Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011 … Yielding to God

Passage of the Day: Romans 6: 11 – 14 [note passage in bold/underlined] … 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. 10 The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

My Journal for Today:
In this October study on sin, John MacArthur, from Strength for Today, has helped me to review the Apostle Paul’s passion for believers to “know” (see Rom. 6: 3, 6, 9) God’s truth and to “count [ourselves]” as being truly dead to sin and alive in Christ. And I have seen that we do that by our choices, as we read in today’s passage of emphasis. Paul says that this understanding and belief in the truth of Christ’s victory over sin must ultimately lead Christians to “offer” the parts of our bodies as instruments of righteousness under God’s grace. This, may remind you, as it did me, of Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12: 1 – 2, where the Apostle declared that believers become a “living sacrifice” with a life of living worship, being transformed by the renewing our or minds into Christlikeness. “Living sacrifice” is a 24/7 life of worship to our God which requires a life of choice after choice after choice, … action after action after action, which honor God with our lives.

We can also read the Apostle Peter, who echoed Paul’s teaching, as in 1st Peter 2: 11 he wrote, “Dear friends (i.e., my fellow Christians), I urge you, as aliens and strangers in this world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” And Paul, with another thought in scripture, exhorting the believers in Corinth (and therefore, by extension, you and me) that the only way to avoid sin in this way was to discipline ourselves in our beliefs, like soldiers [see 1st Cor. 9: 27], i.e., to become effective warriors, wearing God’s full armor in the spiritual battles we face daily [see another passage inspired for all believers - Eph. 6: 10 – 18].

As MacArthur puts it, we have to surrender our choices to God’s will for others to confirm that we are believers and followers of Christ. As I’ve heard other say in observing a fellow Christian’s behavior, “I can see he’s (or she’s) as Christian by the fruit on their tree.” And as MacArthur writes to us Christian believers in his devotional today, “Yield to sin and experience chastening and sorrow; (or) yield to God, and experience joy and blessing.”

Choices!! … To me that’s a no-brainer choice. But I see so many of my fellow Christian warriors being felled in battle by choices which allow our enemies (Satan and the world) to pick them off like shooting fish, … BIG fish, … in a very small barrel.

My Prayer Today: Lord, I seek Your will; and I choose Your Way !!! Shine Your light brightly on my path as You have today through Your word. Amen

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