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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, March 27, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The law (1) guards us from sin by giving us standards for behavior; (2) convicts us of sin, leaving us the opportunity to ask for God’s forgiveness; and (3) drives us to trust in the sufficiency of Christ, because we can never keep the Ten Commandments perfectly. The law cannot possibly save us. But after we become Christians, it can guide us to live as God requires.
Our Christian life began when, in unity with him, we died to our old life. In our daily life, we must regularly crucify sinful desires that keep us from following Christ. This, too, is a kind of dying with him.
And yet the focus of Christianity is not dying but living. Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have also been raised with him. Legally, we have been reconciled with God and are free to grow into Christ’s likeness. And in our daily life, we have Christ’s resurrection power as we continue to fight sin. We are no longer alone, for Christ lives in us—he is our power for living and our hope for the future. (NLT)
Galatians 2:15-20 – You and I are Jews by birth, no ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. And yet we Jewish Christians know that we become right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ—and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.”
But what if we week to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! Rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Here is a portion of Chad McComas’ (Oregon) story:
“I was spiritually dead and didn’t know it. I grew up in a religious family and went to church ever week. I attended church schools from grade school through college and thought I was living a good Christian life. While I loved working as a pastor of a large church, my heart was stone cold and legalistic. My relationship with my wife was cold and lifeless. I needed help. Ironically, help came in the form of losing my pastoral position.
“Over the next few years, God helped me to forge a new ‘resurrected’ life of faith. In a sense, God rescued me by ‘killing’ my old life of perfectionism and replacing it with a life of hope, restored relationship with my wife, and new ministry. . . .
“. . . In a similar way, when life seems to be at its darkest point, we can turn to God and experience new life. God can continue to transform our relationships, sense of purpose, hope, and so much more. Easter isn’t just a time to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection 2,000 years ago. It is a time to celebrate what God is doing in us every day – giving us new life.”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help us to remember that you overcame death and can bring new life to us today. Thank you for living in us each day. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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