DayBreaks for 04/23/12 – We Still Don’t Believe It
Sorry I missed some posts this last week, folks…I was sick!
Romans 7:18-19 (NLT)
18 (NLT) And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
One of the most prevalent beliefs we humans have about ourselves is that we are really pretty good. Sure, we may talk humbly about ourselves (especially when we are in the church or around other Christians), but our actions belie our words. When we are left alone in our own minds and no one can see what we think, we tend to compare ourselves favorably with others, to think that we’re pretty decent people, that surely God must be proud of us.
What we are struggling with is illustrated by a story about a professor of preaching who would take his students out every semester to the cemetery. They would stand along the perimeter of the cemetery and the professor would ask his student to speak to the graves and call people to come forth. Usually, the students would look at each other rather incredulously, maybe chuckle a bit, but the professor insisted, and so with obvious embarrassment, they would do as request. They, of course, failed – miserably, every one of them. It was after they’d failed and looked rather sheepish, that the professor reminded them of the core truth of the gospel: people, like those corpses in the cemetery, are spiritually dead…and that it is only the words of God Himself that can bring life to spiritually dead humans.
Paul said that his sinful nature, tied to his flesh, was “nothing good” alive in there. We need to come to grips with the fact that we are NOT good people. Our most righteous acts are like filthy rags. There is not one of us who is good – for only God is good.
Our failure to grasp our inherent sinfulness, our dead and rotting spirit, is one of the reasons people find it hard to accept grace – they feel they don’t really need it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
PRAYER: Speak life into us, through Your Spirit put to death moment by moment our sinful natures that are contrary to the Spirit. Remind us of our great need for grace! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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