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Sunday, December 1, 2013, Devotion

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  (Romans 7:4)

We are all appointed to die, but we are invited to die with Christ that He might forever conquer death brought by sin.  Dying to death, we are given new life.  Mathematically, the double negative makes a positive.  He who was raised from the dead will also raise us along with Him into a new life freed from the death of sin.  Sin may continue in this age, but it has been conquered.

Lord, help me see that daily I must die to sin, death and the devil in order to live according to Your Word.  Guide my thinking to understand what You have accomplished and the life to which You are calling me.  Guide me in my actions to live as one who is now joined with You, here, now and forever.  May I learn to think in new ways that are in accordance with the Father’s will.

Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, guide me today to bear fruit that is befitting of Your kingdom.  Through my thoughts, words and deeds help me understand more fully this upward call that You have given me, knowing that through You alone am I able to move in the heavenly direction to which You have called me.  May I be directed by You throughout this day to bear fruit for Your kingdom.  Amen.

Saturday, November 30, 2013, Devotion

“So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.”  (Romans 7:3)

With this simple principle, Paul demonstrates how what was once binding is freed by death.  When we die with Christ on the cross, our sins die with Him who carried them.  Freed from the marriage to sin, we are now married to Christ.  This new relationship then, is the basis of a new life that is lived toward and with the Lord, rather than the old life which was against the Lord and His law.

Lord, help me to understand clearly that this new life You give frees me from the bondage that sin brings in life.  It is not freedom from the law, but freedom from sin.  Help me understand Your law as a gift and a guide to live into the life into which You have called me by grace.  Grant that I would learn from You, my Master, how to live according to Your Word.

Thank You Jesus for inviting me to be a part of Your body, Your bride, the church.  Guide me today in Your way of truth that I would live, loving You, Your Word and Your law in such a way that freely I do what I do as one who is Yours and not as one who lives desperately in terror of what the law brings.  By grace may I be guided this day to live according to Your Word.  Amen.

Friday, November 29, 2013, Devotion

“For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.”  (Romans 7:2)

What is bound by the law is for the duration.  But if you have died with Christ on the cross, you are no longer married, so to speak, to the law, but to Christ.  If you are married to Christ, then you are in a new and eternal relationship.  Living in that relationship releases you from the law and the death it brings because it has been broken.  This is what is offered in grace through faith.

Lord, you have set me free from being captive to sin and death by joining me to You on the cross.  Help me to experience a resurrection in order to live a new life according to Your Word and for the Father’s purpose.  Help me shed the old Adam in order to live to become like You.  Guide me in every aspect of my life in order to be the one whom you have created me to be.

Holy Spirit, guide me this day in thinking right thoughts, bringing about right actions, in order to live into the new life You have given me by grace.  May my life be filled with Your presence such that I willingly and freely share with others in truth what You have shared with me.  Help me this day to live faithfully in the grace You give to the Father’s glory.  Amen.

Thursday, November 28, 2013, Devotion

“Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?”  (Romans 7:1)

Whether or not you know the law, but especially if you do, its effect is exactly what it is because it is one of God’s inviolable laws.  Jesus doesn’t take away the law, but pays the price for breaking the law.  Either you are under the jurisdiction of the law, which is condemnation because all have sinned, or else you are under grace in which case, every infraction has been paid for.

Lord, help me understand that I am not free to do as I please, for the law has been established for good.  Help me to see clearly that although the recompense for my sins have been paid, yet I have been freed to live toward a life that has always been intended.  Guide me toward and into the life You would have me live, knowing that in You alone can the price for sin be paid.  Amen.

Lord Jesus, You have set me free from the bondage to sin.  Help me to live in that freedom, not as a careless criminal, but as one who has been freed from the shackles of sin in order to learn how to live for the first time.  Guide my thoughts and deeds that they would willingly flee from sin and live toward the upward eternal prize of life in You.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013, Devotion

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)

The contrast cannot be made more plain, one can remain in death, or come to eternal life in the living relationship that is given to those who come through Christ by faith.  Many will try to create places in between, but there are none.  Either you remain in sin and its condemnation, or else you come to Christ and are rescued from sin, death and the devil.  Christ is the only eternal life offered.

The devil has made such a mumbled mess of thinking that I often do not know what to think O Lord.  Clear my head so that I can see things as they are and hear and understand clearly with simplicity what it is You are offering.  Help me to come as I am and without all the messy nonsense that gets in the way so that I may live into the eternal life You give through grace.

Lord Jesus, You know that we need rescuing and rescuing is what You have come to do.  Beyond the sin that is overcome on the cross and from the cross, I know I will need rescuing today.  Help me come to You in ever time of need, knowing that in You alone is there hope and a future.  Guide me this day in Your way that I may live toward the eternal life that You give.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013, Devotion

“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.”  (Romans 6:22)

Chose now for yourself whether you will remain in bondage to sin, or else take the yoke of the Master of all.  This really is the bottom line.  We are not the Master of our destiny, except if we choose to remain in sin and apart from God, which is eternal death.  The benefit of taking the Lord’s hand is life, sanctification and its outcome, eternal life.

