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Life of sin wears a person down

Sin has a terrible price tag that often leaves people’s lives in shambles.

A story is told of the great Italian painter, Leonardo da Vinci. Many years ago, he was wandering the streets of Milan, Italy, staring intently at one passerby, then another.

He had been painting “The Last Supper” on the walls of a convent church and had sketched the outline.

Now he was seeking the right men to pose for Christ and the different disciples.

Seeing a strong young man who had a benign expression on his face, he thought he would be good for posing for the apostle John.

The man consented to his request for this posing.

A few years passed. Leonardo da Vinci found men to pose for each of the disciples, but he needed someone for Judas.

Then, one night, he saw a man who seemed appropriate as a model for Judas.

The man had strong facial features, a beard and a dark, grim expression.

Da Vinci asked the man if he would pose as “one of the disciples” for his painting and he agreed.

After that, the painting was finally completed.

The man who had posed for Judas looked at the painting, his dark face turning pale. He said, “You painted me before. Don’t you remember me?”

“No,” da Vinci replied.

“When I first came to Milan I was your model for John. Since then I have lived in sin, with a constant weight of guilt and shame upon my shoulders.”

It never ceases to amaze me how sin can affect a person’s life so drastically…some to the point of doing things they wouldn’t dream of doing.

I’m reminded of the words of apostle Paul in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.” No matter who makes the choice – sin always brings heartache and death wherever it goes.

In the 1930s, there was a detective story radio program called “The Shadow,” produced by Orson Welles. It became one of the most popular radio shows in history and ran until 1954.

Each program would begin with the same opening line: “Who knows what darkness lurks within the heart of man? The Shadow knows!”

The Shadow was a fictional character created from someone’s imagination, but there is One who can see into the dark recesses of a person’s soul and know his/her inner most secrets.

The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7, “For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Although it is true we live in a sinful, wicked world… it is also true that God will judge those who have sinned.

God is looking into your heart today. What does He see?

The rest of Romans 6:23 tells us: “…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus bore the punishment of our sin upon Himself so that we could be forgiven – that’s how much He loves us!

Why not let Him set you free from the toll that sin has taken on your life?

If you will trust and obey Jesus, He will forgive you, set you free from the wages of sin and give you an abundant life.

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.