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Are you struggling with sin?

April 6, 2010

Psalm 119:9-16: “Young people can live a clean life by obeying your word. I worship you with all my heart. Don’t let me walk away from your commands. I treasure your word above all else; it keeps me from sinning against you. I praise you, LORD! Teach me your laws. With my own mouth, I tell others the laws that you have spoken. Obeying your instructions brings as much happiness as being rich. I will study your teachings and follow your footsteps. I will take pleasure in your laws and remember your words.”

I am struggling with sin. Absolutely no surprise if you have read any of my reflections of late! But two things that stand about about this reading:  Even more than I am presently, I have to treasure the Bible, to yearn for it, to search its pages, to immerse myself in the Word of God.  Going deeper into the Bible will help me manage my sin – that is fact.

And the second thought is that every one on the planet struggles with sin, I am not alone.  That awesome pastor, the quiet school teacher, that American President, the person who collects my rubbish – all people struggle with sin. And each of us need the resurrected Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit spoken through the written Word.  But even though I do struggle I won’t give up, for I know that the more I draw closer to God the less power sin has in my life, and though I might struggle, it will become less and less an issue.  Oh yes!!

God bless,

Mark Brown

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The portion for the next day is: Exodus 1-4

To access the complete plan for the year click here.

“Young people can live a clean life by obeying your word. I worship you with all my heart. Don’t let me walk away from your commands. I treasure your word above all else; it keeps me from sinning against you. I praise you, LORD! Teach me your laws. With my own mouth, I tell others the laws that you have spoken. Obeying your instructions brings as much happiness as being rich. I will study your teachings and follow your footsteps. I will take pleasure in your laws and remember your words.”

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  1. Jenna permalink

    very well said! Thank you! I hope u had a very Happy Jesus has Risen Day =)

  2. Jenna permalink

    I’m assuming the top is a verse from the Bible? What verse is it?

  3. George Garcia permalink

    “the more I draw closer to God the less power sin has in my life, and though I might struggle, it will become less and less an issue”. — so true, so true

    and though I don’t feel qualified to mention this to you concerning your statement of “Going deeper into the Bible will help me manage my sin”

    I don’t think we should ever try to “manage our sin” (nor are we ever told to), thats why I like the other statement of drawing closer to God and the sin really does become a non issue. I like to cut sin out of my life not manage it.

    Thank you for being so open and honest with us, love you brother.

  4. phoebe permalink

    it is really encouraging to know that i am not alone in my struggle . thank you

  5. Brenda P permalink

    Remember the passage in Ephesians 6, where it speaks of the “sword of the spirit,” etc. Put on your full armor, and when you are struggling, PRAISE JESUS for your troubles, remembering that Satan hates that name! Sometimes, if I am really stuggling I sing the song I learned in kindergarten Sunday School: Jesus Loves Me, even though I am way too old to sing that song! OR, am I really?

    Your encouragement to others is wonderful; be encouraged yourself. When troubles strike, you are too close to success for Satan to leave you alone. Blessings!

    • Kathy permalink

      You’re never too old to sing “Jesus Loves Me”! I used to have a pastor who said it was his favorite song.

  6. Rachel permalink

    What passage is that referring to? Thanks! 🙂

  7. Brother Mark, it’s such a blessing to be receiving your emails again — thank you! Your thoughts are real and sincere and God is using you in a mighty way to help so many of us. I look forward to your thoughts each day.

    God bless you!

  8. emily permalink

    you spoke what I have been struggling with in my head & heart…. i am constantly wrestling with sin… in the words that come outta my mouth..or whats in my head, heart… I work hard to draw closer to God, to be completely guided by the Lord..& then..lust, vice, foolishness is my action… & i felt i am continuously failing God… so.. I keep praying…& falling short.. but.. I agree..the more I read what God has to tell me.. well..i feel better… despite the true storms raging around my life…

  9. Nancy M Nichols permalink

    Thank you Mark. Needed this one today…am considering a 40 day absence from the internet to spend quality time with God and His word…to grow deeper for a more intimate relationship with Him.

    • Tami Drake permalink

      What a wonderful idea! Why does it sound so hard! I will pray for God to give me the strength & courage to commit to this myself. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

    • It is hard… wish you the best of luck… I tried to spend 1 week off the intarwebz and only succeeded in finding something else to do…

  10. Samuel permalink

    But Mark, what happens when you find it difficult to be consistent with scripture?
    Thanks for everyting.

