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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, December 1, 2016
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
Today’s scripture reading:
This is more than the cry of one desperate man; it describes the experience of all Christians struggling against sin or trying to please God by keeping rules and laws without the Spirit’s help. We must never underestimate the power of sin and attempt to fight it in our own strength. Satan is a crafty tempter, and we have an amazing ability to make excuses. Instead of trying to overcome sin with our own human willpower, we must take hold of God’s provision for victory over sin: the Holy Spirit, who lives with us and gives us power. And when we fall, he lovingly reaches out to help us up. (NLT)
Romans 7:14-25 – The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.
I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.
It seems to be a fact 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 law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and 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? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Paul wrote, “I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” –Romans 7:19 (NIV)
Richard Sims (USA) titled his story “DESIRES IN CONFLICT;” here is Richard’s story:
“I was alone in a foreign country, on an overnight stopover after a busy three weeks of preaching and teaching, and I had once again watched TV pornography. No one will know, I’d rationalized; but when I returned home, I felt ashamed and told my wife. I had degraded the holiness of our sexual intimacy, objectified women, and disrupted trust in my marriage. My outer life reflected my desire to serve Jesus. But my inner life focused on me and on what I wanted; and I indulged my sinful nature. I experienced an inner conflict. ‘The evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing,’ wrote the apostle Paul. He understood my struggle.
“I know that many people wrestle with the temptation of pornography. Dealing with temptation is a constant effort to chick our natural desires, to maintain closeness to the Lord, and to be trustworthy in our relationships. In my case, I felt so much shame that I joined a Christian group for men with similar struggles. Through accountability and prayer, my outer actions gradually began to conform to my inner hopes and intentions. Slowly, the Lord enabled me to overcome my sinful desires. Like Paul, we all participate in a battle between our fleshly desires and our intentions to be spiritual. God through Jesus Christ rescued Paul. Christ rescued me and will do the same for all of us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Christ can work through our fellow Christians to rescue us.
Prayer: Dear God, lead us to Christian friends with whom we can talk about our most difficult struggles. Amen.
Prayer Focus: FOR DAILY PERSONAL HOLINESS
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/