Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
The other day I was reading about a plant in Brazil, which forest-dwellers call the "matador," or "murderer."
The matador works this way: when the matador's vine meets a vigorous tree, it clamps on and climbs up. As the plant grows larger, it shoots out tendrils that surround the tree, grow thicker, and clasp tighter.
The matador grows beautifully, but it does so at the cost of killing its host.
Then, when the matador has reached maturity, it puts forth a huge, flowery head above the strangled tree's top. Soon the murderous plant scatters its seeds on the rainforest floor and the process of death begins again.
I've seen peoples' sins and problems do the same thing.
These individuals may seem strong in body, soul, and mind. A casual observer might easily conclude nothing can touch them. Sometimes even these folks believe they are immune from any negative influence in their lives.
They are so sure of themselves that they ignore the small sins which seem to have taken root at their feet. Then, slowly and steadily, those transgressions start to take over, choking out that individual's future, robbing him of his strength.
If this seems to be an accurate description of your life, or of someone dear to you, then you can, even now, rejoice.
The Lord Jesus can cut you free from the evil which has crept into your life. Please, don't put off repentance for a later time.
Come to the Lord and be assured that He -- because of the Savior's work of redemption -- can save you from anything wanting to choke you off from the wonderful, saved life which He wishes to give.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it is a fact of life that little sins grow up and become big sins -- sins that can rob us of peace, joy and, sometimes, our salvation. Help us know You are with us. Reach out to us. Free us from our sins and grant us a new and clean heart. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries