August 1

TODAY IS…

the day to stop making excuses and recognize the power of sin.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”  Romans 7:15 NIV

For many of us, the ability to make excuses is far greater than we should be comfortable with.

How often have we cried out, or thought, the same thing that Paul wrote in his letter of introduction to the Romans. Yet, even knowing that we are weak and the power of sin and the pull of temptation are strong, we will often try to make excuses for our behavior.

We can almost see satan’s footsteps as he leads us into temptation, helps us to succumb to the power of sin, and then tries to cover up his tracks as he slips away by helping us to make excuses.

Paul’s cry is not an isolated one. It is the cry of Christians everywhere, and it is important that we all understand that it takes strength to admit that we are weak, and the strength to do that comes from our relationship with God.

Each one of us conducts daily battles with temptation. Some of them are small and don’t present us with much difficulty. Others can be enormous and cannot be faced alone. Human willpower is not enough for prolonged exposure to temptation. The power of sin and the one who holds power over sin is quite simply more than we can face alone. That is why God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit to call upon to help us resist. The power of the Holy Spirit takes our desire to do the right thing and turns it into the power to actually do it.

Even though Jesus died on the cross to free us from sin, we are still subject to temptation, just as He was.

“Then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1 NASB).

Time after time, satan tempted Jesus, and each time, Jesus used His relationship with God to resist.

“Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” (Matthew 4:11 NASB).

It is important to remember that even though Jesus is the Son of God, He was also flesh and blood like us. At the time that He faced satan, He was tired, hungry, and alone. These are all situations in which we are weak and susceptible, and we can always count on satan to try to capitalize on our weakness.

It is not enough to simply say, “We must be strong.” We must look to God for help to be strong and we must rely on the Holy Spirit to remind us from within that it is not sin that makes us happy. It is the goodness that we get from God that does that.

We can make excuses if we want to but it is better to recognize the power of sin and call upon God to help us resist the temptation that leads us there.

*******

Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson

About Tony Casson

" For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
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