    • The key is to not give up but to carry on.. just pick that Bible up and start again!! God welcomes the prodigal son, returning for another chance.. God bless ya, Mark

  11. jennifer permalink


  12. KKY-Omaha, Ne permalink

    Thanks for sharing this. My Pastor was saying this weekend that we need to ask God to resurrect the dead areas in our lives. So,…. I did and now I am waiting to see what I need to turn over to him for healing. I know this will happen because if you ask Him a question like that,,,like show me my sins….he will do just that without a problem. Then, I confess it, and give it back for his healing so I can go and sin no more. It is like sweeping a dirty floor. You can get it clean for a period of time, then the dirt shows up again for more sweeping. Well, I call this sin sweeping. I am so glad the Lord does not leave us to ourselves doing, because then I would totally be undone. I know He is my Savior, my Redeemer and He will come to take me home with all the others who have faith in what He did on that special day when He died for our sins and shed His blood in our redemption. And all I can say is Amen and Praise the Lord for His goodness.

    • Tami Drake permalink

      I LOVE the “sweeping” idea! I have heard that analogy before but not quite like that! You have no idea how helpful this is for me at this very season in my life! I will use this “sweeping” concept in my daily life as I can see how it will help me to realize that we are to have faith “one day at a time;” that we have God’s help and that we are always forgiven because, not only did He die and shed His precious blood on the cross, He was resurrected that we might have abundant life as well! I, too, say “Praise be to our Lord & Savior!”

  13. Carmita DePasquale permalink

    Hi…thanks for that encouragement…there is nothing more eminent than the actual reality of the struggle with sin…My quite time stressed that again and again..and God bless you for reminding me that this is part of the refining process…I know that God is working in me because the more I dig deep the more He has to bear down and take that dross away (sin) or the footprints of it and I know that the closer God is to my heart the more Satan is about to have a stroke (BIG TIME!)…Thanks again for that word of encouragement and strenth. God Bless, brother…I am praying for you in whatever you are dealing with…

    • Rita Poole-Wesbecher permalink

      Speaking of refining; The Silver Maker must build a fire that is so hot he is actually burned when doing the work. The Silver is put into the melting pot, molded and shined ready for use. The Silver Maker knows that the Silver is done when He can see his image when looking at the Silver.

      So is God our Silver Maker and when He can see His image in us then and only then can we come out of the fire.

      God Bless

      Rita Poole -Wesbecher

  14. Do Caswell permalink

    I’m not new to God’s Word, at present I’m studying for an MA in pastoral theology, a personal response to His call to serve. Yet the deeper I go, the more I find myself challenged. As St Paul himself says:’ For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do’ (Rom.7:19, NRSV cf. Gal.5:17). And yet, as St. Paul goes on to assure us: ‘There is, therefore, no condemnation in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death’ (Rom. 8:1-2, cf. Rom.5:16. A MOST WONDERFULLY HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!). What can be done? Phillipians 3:12 tells us; ‘Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own’. We JOURNEY DEEPER INTO GOD’S WORD! One more quote, one of infinite encouragement: ‘Yes, as the rain and snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth …. so the Word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do’ (Isaiah 55: 10-11) May God bless this ministry!

    • Pearl Watsin permalink

      Thank you Do! Just the verses I was thinking of.

      • Pearl Watson permalink

        Sorry, I misspelled my name, it’s Pearl Watson

  15. Enid permalink

    Oh Lord do I struggle! Especially because Satan knows our weaknesses, fears and worldly desires…Nevertheless, I have hidden God’s word in my heart and have been able to fight the good fight and stay as humanly faithful to God, as possible. I am as aware of my weakness, as the Devil is. But my faith in my Lord Almighty is greater than any weakness, fear or desire…It is very important that we acknowledge that we are sinners and that we confess our sins to the Lord and repent from the heart, so that Satan won’t have the upper hand on us…
    I praise God for his love, mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness!!!
    Many Blessings to you and your family…

  16. Anastasia Martin permalink

    Through scripture and the word your weakness are made strong and your Spirit grows power.

