August 24, 2010
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:15
Little things lead to big things. That ought to be the title of this devotion.
The little thing we're talking about here are chopsticks -- disposable chopsticks. It seems China's Ministry of Commerce -- along with five other ministries -- is beginning to come down on companies which make disposable chopsticks.
You see what I mean about little things? China has had mining accidents; it's got floods, earthquakes, and its own oil spill. And the government is worried about little things like throw-away chop sticks?
But little things lead to big things. Look at the figures. China has 1.3 billion people. In one year that nation throws away 45 billion pairs of chopsticks. That's 130 million pairs of chopsticks every day. (They export 18 billion pairs.) Some folks have calculated what that means. It means 100 acres of trees have to be carved up every 24 hours.
You see, little things do lead to big things.
That truth also applies to sins and sinning. That's what James was trying to say in the passage above. He knew that most sins don't start out looking like sins. They're kind of cute and cuddly -- like a little puppy. "Wouldn't hurt a fly," that's what we say when we look at that newly conceived idea.
But little things often lead to big things.
In no time at all that cute little desire grows up and becomes a fully functioning sin -- a sin which begins to take control of us and drives a wedge between us and God and leads to death eternal and temporal.
Little things lead to big things.
Twenty centuries ago, a baby was born in Bethlehem. Not many took notice of such a little event. Thirty-three years later that boy, now a Man, died on a Roman cross. The world didn't pay much attention to such a little thing. After all, Romans crucified people all the time.
Then, three days later, God's Son rose from the dead and He changed everything. Jesus' resurrection changed my eternity and yours. Jesus' victory granted forgiveness of sins, membership in the family of faith, and a place in heaven for all who believe on Him.
And that, my friends is the biggest of things.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me from little sins, big sins, and all sins. For that which I have already done wrong, I am sorry. For the future forks in the road which lie before me, may I always be directed onto Your path. This I pray in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries