Today’s Scripture: Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. John 8:34

Economic damages associated with invasive species’ effects and control costs are estimated at $120 billion per year. 1 One of those invasive species is multiflora roses. Introduced to the United States by Japan in 1886, they grow all through eastern Ohio where we live. Originally planted to be a living fence that would prevent erosion, they have overtaken the forest where we live. Just take a walk through the woods, and you’ll run smack dab into multiflora roses – and their thorns!

Speaking of invasive species, I grew up in Arkansas where kudzu grows rampant. The government paid farmers up to $8 an acre to plant fields of these vines back in the 1940s. Now over 7 million acres are covered in these vines that take over, growing up to a foot a night.

Kudzu costs the US economy between $100 and $500 million in lost forest productivity every year. Why? It grows up and over the trees, blocking light and killing them.

Kudzu and multiflora roses were considered such a good idea at the time. We imported both from SE Asia because we thought they would help us. Instead they hurt us.

Sin is like these unwanted vines. In the beginning, we think it’s a good idea, or we think we are strong enough to handle making that wrong decision. Years later, we discover the consequences of our actions control us. We have literally become a servant of sin, just as Jesus said would happen.
How do we fight the weed of sin? I suggest we wage WAR on it: Walk, Arm, Reckon.

Walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), Arm yourself with the mind of Christ (1 Peter 4:1-2), and Reckon yourself to be dead to sin and alive to Christ (Romans 6:11).

Your victory may not be overnight. Invasive species are tenacious. Consider it takes up to 10 years to kill kudzu with regular application of herbicides. But you have the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit to help you overcome sin. Remember, as a Christian, you don’t have to be the servant of sin anymore. You’ll win the war if you declare war and then fight till you win, daily resting in the victory Christ has already won over sin and death.

Devotional by Pastor Neal Dearyan