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Monday, August 4, 2014

All We Need To Know

As we are starting our New Week let's start it off with words of encouragement to help support us through this week. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells. —Romans 7:18 In a Fernando Ortega rendition of “Just As I Am,” Billy Graham’s voice can be heard faintly in the background. Dr. Graham is reminiscing about an illness during which he believed he was dying. As he mused on his past, he realized what a great sinner he was and how much he continues to need God’s daily forgiveness. Billy Graham was putting an end to the notion that apart from God we’re okay. We can feel good about ourselves, but that confidence must come from the knowledge that we’re greatly loved children of God (John 3:16), not that we’re very good children (Rom. 7:18). The first step in becoming a truly “good” person as a follower of Christ is to stop pretending that we’re good on our own and to ask God to make us as good as we can be. We will fail many times, but He will keep growing us and changing us. God is faithful and—in His time and in His way—He’ll do it. In his final years, the writer of “Amazing Grace,” John Newton, suffered from dementia and lamented the loss of his memory. Yet he confided, “I do remember two things: I am a great sinner, and Jesus is a great Savior.” When it comes to faith, those are the only things anyone needs to know. —David Roper The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures. —Newton God’s grace accepted is God’s peace experienced. Bible in a year: Psalms 66-67; Romans 7 Insight The Christian life is one of struggle with sin and growth in holiness. On this side of heaven, we will not be totally freed from this struggle (James 3:2; 1 John 1:8–2:1). In today’s text, the apostle Paul writes of the war between good and evil that wages within him. Elsewhere Paul explains, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want” (Gal. 5:17 niv). Yet we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus delivers us from this “body of death” (Rom. 7:24).

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