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My pastor, Wana Archer, tells about a time when he was a teenager and worked at a restaurant for .25 cents/hour. In this restaurant, there was a gambling machine that looked like a pinball machine. A player would deposit a nickel and get one shot to hit the jackpot or win some money. He noticed that people would get a quarter’s worth of nickels to play. After it had been played by several it would get close to paying off. He got to where he could determine when that was. He’d get a quarter’s worth of nickels and play. You’d win $2. Well, that was a whole day’s wage.

When school started back, he had to give up that job, but he would walk near the restaurant and he’d think about that gambling machine. He’d go in and put in a nickel and lose just like all those customers he watched lose. He did this several times.

It dawned on him that he’d become addicted to gambling. He talked to the Lord about this. “What am I going to do?” The Lord made it clear that he had to stay clear of that gambling machine. If it meant going a block out of the way so he wouldn’t be tempted, then that is what he must do. He did. In time as he resisted the pull to gamble, he noticed the desire to gamble left him. He yielded to the Holy Spirit and the Spirit fulfilled the law of righteousness in his life. He experienced peace and life and not death.

What’s your gambling machine? The Spirit wants to sanctify you and draw you away from a belief or a behavior that will not produce the life of Christ in you. Instead, it is producing the death of sin.

I don’t know anyone who has to go to church to discover that they are sinners. I don’t know of anyone who has to go to church to discover that they are guilty. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit in this world. What I do notice is that people need to know how God has dealt with their sin so they can be forgiven and reconciled to God. Romans makes clear that reconciliation with God by good works is impossible. We can’t be good enough. It requires repentance and faith in the Savior. Repentance means I want to stop going my own way. I want to go God’s way. It’s no longer acceptable for me to ignore God. I must have God in my life. I surrender all. I will trust and obey. If that is working in your heart, that is the work of the Holy Spirit seeking to bring you to salvation. What an amazing gift from God and testimony of His love for you. Let’s talk about that. Join me at the front. Say, “I want to be a Christian.” At least, leave me a note on a contact card and put it in the offering plate. I will follow up.

The great need of the church today is for Christians to demonstrate righteous, Christ-like lives. The world is progressively doubting the Bible, but they do not doubt the reality of God when they see Christians live holy lives. This is only possible in the power of the Holy Spirit. Believer, yield to the Holy Spirit.

Only the Holy Spirit provides the power to overcome our sinful nature.

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