July 31, 2019

Confession is good for the soul but obedience is good for the conscience . . .

Today is the last day to look at Romans, and as I thought, time was too short. The book I’m using sums up the rest of Romans with this: “The Christian is . . .  to have proper relationships to other individuals (12:9–21), to government (13:1–7), to society (13:8–14), and to Christians who differ from him in personal scruples (14:1–15:13).” I’ve a feeling God would speak to me each of these sections so read them until He did. I didn’t have to go very far:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Romans 12:9–13)

In my words, this says: Do not fake an attitude of caring when I really don’t care. Watch out for an excessive interest in bad news forgetting to look for the good. Care for God’s family like I care for my physical family. If I want to be competitive, try to outdo others in showing respect! Don’t be lazy in my eagerness to follow Jesus yet do this in His spiritual power, not in my own strength. Remember that I’m serving Jesus, not my own agenda. Joy should be from what God has promised, not anything else including any personal achievements. I’m not to get irritated when life hands me lemons but trust God and endure whatever comes my way, praying all the time instead of trying to figure out what is going on and what I can do about it. Don’t worry about my own needs but look for ways to help others and take care of their needs. Open my home and my heart to whoever God puts in my path.

If I rated myself from one to ten, most of these things fall short of the half-way mark. I often fake it rather than rely on the Holy Spirit to make love genuine. I am drawn to read news with the worst headlines about evil stuff. Sometimes I do not have brotherly affection for my own brothers. I’m quick to disrespect others for the slightest reasons, am lazy and reluctant rather than zealous and fervent. I serve me too often and feel hopeless and joyless too often. I’m impatient, particularly when something needs fixing. Prayer is too often not my first solution or thought. I don’t meet needs because I keep myself uninformed so I don’t know about them, and having guests makes me feel exhausted.

Lord Jesus, as I write that, I realize that after many years of faith in You, I still have a long way to go. I know You have forgiven my sins. I also know that the Holy Spirit changes lives and change is my destiny. I need to read and reread these ‘apply’ sections of Romans, continue to confess how far I fall short, and be far quicker to be filled with Your Spirit so I can be what I am supposed to be. Amen.

Today’s thankful list . . .
Another long walk in perfect weather.
Getting some of the stuff off my to-do list.
Photos from our daughter.
Technology that works.
The ‘pause’ and ‘mute’ buttons on the remote.

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