  17. Rosemary permalink

    Father lord,pls forgive me my sins and give me the grace 2 live a sinless life.

  18. Joshua A. Madaki permalink

    I wish to be receiving such posts through mail.

  19. Kelly permalink

    Thank your for your honesty and transparency. It is much appreciated. God bless you and your ministry.

  20. Jo Heatley permalink

    Thanks Mark for your thoughts x x
    Father please help me to immerse myself in Your word. Give me a passion for your word, help me understand Your word. Let Your word renew my mind and transform me into Your likenenss. Let me have an obedient heart, a heart after Your own heart. Help me to live a life that is worthy to the calling you have given me, a life that is pleasing to you, a life that glorifies Your name and Your name only. In the Name of Jesus to the glory of Your name I ask it Amen

  21. Amanda permalink

    My pastor just preached last night about following God’s instructions. He used Matthew 7:21-27 where Jesus compares the followers of His word to the wise mand who built his house on the rock and those that heard and didn’t follow, to the foolish man who built his house on the sand. I know I definitely need to buckle down in this area. Thank you for this, Mark. It’s very helpful.

  22. Niecy permalink

    Thanks so much 4 posting this link on fb. I needed to read this more than u know…Thank u Jesus! I am struggling with sin daily. I am 19 and trying to remain a virgin until marriage. It gets harder every day, second, week, hour, min, and year but i know that with God it is possible! I claim everything that u said in this article and in the name of Jesus i will win! Thanks again and please keep me in your prayers

  23. Niecy permalink

    I will keep u in my prayers as well.

  24. I know we all struggle with sin daily and I find that mine seems to always be my sharp tongue, however, I heard a Pastor on the radio make a comment and I wrote it in the front of my Bible and it seems to help me to stop more often now before I blurt out. The statement was “When the devil knocks, I just let Jesus answer the door.” I believe if I continue to practice this my Jesus will run the devil away every time!

  25. kate permalink

    I have been encouraged by your facebook posts and clicked on this one and it’s so awesome to see that there are other Christians out there that believe that ALL things are possible through Jesus, even overcoming sin! I have been experiencing this through the power of the Holy Spirit drawing me closer to Christ and teaching me to truly surrender.

  26. JiLL permalink

    Please Mark and others, pray for me as I am having a nrevous breakdown or panic atacks so bad I should probably be going to the hospital, but I have no insurance. I also stopped eatting I am so upset. Please pray, I feel I am going to die. I am so scared!! Love ya’s JiLL

  27. JiLL permalink

    Also, if you want to write me back, my email is
    Thanks everyone!!

  28. Kenya permalink

    Wow…I mean Wow…ty, Mr. Mark. How I heart the Holy Spirit and ty for your obedience and humility to share….

  29. Mandla Busakwe permalink

    Thank you brother…
    I’m a recently born again Christian & God has shown his face to me in these couple of months. But, I’ve relocated to my native city and struggling 2 be connect or feel a sense of belonging in a ‘mainline’ church that is my home church..
    Since this problem, I find I meditate less in the word and pray less then before and find I take God and God’s grace for granted and sin so easily, in one particular avenue which was my biggest downfall before I was born again.
    I’m afraid I’ve openned the door to that evil spirit and need prayer.
    Kindly do so for me for it is written, when two or more agree on a certain issue in MY name, it shall be so. Amen…

  30. Katera permalink

    I just looked up that scripture today for something I’m going through. God has to be trying to tell me something. Thanks for this reflection of His words it helps!

  31. Yes, I am also struggling with sin, for the past year I have been thinking about doing something very bad. There is this young lady that I like.. Kill me if you want but temptations are so hard to overcome. Thanks God twice has He driven me out of temptation, TWICE!!! What am I saying!!! Thousand times have I been protected by God, sadly sometimes I have also failed to my God but here I am, there is a saying here where I live: “You may fail but you must get up”.

    Fortunately; these past years God has been merciful to me. I thing praying, reading the Bible and getting together in places like this blog are helpful.

    If you ever feel like envious of sinners read PSALM 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

    Greetings from Guatemala, Central America.

  32. Michele permalink

    I too notice that the closer I feel to God, the more the enemy tries to get at me. Praise God for His strength and power to win the battle. I just need keep my eyes fixed on Him and He gives me peace that the enemy cannot win in his attempts at me. Thanks for your reflections and God bless you and yours brother Mark.

