own motives, our heart's desires, can give birth to sin. We, not the Devil, seem to provide the suitable breeding ground for sin.

Both the mosquito and sin hatch in certain conditions: moist soil or stagnant water and warm temperatures for the insect, selfish desire for sin. As a believer, I find it helpful to know how sin can 'hatch' in my life. This knowledge helps me remove (with he Holy Spirit's help) those conditions which favor the birth of sinful actions.

2. They both appear harmless

When you look at one of these mosquitoes they appear as harmless as a fly. They are not big or strong and they don't have sharp teeth or razor-like claws. They are simply a 'buzz with wings' -- or are they?

Science and experience tell us something far different. Mosquitoes can carry a whole host of diseases like dengue, yellow fever and malaria. One specific species of mosquito (genus culex) carries a bacterium that causes encephalitis, an infection of the brain. We know from history that mosquitos are far from harmless insect. They have been known to bring serious, even fatal, illnesses into many communities. For various third world countries these tiny, helpless, itsy-bitsy mosquitoes are carriers of death.

Sin is very much like that. It too appears harmless. A "little white lie", a "harmless bit of gossip", a "tiny bit of greed", they all appear harmless, but are they? When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit, I wonder if they also didn't think to themselves, "It's just a little bite." Sin appears harmless on the outside, but the truth is it is deadly on the inside. When King David slept with the married Bathsheba did he believe that it was just a "harmless little fling"? He was a mighty warrior king and she a mere soldier's wife. What could a little adultery harm? As the story unfolds we witness the harm his little act caused -- David's adultery resulted in the deaths of Uriah, Bathsheba's husband and David's illegitimate newborn son (2 Samuel 11).

Not only does sin appear harmless, it is fun -- for a moment. Make no mistake about it, committing a sin (stealing, doing drugs, vandalizing someone else's property) can be fun. If sin were not fun, nobody would be committing them. But after the fun we know that every sin has a deadly barb in it.

I recall reading a story by Michael Green about a workman on a road construction crew who was working on a project deep in the mountain area of Pennsylvania. "Every morning as he drove to work in his pickup, he would see a young boy at a fishing hole near the road. He would wave and speak to the boy each day. One day, however, as he drove slowly past the fishing spot and asked how the boy was doing, he got a strange reply: "The fish aren't bitin' today, but the worms sure are."

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