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August 2020

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II Chronicles 6:12-8:10

32 "And when foreigners hear of you and your mighty miracles, and they come from distant lands to worship your great name and to pray toward this Temple, 33 then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. Then all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built bears your name.

The passage above from the sixth chapter has caused my heart to grieve. How many believers, their lifestyle their comportment, their countenance have drawn men and women to Christ. Have people looked upon us, upon me and declared, “She has been with Jesus? We Christians are suppose to be the light of the earth. Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in us in such a way that His Light, which is the only True Light, Jesus Christ, shine in us? Or have we shut down in such a way people think we are the tail light and not the head light?

Paul said, Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (1Co 3:16 NET.)

If the Old Testament is Jesus Christ concealed and the New, Christ revealed, then our bodies, the temple God has chosen to dwell in, should reflect with honor, power, mercy, grace and love the Light of Christ.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. (Mat 5:13 NET.)

I have to question what is going on in my life right now. Am I under attack because I am presenting the Gospel in all its glory, or have I been “thrown out” and the persecution I think I am experiencing is just folks walking on me?

Romans 7:14-8:8

Paul speaks of the internal strife I experience daily, the desire to do good verses the desire of the flesh to do what feels good. When I have that struggle a lot of the time, it seems that I am a spectator of my own struggles for good and evil. I’m outside of myself watching the back and forth battle to decide who will have control over me. When this conflict happens as long as I try to “fight” in my own strength, I fail miserable. When I call out to God and tell Him how weak I am to stand and fight in my own strength, I am empowered by something outside of me, which is the Holy Sprit, to walk away in victory.

I’m jumping the gun somewhat but in this struggle over sin we should never give up because the Victory has already been won by Jesus on the Cross,

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
(Rom 8:31-37 KJV)

Thanks be to God and glory to His Name, I am, “more than a conqueror.” He has made me victorious.

Psalm 18:1-15

Two verses astonished me in David’s Psalm, verses two and three. I continually see within today’s reading the protection, the edifice the victory that is wrought in dwelling in God’s Temple, being His Temple (my body) and living in His Temple.

The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
(Psa 18:2-3 AMP)

Thanks be to God who always causes me to triumph. (II Corinthians 2:14)

Proverbs 19:24-25

The first time I read the 24th verse I said to myself, “What does this mean.” Proverbs being proverbs I seem to “get it” after I have pondered over the passage for awhile and “awhile” can be several years.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and he will not even bring it back to his mouth!
(Pro 19:24 NET.)

Partial understanding of this came while I sat on a subway several years ago and watched a grown man stick his face into a food container and eat after having thrown on the floor of the car, the knife and fork, plastic though they were. While the sight froze me for a moment in disbelief, I heard in my spirit the words of Proverb 19:24. I didn’t immediately hear it and say, “Why that’s Proverbs 19:24,” but I knew that I was witnessing a partial, and I do mean partial, explanation and or understanding of what it means to be lazy and what it looks like.

Romans 7

If there is a choice, I would rather you read Bob Deffingbaugh's commentary on this section than anything I write. If you do not have much time - at least read the Conclusions. It is a powerful commentary.

Paul has talked about Christians not going back to obey the Law - "shackles" to a saved soul. And that the Law is good, it is sin that is evil and our "flesh" that is weak.

Romans 7:14-25

Struggling With Sin (The War within a Saved Soul)

Boy, this chapter has been tough. It has been hard to focus, and did not want to write - because of this section.

Earlier Paul talked about Salvation, and how when saved we are no longer at war with God. But one war seems to have been exchanged for another. Now within the Christian is a war with sin.

The "I DO" Verses

So tough to read. I can understand each sentence individually, but when read in toto (vs. 14-20), I find it hard to maintain the thread of thought. (Plan on re-reading it each day for awhile, until it flows.) Paul (and we as Christians) want to do good, but keep(s) on sinning. Huh? I thought we had the "new man". What is Paul talking about?

Nestled in the middle of the paragraph, are the two truths that devastate me. I knew of one, then just realized the second tonight.

Vs. 18
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." NIV

1) There is no good in my old nature ("flesh").
2) There is no power in my new nature.

I knew the first, sin has a "base of operations" in my "flesh" (old nature), and it is working overtime. Satan would like nothing better than to discredit a Christian. He may have lost that soul, but by discrediting the Christian, he believes he can stop the geometric spread of Christianity. Sin is Satan's WMD.

The second reminded me of a question awhile back. We have the new nature - the "new mind", but why isn't Paul experiancing the "abundant blessings of the Holy Spirit? Why all this failure? At this point, it seems it is because of the "I"'s.

"..but I cannot carry it out"

I (you) cannot do it. The "new man" is like a bomb, it has to be "armed" before it can be utilized. The "believer" is not qualified to do this, it must be "armed" by another. We can sit there all day long atop an "inert bomb" and we will be trampled by sin. We are not only not qualified to "arm" it, we are not qualified to "utilize" the bomb. We must depend on another.

"Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (sin and the old nature).

["When Paul describes this body of death, some commentators see a reference to ancient kings who tormented their prisoners by shackling them to decomposing corpses. Paul longs to be cut free from the wretched body of death clinging to him." - David Guzik]

The answer: "Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

and on to the next chapter..... :)

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