Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Overcoming Death By Living Life

Romans 7:14-25
"...For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin..."

     I must admit, all too often I react and respond in ways contrary to Christ's will.  I allow the circumstances around me to overwhelm me:  filling my mind and heart, causing despair; rather than faithful confidence in the Saviour.  Too regularly do I live naturally, rather than supernaturally.
     It is easy to be depressed when hard times come.  It is easy to be angry, to be hurt, to be offended, etc.  When I am not putting the flesh in submission to the Spirit, oh yes, it is easy.  
     Lately, because God constantly reminds me to pray, I have noticed that things are changing; chiefly, my perspective.  He is reminding me as I read the Bible where my mind is supposed to be; what is to be my heart's treasure; how I am to behave myself in any given situation.  Oh, what would I do without my Father?!
     I am glad that He is longsuffering with me.  I am glad that He is tender, yet direct.  I am glad...thankful...that I can trust Him.  I can be vulnerable with Him, because He has no ill will towards me.  I can go to Him with my junk, and know He will trash it for me.  I can go to Him for that which is good for me, and know I will receive it.
     Today, He helped me by way of Romans; specifically chapter twelve.  Reading the latter part of the chapter reminded me how I ought to be.  It is still in my mind.  I am still musing upon His words.  I do not wish to tell you what to think of them, but rather simply share with you this chapter, and allow God to do the speaking:

 Romans 12
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." 

     So, as I muse upon what He has to say, I act.  I perform according to the clear-cut function He desires from me.  He enables me so to do, thus I do.  I do not like something?  I pray about it.  I do not like someone?  I pray about it.
     Please, though, do not think that I do not still perform acts of sin...Because I do.  Though through Christ is the victory, as seen all throughout the New Testament, I still find myself succombing to the flesh.  Yet, I have seen more victories, as I keep seeking to live in Christ.  I know that I can live as God wants me to live, for He has given me His Son.  Jesus Christ has taken up residence in me!  
     I seek to find ways to just be used by God to be a blessing, not a burden.  "How can I bring delight?...How can I share Christ's love?...Am I living truthfully?...Am I living in fear, or in hope?...Where can I come out of my 'comfort zone' to bless, to give, to be liberal in the ways God has enabled me, (without condoning sin/enabling bad behaviour, etc.)?...Are my words those that Christ would have me speak?...Are my thoughts those He would have me think?...Are my actions those that God would have me do?...Is my conversation blaspheming or glorifying Christ?"

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  
1 Corinthians 10:31

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"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6

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