“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.” Psalm 119:9, NLT
“How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of Your Word.” Psalm 119:9, The Message
Follow the map! Read the instructions BEFORE you put it together. How many times have we heard these directives from others with lengthy sermons about what we should do? Maybe we need to include how with our should when teaching. We need MORE than reading God’s Word of directives. We cannot stay pure…alone. Paul said it best in admitting his own failures in staying pure…without power.
How do you stay pure?
Guided by God’s Holy Spirit, Paul writes in Romans, “I need something more!” Paul knew the law, backwards and forwards. He was a scholar but still struggled to obey all of it. He says, “I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to good, but I don’t REALLY do it, I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.” Romans 7, The Message
Have you ever felt this way? Of course you have. I have! The minute I decide to go on a diet, all I can think about is food. I become more obsessed with food the more I “diet” and think more of what I cannot have. It’s because my focus is on the wrong motive. If I think more about my health and what would please God, that desire lessens. But even then it is hard. As Paul laments, “The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.”
Romans 7, The Message
“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps.” Romans 7, Msg
THEN…HOPE COMES FOR ALL OF US!
“With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A NEW POWER IS IN OPERATION.” Romans 8, Msg (Emphasis mine.)
GOD SENT JESUS TO HELP US!
“God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In His Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.” Romans 8, Msg
THE POWER TO STAY PURE IS IN CHRIST!
“…simply EMBRACE what the Spirit is doing in us.”
“Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them–living and breathing God!” Romans 8, Msg
The Pharisees tried desperately to obey every detail of the law, even adding other laws to make sure they obeyed well. And where did that get them? They forgot the reason WHY and the heart to know WHO to obey. They were SELF absorbed and ranked all people according to how much education they had, how well they obeyed every particle of the law the way they understood it, as well as how important the person was in the community. But we don’t do that, do we? (Paul was formerly one of these…but repented.)
SO…The Solution is LIFE on God’s Terms
“Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.” Romans 8, Msg
“But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him.” Romans 8, Msg
“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!”
Dead to sin. ALIVE IN CHRIST! BY HIS POWER IN US…
“It’s adventurously expectant; greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?'”
“God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.” Romans 8, Msg
Yes, I have repented. I write this with great joy in my whole being for I have been healed.
Dear Heavenly Father, What’s next, Papa? We give our lives back to you as a humble offering of praise and willingness to focus fully on You and Your plan and purpose for us. We are Yours, Lord, everything You created us to be and do…we are yours! We have a never ending hope in You for You live in us. YOU have given us the POWER to stay focused and pure followers of Your law by Your Holy Spirit. Thank you. Just thank you. In Jesus Name, Amen
WOW. Just WOW!
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Wow is right! Thanks for your uplifting words! Thank you Jesus for your servants! Judy
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I know! Right? Bless you for reading and “getting it”. May God richly bless your life!