What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (Rom. 6:1)

FROM THE LOOK on his mother’s face Jeremy knew he was in trouble—big trouble. He’d been sent to his room for the second time that day for making fun of his little sister and pulling her hair. This time mother had grounded him for an hour and told him to clean his room. Instead, Jeremy had drawn a picture of his sister on the wall complete with her ponytail that he couldn’t resist pulling.

“Jeremy!” Mother shouted. “I can’t believe you did this. What is wrong with you?”

“I dunno,” Jeremy mumbled, not daring to admit that it was fun to tease Bethany and get her upset.

Mother sighed. “You’d better hope this comes off the wall. While you’re working at it, you can think about what would be an appropriate punishment.”

“But that’s not fair!” Jeremy exclaimed. “You punished me already!”

It’s not just nine-year-old little boys who do things they know they shouldn’t be doing. Adults who really know better may reason that since grace covers our sin, it is OK to keep doing what we want to do. God will forgive us. Too easily we forget the price Jesus paid for our forgiveness. He died on the cross and calls us to die to our old self. And just as Jesus was raised from the dead, we have been given new life through Him.

Ask God to help you grow into the fullness of your salvation.

Marlene Bagnull will celebrate fifty-two years of marriage in November with her husband, Paul. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.