Lord, it really is very simple.  Help me live into the life You are offering that I may learn from You, for You are gentle and gracious.  Help me see more clearly that in You alone is there hope and a future.  Help me learn to live according to Your Word, knowing that in You alone will I find that for which I have been created.  Move me far away from the things of sin, knowing that what I desire is what You offer.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for making my salvation possible.  Help me live in the promise You give today, guiding me in the way of sanctification and the ways of eternal life.  Guide my thoughts and deeds that I may do what is right and reject those things which are wrong.  May the words of my mouth and the deeds of my hand be fitting for one who is Your follower this day.  Amen.

Monday, November 25, 2013, Devotion

“Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. ”  (Romans 6:21)

When one encounters the Lord, His law and the truth, the former things, now known under the law, are things of which one becomes ashamed.  Greed, envy, strife, wickedness that was once excused are now things that are known to be sinful, evil and against God.  There is no benefit in continuing in the former things, for they only being death.  The upward call is always away from the things that bring death.

Lord, the world I am in celebrates the things of death.  Help me to see clearly that these things do harm here and now, as well as forever in being the very things that separate me from You.  Help me to understand more clearly that the ways of sin only bring death.  Guide me into right thinking that I would live according to the Word You have given knowing that Your Word brings life.

Lord, I stand in the place where I can choose the things of death, or else live in the grace You have given me.  Guide my thinking today to live in life and toward life eternal.  Help me in every situation to make those choices which are according to Your Word, living life here and now in preparation for what is to come, if even I do not fully understand what that means except that You will be there to lead me.  Amen.

Sunday, November 24, 2013, Devotion

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.”  (Romans 6:20)

As sinners, we do what is right in our eyes.  We justify according to our thoughts and see no wrong where true wrong exists.  It is what we don’t know that condemns us.  But when we are freed by Christ, we have the mind of Christ and begin to see more clearly that sin ravages us.  Putting on Christ, we are now in bondage to righteousness with the desire to see all things made right and this world of sin transformed.

Lord, You have given me the gift of freedom to replace bondage to sin to bondage to what is right.  Grow Your heart in me that I would seek what You have given me, knowing that right is always right.  Help me be passionate and gracious, knowing that in this world of sin, there is always the tug of the old bondage that desires to trap me in the world of sin.

May I be free in You today, O Lord, knowing that I have been set free by Your grace, but also that there are obligations that come to keep the freedom You have won become present in me, the one who desires what is good.  Help me in all I do this day to live toward the promises You give, knowing that in You alone is there hope and a future.  May I be Yours this day in all I do.  Amen.

Saturday, November 23, 2013, Devotion

“I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”  (Romans 6:19)

We often do what we do without thinking, because we live by sinful habits that act without thinking.  We are to think and no longer subject ourselves to unthinking sinfulness, but instead, live according to the perfect will of the Father.  It means subjecting ourselves as slaves of righteousness, desiring what is always right and living toward the goal of heavenly perfection knowing it will not be obtained until the final day.

Lord, the battle still continues.  Thought I have been set free from sin and death, yet sin still remains in my body.  Help me live in the battle, but with the assurance that because of what Christ has done, the war is already determined.  Help me grow in sanctification, practicing each day toward the prize of being righteous even as You are righteous.  Guide me step by step toward the goal You have placed before me.

Lord Jesus, without Your grace it would be impossible.  With Your grace I can do all things through You who strengthens me.  Guide me thinking and doing this day that I would be aware of those things I do and make choices that are right and fit the circumstances in such a way that they are in harmony with the Father’s will.  May I live toward the righteousness You have given me this day.  Amen.

Friday, November 22, 2013 Devotion

 

And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18)

There is an aversion to thinking you are under the control of someone, or something other than yourself, but that is the problem of sin. Rather then living under the law and being obedient, we disobey and the very freedom we think we’re living becomes bondage. By living righteously and doing things God’s way, there is freedom, for this is the eternal order of things.

 

Lord, help me to learn to love Your ways. I have lived in a world that loves sin and it feels natural, but it is unnatural. Help me, I pray, to understand that in Your order is perfection. Keep my heart longing for what is right and always disdaining that which is wrong. You have covered me with the righteousness of Christ, so help me to grow into that righteousness.

Holy Spirit, guide me today in Your ways that I would live according to the will of the Father. Help me see in every choice I make today that I need to be obedient to the call You give, living in what is right and against that which You show me is wrong. Grant that I would be faithful today in all I do, knowing that by Your guidance alone can I live in Your righteousness. Amen.