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Evil Is Present in Me

December 31, 2014

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Evil  Is Present  in Me

The apostle Paul knew  what he was talking about  when he wrote  to the people  in Rome,  who were struggling  with their new Christian faith.     All of Rome  was accustomed  to a very loose life style.     They were immoral  in so many ways.     Then,  when they realized  that they had salvation  in Jesus Christ,  they saw  and greatly desired  the goodness  and joy  of the Christian life  —  but,  they were having a big time struggle  changing over  from their old sinful ways.     They felt guilty  and sad  as they found themselves  so easily caving in  to their old ways.

Paul explained  that it was the same  in his struggles  in this life.     In Romans 7:21-25,  Paul says  a bit  about his struggle,

I find then  the principle  that evil  is present  in me,  the one  who wishes  to do good.

For I joyfully concur  with the law  of God  in the inner man,  but I see a different law  in the members  of my body,  waging war  against the law  of my mind,  and making me  a prisoner  of the law  of sin  which is  in my members.

Wretched man  that I am!     Who will set me free  from the body  of this death?

Thanks be  to God  through Jesus Christ  our Lord!     So then,  on the one hand  I myself  with my mind  am serving the law  of God,  but on the other,  with my flesh  the law  of sin.

In other words,  even though Paul fully agreed  with the absolute goodness,  joy,  and beauty  of everything God stands for,  he is relentlessly  being tempted  to sin  day after day,  after long day.     The temptations never end  while we live  on this earth.

Paul admits  to the Romans  that we are all  in a wretched state  of affairs  with these constant temptations  to sin.    So,  Paul presents  the question,  “Who will set me free  from the body  of this death?”     All  of our temptations  are from our own desires.     These desires we have  are a part  of having  to live  with this earthly body.     The body needs food,  clothing,  warmth,  physical companionship,  health,  a sense  of security.     And,  of course,  getting all those things  can be  a real challenge.     Whole books  have been written  on trying  to fulfill  all these earthly needs.

In an effort  to meet  their physical desires,  people will steal,  cheat,  lie,  commit adultery,  worry about their health,  become bitter  and spiteful,  deny the truths  of God,  rape,  kill,  and do everything else  within their power  to meet  their needs  all by themselves.

But,  Paul  did not do that.     Instead,  he learned  to entrust all  of his needs  to God  on the basis  of what Jesus Christ  our Lord  has done  for us.     Yes,  Paul still had the constant pull  of every sort  of temptations.     They are never-ending  for everyone.     But,  Paul learned  to trust God.     He remembered  what a tremendous love  God displayed  for all  of us  in Christ,  and realized  that because God  has loved us  so much,  He will certainly take care  of our other needs also  —  in the way that is best for us spiritually.

Paul trusted God  while being beaten  and whipped,  imprisoned  and tortured,  on the run  from murderers,  hungry,  in dangers  on the sea,  and dangers  from false brethren.     His suffering  was not much different  from that of all the Old Testament prophets  or of Jesus Christ,  our Lord.     Other people  in Paul’s circumstances  might have been tempted  to complain,  lose faith,  or become bitter,  claiming God did not love them.

But,  because Paul  was assured  of Jesus’ victory  and resurrection,  he met  every temptation face on,  with the knowledge  that our victory  is in Christ Jesus.     We are not  to look  at only  the things  of this world  and put our hope  in earthly things.     These earthly things  will all  fail us.

When we put our faith  in the God  of gods,  Lord of lords,  and King of kings,  He alone  is able  to give us  the strength  to overcome  all temptations  and live victoriously  on this earth.     As we live  in Christ here,  we will be able  to live  with Christ forever  in heaven.     It is well worth the faith.

With Christ  by our side  and letting Him  be our strength  and hope,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  life here  is so much better  with You  at our side.     Thank You  for faithfully caring  for our earthly needs.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

 

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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