"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

Heading out the door to do morning chores before the heat of the day, my youngest daughter looked at me and implored, "Mom, do we have to pull weeds this morning? Can't we just go do something fun and play?"

Smiling, I replied, "No honey, every day we must work at removing the weeds, or they'll take over the yard and the garden. If we just do a little bit every day, it won't be such a big job later."

Sighing, my daughter replied, "OK Mom, but sometimes I think homeschooling during the winter is more fun than not having school during summer. At least there aren't any weeds that grow then!"

In Old Testament days, ridding one's life of the weeds of sin was a painstaking and bloody process of offering after offering. Imagine having to live under all the Levitical laws to meet God's standard for forgiveness of sins. Even when all the requirements were met, it was still impossible for the blood of animals to take away sin. The sacrifices could only atone or cover the sins of man (Hebrews 10:3-4).

Praise God, when Christ came and died on the cross for the sins of the world, He fulfilled the law and offered one sacrifice for sin for all time (Hebrews 10:10-12). No longer do we have to offer sacrifices for sin. Christ has paid the penalty with His blood and cleansed all who receive His gift of eternal life. However, even though God sees us as forgiven through Christ's work on the cross, our flesh continues to pop up new weeds that quench and choke out the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. Like weeding a garden, if we come before the Lord's presence in prayer and confession each day, it's much easier to defeat Satan and sin.

Are there some weedy patches growing in your life? Don't wait until sin has you completely ensnared before you deal with it. Stop and take a moment right now and come before the Lord in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength to pull out those weeds, so your life might resemble a garden of Christ-like love.

Lord Jesus, thank You for paying the price for my sin. Like King David I pray, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10). Show me those things in my life that need to be removed that I might glorify You with my life. In Your name I pray, Amen.