Sunday, April 06, 2008

he gets it and He gets it

Give me any angsty female teenager and i'm right there in being able to identify with them... one of my first port of calls when I feel crap is to go to other people who also feel crap and have a good moan together. But, I've been trying lately to read my bible when I feel down instead of just dwelling in my misery with other distressed individuals. Anyway, who would have thought that I would find mutual understanding with a middle aged man who lived 2000 years ago.

Paul wrote this:
Romans 7:21-25 (the message version)
"21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. 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. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different."

I like this passage because I think Paul displays the desperation which is so common to everyone. Since every Christian should be striving to be more like Jesus, it is a real let down when we fall short of our own standards, let alone God's.


Romans 8:1&2 (NIV)

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death"

Isn't that awesome that because we believe in Jesus, we are no longer doomed on account of the times we slip up and sin. Guess it absolves Paul's (and our) guilt over what we've done wrong.

All through chapter 8 there is just message after message of hope:

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God
"16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

"26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness."

"28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[
j] who[k] have been called according to his purpose"

"If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"

I don't really know what quite alot of what Paul is on about in these chapters but what really matters to me is that when I feel down I can open my bible and find all these messages of hope and it just helps me realise that:
1) I'm not alone in my struggles
2) God's in control
3) God's gracious if we do slip up...

I love the way a bloke from 2000 years ago is able to sum up, in a few books what every Christian from the past 2000 years has felt at some point and I think it's incredible it applies to so many people, across all ages, genders and cultures. I guess I see now why people suggest reading the bible when you feel down!

And just to sum up, the words of a song which i feel is pretty apt.

In the Light DC Talk

I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from you
I am the king of excuses
Ive got one for every selfish thing I do

Whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a saviour

I wanna be in the light
As you are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, lord be my light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the light
All I want is to be in the light

The disease of self runs through my blood
Its a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control

Tell me, whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a savior

(repeat chorus)

Honesty becomes me
[theres nothing left to lose]
The secrets that did run me
[in your presence are defused]
Pride has no position
[and riches have no worth]
The fame that once did cover me
[has been sentenced to this earth]
Has been sentenced to this earth

Tell me, whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a savior

(repeat chorus 2x)

[theres no other place that I want to be]
[no other place that I can see]
[a place to be thats just right]
[someday Im gonna be in the light]
[you are in the light]
[thats where I need to be]
[thats right where I need to

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