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!

Lord, Hear My Prayer!

The Holy Bible

1 Lord, I am in great trouble,

so I call out to you.

2     Lord, hear my voice;

listen to my prayer for help.

3     Lord, if you punished people for all their sins,

no one would be left, Lord.

4     But you forgive us,

so you are respected.

(The Everyday Bible: New Century Version – Psalm 130:1-4)

Thoughts:

This may seem like a very simple theme today friends, but I believe that God has no intention of making His Word complicated, nor His commands of us impossible to obey. Like David prayed in desperation (in verse 1 he said that he was in deep trouble), so it seems like we often find our way to the foot of the cross to pray in our times of desperation. But I believe that God got my attention on this today about the many times that I hesitate coming before Him for a need until I am absolutely too stressed out, and realize that I just can’t do it on my own. When we have a sincere deep relationship with our Savior, like we should, then we should be talking (praying) with Him all the time. We should be discussing our distresses and praising Him for our successes. I believe that when we succeed at this, we will be blessed to note the many times that we wind up making good decisions, or making the right turns in life, for He knows our heart’s desires and will guide us in His way everlasting. Now, just to clarify, God knows our hearts without us saying anything at all, however, He enjoys our conversation and is blessed by us turning to Him for our every need. David even gave us a little tip in verse 4 on why God forgives us and handles so many of our requests – so that we might stand in awe of Him and respect Him as God. So I have a very challenging question for my friends meditating on this devotional today: What are the three most challenging things in your life right now? Now the kicker: Have you placed these things in Jesus’ hands for a resolution? These are the things that we should have foremost in our prayers to God. Friends, I know that He will hear our voice and, knowing that He cares for us and knows what’s best for us in the long run, He will relieve us of the stress we are going through and answer our prayers according to His blessed will (Matthew 6:31-33). Trust Him, won’t you?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, it is so rewarding knowing that we can talk with You about all of our needs, concerns and wants, knowing that You will keep it confidential, and that You will respond with our best interest at heart, despite what we might ask for. You know my name, and Your Word says that You even know every strand of hair on my head. How much more You must care about me when things of this world burden me down, or when I make stupid mistakes. Thank You for answering my prayers in the past and thank You for answering them in accordance with Your perfect will and not necessarily the selfish, silly and worldly ways that I might ask for things. You truly are the God of this universe and You have our best interest at heart. Please humble our hearts to have our one-on-one times with You and to share our most intimate desires and thoughts with You, knowing that You will either answer our prayers or at least comfort us to know that You may have even better plans for us. We have such a small view of our lives and of this world, please help us to trust in You, the one who created it all and who controls its every movement. You are an awesome God in whom I place my trust dear Lord. Bless this day in Your own special way, I pray in the name of Jesus, my Lord, 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 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.