  33. drey permalink

    Mark and others, I have found that when I take life one day at a time and one minute at a time, it is easier to deal with any issues which turn up.

    The victory is already won! I think we forget that all the time.

    Concentrate on God and sin becomes a non issue. Not that we won’t sin, but our familiar sin will lose its power.

    I think when we realise how much it cost Jesus to come to this world we may really try to live only to please God.

    I recommend Oswald Chamber’s “My utmost for his Highest ” to you as someone who must tend the sheep.

  34. Pearl Watson permalink

    All of the time we are on this earth we will struggle with sin, but God is faithful to forgive when you confess to Him and repent. Thank you, Mark for your candor. You give people hope to deal with their own sin. We know that temptation itself is not a sin, it’s the giving in that’s a sin. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV) We can “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7b KJV) We do have His spiritual armor to put on every day and also from Rom 12:1, we can give ourselves as a living sacrifice every day, and per the 2nd verse, renew our minds. Keep the faith and remember that the more we stay in the Word and pray, the easier it is to resist temptation.

  35. An American In Christ permalink

    Mark, I can very easily relate to what you are saying! I avowed to myself and the Lord Jesus Christ, that I would read His Book from cover to cover. Every night, after every has fallen asleep I pull out my Bible and my little book light and read as much as I can, making sure I comprehend every single word. If I don’t understand it, I read it again and again, until I do. If I have questions about ‘why’ I pray for the Lord to help me understand. It is the most fascinating book I’ve ever read in my entire 51 years! And every night after reading, I look back on my day, did I abide by all of God’s rules? Did I do anything that might anger Him? Did I do anything that might please Him? The only things I remember every night are the sins I committed that day. And they can be from getting angry at someone in traffic to having an unkind thought of someone. I know in my heart, these do not please Him, but I know when I ask Him for forgiveness, and to help guide me to a much kinder and gentler side of me to come out in all situations, He will answer those prayers. And He has! I never forget to thank Him for everything every day, He has truly blessed me and my family with so much goodness that some people take for granted. If we could get back down to basics and begin with being thankful for life itself, then we can see how very much He does for us every single moment of every single day. My God is so much mightier than all of mine enemies! They just don’t know!

  36. ferdie permalink

    the answer to struggling to sin is found on same text, Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. that’s why having the devotional every day is so important, that the word of GOD be placed in every one’s heart, for our guide…second it is important for us to submit our selves to the authority of GOD as told in James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you…GODBLESS!

  37. Darlene permalink

    I too struggle with sin and often feared not going to Heaven if I die suddenly such as in a car accident which I almost did several years ago without asking God to forgive me of my latest sin.

    Question: The Bible says in John 3:16, believe in me and thou shalt be saved.
    But, in other parts of the Bible, it reads that no sin is allowed in Heaven. So, does that mean if I tell a lie or something at 9:00 am and don’t ask for forgiveness immediately and die suddenly, will I go to hell since I commited a sin and have not yet asked for forgiveness or will I go to Heaven because I do believe and have faith?

    • Jack Greenwood permalink

      We don’t get “sent” to hell as punishment for specific ACTS of sin, like a prison sentence for a particular crime – we are barred from Heaven for our SINFUL NATURE, and if we are in an attitude of repentance on the day we pass over into Heaven, then any sinful ACTS we may have committed are covered by the blood of Jesus. Remember we commit sinful acts for one of two reasons: Firstly if we don’t try and fight our sinful nature, or secondly when we try to fight against it but we fail. God knows which is which, He knows when each of us will pass over from this life and He knows what struggles we will be facing in that moment, and He is fair and merciful. My fiancee committed suicide, and everyone told me she wouldn’t go to Heaven but I don’t believe them – she loved God so much, she was just so afraid to go on, had no more strength to struggle through life and wanted desperately to go home to her Heavenly Father’s arms. God is good and loves His children.

      • Darlene permalink

        Thank you so much for helping me feel better!! Everything you said makes perfect sense since the Bible acknowledges that we are all sinners and in this world, I think God knows that even as believers who fear God, it is just unrealistic to not allow us who trully believe to enter into Heaven if we sinned without specifically asking forgiveness of that sin immediately.

