“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;”
It’s amazing to me how true the bible is. I’ve been drawn to Romans 5 like a moth to light, completely enamored by the energizing message it contains. I’m sure you have had the same experience with your bible. One time it will be this passage; another time it will be that. All the while, one is reminded how some passage over there is related and supports and affirms the first. It’s all interconnected, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
Even so, we have choices. We can bathe ourselves in the promises of God, or we can basically ignore them. I don’t like to admit this, but I spend too much of my time aware of the promises yet not engaging them. It’s really quite ridiculous to think I could be like that, especially when I am currently “in the groove.”
Our home church just got done with Deuteronomy which is basically Moses final instructions and recap in the month or so before he died. Chapters 28-30 are especially powerful in that he outlines blessings and curses as well as offering forgiveness for repentance. He ends that section with this passage that you are most likely familiar with:
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
This is just as applicable to us, today, as it was to the Israelites at that time. They were standing before the Promised Land. So are we. They had a choice between life and death. So do we. The blessings and curses are just as applicable to us as it was to them. In case you haven’t read these lately, I recommend you take some time to read Chapter 28.
Now, we know that those of us who are in Christ will escape the wrath of God (Romans 5:9-10, for example). Even so, sin is so caustic, that we who are saved will still be harmed by simply brushing against us. We have armor to protect us from attack, but we have no protection when we flirt with disaster. Sin always comes with a price.
The good news is that we don’t have to keep wandering in the desert. We have a choice. I have a choice. It seems to me that my struggle with sin has been my own choosing. The promises are there. Once I make the choice and actually do something about it, I start to enjoy life again. I have sin to conquer and promises that God WILL keep. I will benefit beyond imagination when I choose life. Yes, there is life and death within the eternal life I already have been guaranteed. I have eternal life, yes, but I can still feel the pain of death when I sin. I can still choose life within life.
This denying myself isn’t easy, but I know it is worthwhile because I am already seeing the benefits from the promise in Romans 5.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
On Sunday, we prayed that we would be given opportunities to share the gospel. I had one yesterday, and it was such a pleasure to share with him what God has done for me. We have similar backgrounds, so we were able to talk the same language, so to say. I look forward to God opening more doors, perhaps even again today. This suffering that I am experiencing through my denial to indulge myself is giving me cause to rejoice as I am gaining endurance, character, and hope. I simply want to share that hope with others.
Father, thank you. I desire to share this joy and hope with others. Open doors and make opportunities. This is a sweet spot for me. Keep me close. I’m prone to wander, especially when things are going well. Holy Spirit, keep tabs on me. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers