Oh, to be one of the Avengers—am I right? I’m sure if you asked 1000 people on the streets, they would all have one or two of our superheroes that they would trade places with—at least temporarily.
How about you? Would you swing Thor’s mighty hammer? (Or at least like to have Anthony Hopkins as your dad?) Or do you picture yourself crying “Hulk! Smash!”?
Or for the females—there have probably been a few times when you would have liked to take down guys like Black Widow, correct?
But as we find ourselves in Avengers: Age of Ultron, sometimes having all the genius and the power has its devastating downsides, and our worst enemy may just be the one we created ourselves!
In the movie, a monstrous machine comes from a seemingly pure—yet insidiously prideful—motivation on Stark’s part. And the end result is a global threat that makes Loki look like nothing more than a low key low life.
Man, doesn’t that sound familiar? Not the creation of Ultron and being smack dab in the middle of an Avengers “save the world” adventure part two, rather, doesn’t the seemingly innocent creation of our worst nightmare ring a bell?
If it doesn’t, take inventory of your life over this past year—or maybe even this past month? You are infected with a monster that the Bible calls your sin nature. It is described this way:
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me (Psalm 51:5).
Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil (Genesis 6:5).
Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy (Romans 1:28-31).
I know we all would like to deny the awful truth that these verses speak of, but there is no way around it. You and I were born with the natural inclination to sin and do evil (case in point: do we need to teach little children to lie???)
And this malicious infection doesn’t stop growing and influencing us throughout out lives. It spreads like a cancer, damaging our relationships and obliterating the plans that God has for each of His children. Listen to the remorse of the Apostle Paul as he battles this enemy:
Here’s an important principle I’ve discovered: regardless of my desire to do the right thing, it is clear that evil is never far away. For deep down I am in happy agreement with God’s law; but the rest of me does not concur. I see a very different principle at work in my bodily members, and it is at war with my mind; I have become a prisoner in this war to the rule of sin in my body. I am absolutely miserable! Is there anyone who can free me from this body where sin and death reign so supremely? (Romans 7:21-24, The Voice).
In the movie, it takes the combined strength, wit and cunning of all the Avengers to conquer Ultron. But unfortunately in real life, there is no power on earth that has even the slightest chance of conquering sin in our lives. No Hulk can smash sin, and there is no Thor to hammer our destructive tendencies into submission.
But there is a happy ending if—and only if—you decide to be a part of it. Here’s one of the greatest truths in all of God’s Word:
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:25a).
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free (John 8:36).
My old self has been crucified with Christ.[e] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
When Jesus died on the cross, He made a way for us to no longer be slaves to our sinful nature. Just a simple prayer of faith and then a moment-by-moment dependence on the power of the Spirit who comes to live inside us will crush our sin nature and set us free to fulfill God’s calling on our lives.
So if you have been dealing with sin in your life, let Jesus set you free! And remember that your friends and family who struggle need this message as well. So use your freedom for THE Cause, and make your life count like a superhero!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Each day brings a fantastic opportunity to share the gospel and help set people free from the power of sin. Be bold in sharing your faith for THE Cause!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, we commit to THE Cause and ask that you empower us to conquer our sin nature through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Help us see the attacks of the Enemy on our lives, and give us boldness in speaking the truth to our friends who don’t know you.
Read: John 10:10. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Get: Reverse…Live Differently Student Devotional. Living in reverse. Living with a God-focus in a me-focused world. It’s a totally different way to live—deep, wild, intense, exciting, risky and immensely satisfying—because it’s living in tune with the way God designed us to live, in relationship with Him. Knowing Him and making Him known. Pick up your copy today!
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “Ever feel like sometimes your worst enemy is yourself? There is hope! Read about it in this week’s devo: http://hubs.ly/y0KRh10“
Big Idea: Sin is the ultimate enemy in our lives, but it can be conquered through Jesus Christ.
Key Scripture: Galatians 2:20
- In what ways does sin mess up our lives?
- How have you seen Jesus conquer your sin nature in the past?
- Why do we keep giving into sin, even though we know it will destroy us?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to living for THE Cause of Christ?