Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Can You See Her?

LadyCardinal
She’s a blur of feathers in front of my car’s mirror.  She’s supposed to be paying attention to a couple of male cardinals flitting around the tree, but every once in a while she leaves them to hover and peck at the interloper.

She must have caught sight of movement when she flew by the mirror and now, instead of preparing her home for her children, she’s fighting against the interloper who might take away their attention. She’s lost track of her goal.

That’s sort of what happens to us, and one of the reasons several of our church members asked for Pastor to set up a revival.  We’d lost track of our goals and needed a strong reminder.  It became too easy for us to know what we should do, and not do it.  We needed to focus on Paul’s reminder that we all have a similar problem:

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (Romans 7:15 KJV)

Paul is talking about the law, knowing the law, intending to follow the law, but not following it. 

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (Romans 7:18 KJV)

Depending on ourselves will NOT get the job done.  Oh, we want to – just as with Paul, the desire to good is present with us.  It’s the performance part we need to change.  Just as with the lady cardinal, whose instincts tell her to build a nest, prepare for her children and raise the next generation – we’re distracted with things that are only a reflection of reality.  Our attention is drawn elsewhere.

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Romans 7:19 KJV)

Paul repeats the thought from verse 15 – emphasizing that we know the difference between good and evil, we just don’t live that difference.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (Romans 7:20 KJV)

We’ve been taught how to get rid of those sins.

And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. (Matthew 9:2 KJV)

Now, that was considered blasphemy! According to Jewish law, only God can forgive sins.  There are specific rituals, written in The Law, specific requirements that must be done.  Yet, here’s a man, a mere man, who says the words God should say – then tells them why:

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6a KJV)

We need to revive that knowledge in our hearts. We need to give thanks, as Paul did, for Jesus Christ.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 7:24-25a KJV)

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