"I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 7:21-25 NLT (Suggested reading: Romans 7:15-25)
Thoughts for Today
We sometimes choose to do things we know are wrong because we believe them to be beneficial. We may choose to sin because we are convinced it is better to sin and have the present pleasure than to obey and have to endure the pain. We believe the relief of the pain is important enough to justify the sin. When we fall into this trap, our idea of right and wrong is distorted by our desire to avoid the pain of doing what is right. This concept is never more obvious than in the trap of sexual sin.
Some people have the misperception that when they become Christians, they will no longer have to struggle with sinful urges. Today's scripture describes the apostle Paul's struggle and shows that even mature Christians must deal with the sinful nature that works against our being the people we want to be--people whose lives please God.
Paul describes his struggle--but He also states that he found the answer in Jesus Christ.
Consider this …
Are you or someone you care about trapped in the struggle Paul describes? Wanting to do right, but continuing to make wrong choices?
So how does God change us? Jesus says, "Sanctify them with truth. Your Word is truth" (John 17:17 NIV). This means that God makes us holy by applying His Word to us. As we pray and meditate on God's Word, He alters our mind-set and changes our inner value system. He creates in us a new way of thinking and therefore a new way of desiring and doing.
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:12-13 NLT
Are you ready to change? God is more than ready to help you.
Father, forgive me for my sin. Forgive me for not really wanting to change. But I am ready now. I know my behavior is destructive--to those I love and to me. Even more important, I know it displeases you. I know Jesus is the answer. Guide me to the truths you want me to see in Your Word. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
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