        I’ve always believed the same thing ass you until just recently a couple of men from my church came to my house one night on visitation (not realizing it was my houe). We had a discussion and they told me that I should come to church every Sunday and that God sees every sin, no matter how small, sin and sin can’t enter into Heaven. So, every day since then, I have often worried about telling a little white lie to avoid confrontation, etc and then something happening to me without my first asking for forgiveness.

        I will now rest better knowing that is simply not the case and I wish I had the nerve to let those two men know they shouldn’t tell others that same thing, but that God is a forgiving God who sent His Son to pay for our sins for those who are willing to acknowledge Him.

        Thanks again so much!

    • Amanda permalink

      Darlene, the Bible says that there is only one sin unto death, and that is rejecting God totally, meaning not getting saved after He has given you the opportunity. I used to worry about the same thing you are. We just have to trust God and stay as close to Him as we can and ask Him to help us and show us what we need when we’re struggling and also remember that pretty much every time you start to doubt, it’s the devil putting stuff in your mind to keep you from getting closer to God and doing His work. Believe me, I stuggle with it all the time, even doubting my salvation some times. Psalm 121:1,2 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

      • Darlene permalink

        Amanda, Thank you so much! I forget how pooerful Satan can be if I allow him. You are so rght! Satan has put doubts in my head makin me think that “What the heck. It is totally impossible for me to be sin free, therfore, I may as well sin and not worry about it since I won’t be allowed into Heaven anyway.”

        Now, I am re-assured once again and still plan to do God’s will, but realizing when I do fail, I should ask forgivieness as soon as I realize it and try to do better. “Seek and ye shall find.” I wanted to know the answer and God answered my question through you and the others. Thanks so much!


    • Darlene permalink

      Thank you for your comment and yes, you are absolutely right!! Thanks for reminding me that Jesus has paid my sinful debt years ago and He didn’t go through all of that for us only to fail in living a sin free life and go to hell. He wants us to be sucessful and wants all of us to go to Heaven. I don’t think He would make things so difficult to go to Heaven. All He wants is for us to believe and acknowledge Him, which I do.

      So, now I am reminded that I am going to Heaven when I leave this world. Thanks again so much!

  39. Sim permalink

    I want to travel out to cont. my education, me and my brothers pls pray for us, to get visa before the end of this year. To get a visa here is really tight pls join us in prayers…

  40. Neil Price permalink

    Worthy is the lamb of God!! Sweet lamb of God!! Thank you all, as I am encouraged to face up to my sins and tell the enemy to STEP!!! There was a popular saying in my island home of Jamaica years ago, and still relevant…when sin comes around, demand the enemy to “GI MI PASS, MEK MI PRAISE MI GOD!!!” (this is said in our dialect)…translation: “Get out of my way so I can praise my God!! So i am sharing this with you all (Mark included :-)…Thank you Mark, and everyone for all the encouraging words and I am happy for this time of sharing…I have struggled with sin, still am, but my God is merciful and true…I feel His love even when I think I don’t feel it…He is our best friend…Be blessed!!!

    • Darlene permalink

      So true and well said.

      Remember my favorite quote when you think about past sins-
      “When Satan reminds you of your past, Remind him of his

  41. what awesome word

  42. What an awesome word

  43. Nadine Thangluai permalink

    Dear Rev Mark,

    I recently wrote to you about the new Facebook page “Verses & Inspirations” with a request to post a message with a link in “The Bible’ page but so far you have not responded to my request.
    As you are well aware, it is a ministry which would be greatly beneficial to thousands of people around the world. Kindly consider our request prayerfully and help this humble initiative by publicizing it.
    Dear Friends: I invite you to become a fan of “Verses & Inspirations” which contains jokes, quotes, verses, anecdotes and short inspirational stories.

    To become a fan, CLICK HERE>>

    I look forward to your positive response.

    In Christ,
    Nadine Thangluai

  44. Kelly permalink

    Thank you for this post. It’s nice to know we’re not alone in our struggles. I tend to withdraw and “hide” from God when I have sinned. I know this does no good, but it’s my initial reaction. I have been forcing myself to dive deeper into God’s word and into Him when I fail. Your journey encourages me and helps me to see that He loves me and He is on my side. Thank you for sharing.

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