"A Challenge For A New Year"

January 04, 2024 | By Chuck

  As one year comes to an end and a new year begins, many are thinking about personal goals they hope to achieve in the new year. You know the ones. Things like eating better and exercising more. Some plan to read through the Bible this year. These are great goals to have, and it’s good to push yourself to improve. I think we should challenge ourselves to grow spiritually and even improve in other areas of life.

            I realize we are a week into the new year, but what about a challenge to rule over sin? Maybe that sounds strange or even impossible to you, but it’s a challenge every Christian should accept. In my personal reading time recently, something hit me like never before. We all know the story of Cain and Abel found in Genesis 4. But how many have given much thought to the challenge God gave Cain? “The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:6-7).

            Before Cain murdered his brother, Abel, the Lord warned him about the sin that desired to overcome him. It’s interesting that the challenge from the Lord to Cain is “you must rule over it.” God challenged Cain to rule over the sin that was creeping closer and closer to his heart. That challenge should give us hope and motivation. When sin is crouching at the door of our lives, we have a decision to make. Will we rule over sin or will sin rule over us? The point is we can rule over sin by choosing not to give in to sin. I hope we will all add to our list of goals for 2024 the challenge to rule over sin.

            “but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:21-22).