This Life of Contradictions

I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 7:21-25
Translation: The Message (Message)

Bible Text: 21    …The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24          I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25          The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

OBSERVATION: I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

APPLICATION: Like Paul, we especially look back at our day and sometimes say that we are ‘at the end of our rope’ with mere efforts and ‘want-to’s’ and we wonder if there is anything that could be done. I absolutely love verse 25 where Paul reminds us that the answer to this dilemma is Jesus Christ. For He died for us even while we were yet sinners and still persecuting Him. We find it extremely frustrating when we have committed to obedience to God’s Word, when we have every intention to follow the ways of God, yet we are so easily swayed to follow the ways of our old lifestyle, the joys of our friends and neighbors, and to be popular in their eyes. However in our Scripture today we are given the formula, or the solution, or the answer to our lives of contradictions. Like an alcoholic seeking to overcome that dreaded disease, we must first acknowledge that we have a problem. Our education is of no help to us, nor is our strength from personal workouts. In fact, we can’t seem to personally overcome this type of life. However, the Word of God reminds us that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. So do we dare look into God’s face and say that the sin within us is greater? If we do say that, we are actually saying that he that is in the world is greater than He that is in me, and that’s an incorrect statement. Friends, let’s be careful to give God full freedom in our lives so that He could be our God. Satan is very conniving and can easily take advantage of our personal weaknesses, but he has no power over our God! Amen? Today let us put Satan in his place – behind God. Let’s give God thanks for being our deliverer from the evil of this world; let’s praise Him for send His Son Jesus to provide the means of us getting to Heaven and enjoying life everlasting in Him. He cares for us, dear child of God and He wants to see us succeed in our commitment to Him. If you truly want to succeed in your commitment to God, ask for His help and His strength, and through His power, be willing to give it all that your have. For I truly believe that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I need You today. I battle the same challenges that Paul battled, and I need the same help that he did. You have shown me in Your Word how to live. You have set the example for me through the life and character of Your precious Son. Please work steadfastly in my life so that I may overcome the negative pull of the evil one, the sinful nature of this world and the ungodly attitudes of many that I come into contact with. Please touch the hearts of Your people today, so that we may have power to overcome evil, and that we may live according to Your perfect will and design. You are holy, oh God, and if we are to be followers of Your precious Son, then we too must strive for holiness. Thank You for being the source of that power that we need to live like this! For I ask all this in Your most holy name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How To Know If From God

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – 1 John 4:4-6): 4 My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world. 5 And they belong to the world, so what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. But those who are not from God do not listen to us. That is how we know the Spirit that is true and the spirit that is false.

THOUGHTS: John noticed that some of the people listen to him, and to what God had directed him to say, while others had no interest in him and his workers. He wanted Christians to learn from this, because ordinarily they would be faced with similar challenges. I believe that this was strategically placed in the Word of God so that we today will also know how to discern if folk that come to teach us, or preach to us, actually come from God, or if they are after their own selfish desires and more interested in spreading the misery and hatred of the Devil. Friends, there are other places in the Bible that we are told that not everyone who says that they come in the name of the Lord, are actually as they say. Satan will use every attempt to distract Christians, especially ‘weak’ Christians. Please don’t judge me for calling some ‘weak’, but when we are doing only the very minimum to, supposedly, be included in the ‘God crowd’, in other words we may walk forward at the end of a church service and please our mom, or our friend by saying ‘yes’ to Jesus, but our lives reflects no change, and our walk continues along the same path that we have always walked, then God might question you, as to whom do you belong. When we think no more of our ‘Christianity’ than to visit church a few times each year, and our study of God’s Word is limited only to what we do in Bible School or what we hear from the pulpit, then I’m afraid to break the bad news to you, but you will become fertile ground for false prophets, for you will believe anything and anyone, because you are not used to discerning truth, or leaning on the Holy Spirit that God makes available to us. Friends, for those who know Jesus intimately and have a desire to follow His ways and His commands, we are truly a blessed people and we have the Holy Spirit deep within us to prompt us unto all truth and point us towards the Author of all things. We have an advocate friend, and His name is Jesus! Do you enjoy a personal relationship with Him today, or do you just know of Jesus from a distance? Don’t just say, or think that you know Jesus, but love Him enough to study His Word; obey His commands and serve Him unconditionally. Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world! We can do ALL things through Jesus, our Savior, our Lord, our Redeemer, our Comforter and our Deliverer. We’re His children and He is the ultimate Father. Don’t be a stranger to Him. Commit wholeheartedly to Him and obey Him unconditionally!

PRAYER: Father, we are committed to serving You, the only true God. Many will continue to come ‘in your name’ but will not be of You. Please keep us faithful only unto You so that we might discern ungodliness and false prophets. For we want to be pure, holy and righteous as Your children, and in our witness of You. Please protect us from the evil one and his worldly partners who may go as far as claiming You as their leader in order to distract Your children from their walk with You. May we always be reminded that greater by far is He who is in us, than he that is in this world. Get thee behind me Satan. Fill me with all truth and wisdom from above dear Jesus so that I might know You intimately, and discern the way that I should go every day. May I represent You well and in all ways. Bless my readers today with this same power from above so that Your army might be alive and well. I ask these things in the powerful, strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

 

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!