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

wretchedw

Seasons….of Perceived Powerlessness

We often think that because we can’t do anything about a situation that we are powerless. It is true, there are some things we cannot fix, predict, or control. And so we are powerless in a sense. We can’t change others. We can’t bring the dead back to life. We can’t heal illness by the power of our minds. We can’t take back our angry words. There is so much we can’t do when it comes to the troubles of this life.

And yet, by surrendering all of these things to God, we acknowledge where the power truly lies. Praying for and with someone or some situation or circumstance is often only what we can do. And yet there is great power in that process of praying.

Recognize Who is in control
Surrender your preconceived notions for the best course of action
Depend on God’s promises
Allow God to change YOU – the only thing that you can truly change
Show mercy and grace
Offer forgiveness
Listen to the needs of others
Dig deep into God’s Word
Renew your mind with His Word

Don’t let your circumstances psych you out! You aren’t ever truly powerless with God. There are things you can do. Depend on God and not on your own understanding

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. [Romans 12:1-3]

PrayerPoint ~ Lovely ~ April 1

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I would imagine we all have a little different idea about what constitutes lovely. But while we live in this world we will see some ugliness. Some of it will come from us. Some of it will happen to us. Some of it will happen to those we love. It is easy to dwell in what is truly ugly in this world because we bump into it all day long. Sin is all around us and it brings out some un-lovely things.

It is incredible that God can look at us and see beauty because Christ has covered our sin. Amazing. There is so much that is lovely in God’s Word and God’s promises. And in the difficult days of Holy Week–in the pain and suffering and sacrifice and surrendering of Jesus there is the beauty of God’s love that is displayed. So while God has created nature — much of it simply beautiful and breath-taking, it would seem His most amazing work is when He takes the thing we can’t possibly imagine as a good, right, or lovely thing and makes it so.

God’s idea of beauty is so unlike ours. He can bring beauty from ashes. He proclaims beautiful the feet that bring Good News.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 NIV

May your sweet feet travel far as you share what He has done in your life! God Loves You! No Foolin’!
Liz