Life, we all have one. It’s the one thing that I can honestly say I have in common with every other person on the face of this earth. One other thing we all have in common, is our struggle with sin. We all have inner conflict, just as Paul writes about in Romans 7:14-25 which starts out:
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. “ ~Romans 7:14-15 (NIV)
This man Paul, lived just a little under two thousand years ago and he struggled with the same things we do and he was a man called by God. We are all slaves to sin.
No one is perfect and we all fall short of the Glory of God, but that doesn’t mean we should just give up. We need to ask God for forgiveness, seek out His word and have Him show us the changes we need to make in our lives.
Hebrews 12 says:
”Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
"In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
"My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.
"God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God." ~Hebrews 12:1-11 (The Message)
We are not struggling alone. Others have run the race ahead of us and have come out winners. The only way they won was allowing God to discipline and train them. Allow God to bring people into your life that are just as committed to this race as God wants you to be. Allow God to bring people into your life that will help you make wiser choices.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." ~James 5:15-16 (NIV)
Accountability is important in our Christian walk. We must confess our sins to God but also, to each other so that we can help each other stay on the straight and narrow path God wants us to walk. We can't do it alone!
Today, I am so thankful that my God loves me enough to discipline me. That He loves me so much, He cares about sin in my life and desires to build that relationship with me that will help me run the race He has set before me. I am thankful that He helps me realize what I need to do to stay on His path and that He knows how hard it is for me. Thank you Lord, for being my Father, for your unending love and for your grace and mercy! ~Amen
© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Darci Escandon