Daily D – Romans 7:21
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. ROMANS 7:21 (NLT)
I think I am going to get a Born Loser tattoo.
Scratch that. Having looked up some tattoo stylings, and some tragic misspellings, I think I will maintain my unvarnished canvas. Also, I really do not like needles.
Romans 7 is the Born to Lose chapter in the Bible. Verse 21 is the thesis statement. This is a text to which, if we are honest, we can all say, “Amen.”
My complaint with Rom. 7 is most Bible reading plans, like the one I am using this year, stop at the end of the chapter. I very nearly jumped ahead to chapter 8 this morning for a little relief. Reliving lots of painful memories in chapter 7 makes me long for the good news of chapter 8. Alas, I will have to wait until tomorrow to read one of my favorite transition verses in the Bible: “So there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus,” (8:1).
Okay, so I did read on after all. Wouldn’t you keep reading if you knew the bad news was about to turn to great news?
Romans 8 starts strong and ends stronger. Whereas chapters 6 and 7 make me want to take a shower and join a monastery, chapter 8 makes me want to tell everyone the good news that our right-intentioned, wrong-outcomes lifestyle is not the end of the story. Or as Cornelius Plantinga masterfully entitled his book, Not the Way it is Supposed to Be, leads on to John Ortberg’s The Life You Always Wanted.
Our sinful behaviors and habits do not have to define us. That one-time awful experience years ago, that ongoing struggle, as vile and hurtful as they may be, can be washed away. Restoration, renewal, healing—salvation—is possible. Unlike wanting to do the right thing and still doing the wrong thing, God’s grace never fails. When he welcomes us into his family, he does so with loving forgiveness and complete restoration. He empowers us with the strength we need to untie the knots of our past. He makes it possible to close our eyes without reliving life’s most painful moments.
The world we live in may make us feel like born losers, but God wants us to experience rebirth into the ultimate win. So, if I ever do get a tattoo, it will say re:Born Winner. However, since I really do not like needles, this is never going to happen. However, it is tattooed across on my heart. I may do the wrong thing when I want to do the right thing from time to time, but that outcome is no longer inevitable. This is because I have done the most right thing ever. I asked Jesus for his saving grace. That is a right intention that never leads to the wrong outcome.
I will trust Jesus for saving and maintaining grace.
Our Father, thank you for your saving grace. Thank you for grace to make good decisions and to experience better outcomes than we naturally create. Thank you that the Bible not only tells it like it is, but tells us how it can be, and will be, by your grace. Make us people fully immersed and characterized by your grace. Amen.
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2 Timothy 2:3-6 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. (NLT)