In rodeo, it’s man vs beast, for Christians, it’s man vs sin.

In rodeo, it’s man vs beast, for Christians, it’s man vs sin.

The world we never got to see before sin entered it was free of weeds and thorns. Now ranchers and farmers have to contend with them all the time.

The Battle Against Sin, Part 1

By Josh McCarthy / Cowboys of the Cross

We’ve all heard it somewhere in the sport of rodeo: it’s “man versus beast” or “you versus the clock.” Or, for those of us out cowboying on some empty section of range, “it’s you against the elements”. All of these things are battles we face, things we prepare for, and take very seriously – as we should. In this series of articles, I want to talk with you about the most serious battle any and all Christians face, our daily battle against sin.

Before I go on I want to address the fact that this series of articles will be directed toward those who have already submitted to the Lordship of Christ and trusted Him as the one and only Savior from their sins, i.e. Christians. If you are curious what that means, feel free to contact this ministry for more information.

As with any battle, we need to know who we are fighting, right? If we drew a bronc we might talk to others that have been on him before or the stock contractor to find out if he’s trashy or a nice, honest bucker. Or that bull – is he going to “blow or spin”? (Bonus points for the movie reference.) If you’re out helping the neighbor gather some cows, it definitely helps to know the lay of the land, where the adjoining fences are, and surrounding neighbors’ brands.

So what is this thing called sin? According to, “sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God and rebellion against God”. In Genesis 2:16-17, we see God’s first “law” to His creation:

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Not long after, in Genesis 3:6-7, we see Adam and Eve violate this law bringing the curse of sin into all of creation.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

God’s original creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:31), we could say perfect or without sin. None of us knows what this world looks like, as every part of our lives is affected and infected with sin. If you don’t believe me, just ask any rancher who is battling any number of weeds in his pastures. (Genesis 3:18: [The ground] will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.) Look how you treat the judge after a “bad call” or how we treat each other working cows. Heck, just turn on the news or check Facebook and you can see the whole of creation is cursed with sin.

Throughout the Church’s history, people a lot smarter than me have recognized three main sources of sin: the flesh, the world, and the devil. In Part 2, we will look at each of these.

God puts the pieces together perfectly even when we can’t see the big picture

God puts the pieces together perfectly even when we can’t see the big picture

God can put the pieces together to form a picture we can’t even begin to see. A cowboy church devotion from horse man Jim Bull.


By Jim Bull / Cowboys of the Cross

 I’ve known something for a long time and finally come up with an illustration that gives an idea of the complexity of life.
  When you were a kid,  do you remember putting together jigsaw puzzles that had a board with a curved border that all six pieces had one obvious spot for it to go? And do you remember putting every piece in the wrong place and turning it in a complete circle three to five times before either putting it in a different place on the board and  spinning it again or putting it down and getting a new piece or giving up and finding something else to play with that didn’t hurt your brain?
  Move forward a few years.  Do you  remember trying again to put together jigsaw puzzles? Only now you’re skilled and working with 500 pieces or one thousand or you like the challenge and go for puzzles with ten thousand pieces! You start with the boarder pieces or a specific color or whatever is your preferred method to make sense of the madness.  Now it’s because you enjoy the challenge so you don’t give up,  you just keep plugging along, piece by piece till you proudly look upon a finished puzzle.
  Now we’re going to look at God.  He takes all the millions of pieces of our lives such as who we meet and when and where we are, what we pay attention to. The good things and the bad; all the things that make up a life. It’s like the pieces are in a bingo ball scrambler cage, He reaches in and pulls one piece out and places it on a blank table with no border in the exact location it belongs.  No twisting or turning or spinning or searching for a boarder or color.  He just knows where it belongs.  Then He grabs the next piece of the puzzle and places it perfectly.  He is an amazing God!
  But wait!  That puzzle with millions of pieces is just your life! He also mixes your puzzle pieces with all of the people you are affected by or have an influence on or that influence you.  Now it’s a puzzle with billions or trillions of pieces and it’s in 3D and he’s still pulling them all out of a bingo ball scrambler cage! You can look up awesome in a thesaurus and use every word it has and still not get the full picture of how great God is.  Praise Him and worship Him for He is worthy! He knows your every hair, thought and action,  inside and out.  He is the master of your puzzle.
 Luke 12:5-7 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who,  after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 

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