The Good I Don’t Do

I remember when I was in my teens at church and the following reading would come up in the pericopes (those readings that follow the three-year lectionary of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod)

I used to feel so bad for the elder that had to stand up and read from Romans 7 in front of the congregation because it is so complicated to read aloud:

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.

18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;

23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.

Even as a youngster, I could relate to the concept of this challenge. And as I have moved through my life, the reality of it all is ever-present. What a struggle. It is a struggle for each of us!

How is it possible to be wretched and yet also be worthy of being rescued? Only through Jesus. Through Christ alone!

On the Road,

Liz

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PrayerPoints ~ Thursday, February 11th

Ash Wednesday_m

Todays’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 140

“Rescue me” Psalm 140:1a

Have you ever surveyed your circumstances and mumbled this? Screamed this? Cried this?

Rescue me!

This year, I have heard of more situations that warrant this cry for help than ever before. I suspect it is because many of my “peers” are in a stage of parenting that is challenging. Small children, small problems but those big kids – oi! They find themselves in the midst of BIG problems  and some they have run headfirst and boldly into because they have no clue what they are doing.

Your willingness to listen to a friend may be the lifeline they need as they move to the next step of seeking help for their situation. And if you are the one in need, seek out someone who can walk through this time with you. Being honest about your circumstances is very vulnerable place to be but it also provides the best way for someone to work with you to get you the help you need.

Sometimes we need to be rescued from the hands of others and sometimes we need to be rescued from ourselves. Quite often, I have found myself in the latter situation.

I like this Psalm because the situations David uses here are so easy for me to visualize. As I read through it, I am reminded of God’s provision and care and defense for those who are in need of rescue ~ which is, incidentally, each and every one of us!

 

 

Japan

Heavenly Father,

The death toll in Japan grows daily. Hundreds of dead bodies have washed ashore (according to the Associated Press). Please protect the wounded survivors, the  brave rescue teams, the overwhelmed medical personnel, the orphaned and the widowed. There are so many needs it is impossible to name them.

I am so thankful You know each need.

Believers around the globe and praying for Japan and her people. It is such a heartbreaking circumstance with amazing devastation. Mission efforts are being coordinated, rescues are happening each day. Help us consider how we might be involved. Certainly, Lord, You have called us to pray. What else can we do? Lead us to care deeply, connect in Your name, and contribute in the ways we can.

In Your Son’s Name we pray…..

Disaster in New Zealand

As you go about your business today, please remember Christchurch, New Zealand as they have been hit by a devastating earthquake.

Pray for

  • the safety for the rescue workers.
  • the rescue and recovery effort.
  • the reuniting of families separated.
  • medical professionals responding to the endless medical needs.
  • God’s Word and hope to be shared.
  • clean water and food to be available.
  • medical supplies and work stations be sterile and available.

I am sure God will bring other items to mind as you consider the magnitude of the devastation. While most of us cannot just pick up and go to New Zealand to help, we can intercede on their behalf.

Heavenly Father, give the rescue workers eyes to see the survivors and quick assessment of the medical needs. Reunite families. Protect those who have been witnessing the devastation. Protect those injured from further disease and complications. We commit them all to Your care, knowing You will provide for their needs. In Jesus’ Name….