The verse of the day is Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Billy jogged home under the hot Nebraska sun. He carried in his pocket a treasure he had found in the field and he couldn’t wait to show his mother and sister. As he ran up the front steps, the banging door alerted them that he was home. Dashing into the kitchen Billy exclaimed, “Look what I found!” Emptying his pockets he extended his hand to reveal a tiny baby snake. His sister screamed and ran into the other room, but his mother bent down for a closer look. “Billy!” she exclaimed, “You can’t keep that snake. Look at the rattle on his tale. This tiny rattler will grow big and become very dangerous. You must take it outside right now and kill it before it can hurt anyone.”
Billy dejectedly turned to go outside and comply with his mother’s request when he had a thought. “I don’t have to kill it right now. I could hide the little guy in a box in the barn – at least until I can show my friends. Then I will kill it and Mom will never know.” His morale rose as he headed towards the barn to follow through with his plan. He found a box with a lid, fastened it down with a stone and went back to his play excited that he had bought some more time.
Weeks passed and every day that Billy went out to check on his new pet he considered whether he should kill it. He kept putting it off for a more convenient time. One day he came home from school and met an upsetting sight. His dog, Spot, was laying in the barn swollen and barely breathing. Billy grabbed him and brought him to the house, but it was too late – Spot was dead! On examination, his mother confirmed that he had been bitten by a rattlesnake.
Billy’s heart skipped a beat as he ran back out to the barn. His suspicions were confirmed when he saw the empty box that had contained his rattlesnake. He searched through the loose straw until he found it and killed it with a pitchfork, but not before the venom had done its damage. Spot was dead!
Through the years, my brother and I listened to this story over and over on our family’s record player. Billy learned a lesson and we did too. Sin always has consequences. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” By accepting God’s gift of salvation we can be free from death’s sting. Even after becoming a Christian we continually need to “kill” sin in our lives. When we allow it to live, it will grow and eventually wreak havoc and cause destruction and even death. Ask God for forgiveness and for grace to do whatever it takes to remove the temptation.
When sin shows up in your life, immediately take it out behind the barn and kill it.