Devotionals #105498

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Devotional #11

Posted by Chris on 2009-08-26 12:23:57, Wednesday

Devotional no. 11 : No More Condemnation

Romans 7:21-25, 8:1&2
It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.

I think it is kind of normal for us as Boylovers to sometimes think of ourselves as being more sinful than the rest of humanity. We might feel that we need to prove something to God, ourselves, or other Christians. If that’s true then we can let every single sin and mistake build itself up in our minds until it becomes almost impossible to see how we could ever be forgiven. Suddenly in our minds eye we are all the ugly things that some people say we are and the unfortunate and overwhelming feeling inside our hearts is that this is exactly how God sees us. I think this is a common malady of the Boylover, especially one who loves God and wants so badly to please Him. But I also believe that Paul knew these feelings only too well and he found a way to overcome them. That is why I chose the above scripture.
I do not know if Paul was a BL, but from what he wrote, he certainly knew how we feel. I’ve never heard it put any better than this part of his letter to the Christians in Rome. “Oh what a miserable person I am” he said. I can relate to that sentiment so well. Like Paul I “inevitably do what is wrong” so often that I wonder why God doesn’t just wipe off the face of the earth for good. In fact, for years I almost literally pounded my fists and head against a hard brick wall just to see the blood; screaming at the top of my lungs, “What’s wrong with me?!” I would see other Christians at church on Sunday and they always looked so good to me, clean and tidy and comfortable with their respective families. While I always felt so alone and dirty and out of place. Oh I can see how Paul was so right when he wrote, “In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” I can feel his desperation because it has been my desperation for so long. So that is why I am so grateful for this sentence “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The saying that the ground is level at the foot of the cross is proven true with us. Paul gives us this truth in what he writes in this scripture. He relates to us perfectly in sin, just as we all relate to one another and to every other Christian in the world throughout history. We are all the same; we are all in the very same condition. While the exact nature of our sins might differ somewhat from the straight world, the fact is that we are all sinners and in need of God’s grace. That is why I am especially grateful for “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” I am grateful that God loves us so much that He did something no one deserves; He freed us from the power of sin and death. Was Paul a Boylover? I don’t know but he sure knew how we feel…maybe because non-BL’s can feel the same way.

Dear Lord, it can be so difficult to be a Boylover in this world. Often I feel like I am all alone and so different from everyone else. Sometimes I feel like I can never be one of yours or that there is no hope for me in my sins. Please Lord; help me to see daily how this is just simply not true. Help me to keep in mind that we are all part of the same human condition and that your grace is sufficient for everyone who comes to you. I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me, but with your help I can learn to live like Paul did; in every way to honor you. In Jesus’ name, amen!

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