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Focus Verses: Romans 2:13; 21-23
13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. - - - 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?
It is not enough for me to hear God's law, or understand it, or teach it, or proclaim it. It is a path to walk and a life to be lived. This obedient life is not possible, however, without God's grace. The Christian life is not one of trying to earn God's love or winning approval through obedience to laws. Rather, it is looking to Christ for the forgiveness, healing, and resurrection power I need to live a life that honors God.
Righteousness cannot be achieved through human strength or resolve, so those who do become righteous have nothing to brag about. The Law exposes my failure and the futility of trying to be righteous in my own strength. The grace of God reaches out to me in my weakness and makes it possible for me to be renewed, empowered, and transformed by his Spirit into the Christ-shaped person he wants me to be.
Response and Action:
I will not put my hope in a moral code, in knowledge, or in my own strength. While I recognize God's call to live in truth and righteousness, I also recognize that I cannot live that way without God's help. I need God's grace, his guidance, and the strength of the Holy Spirit. Righteousness comes by faith in Christ Jesus who makes God's grace and Spirit available to me.
I will seek God with my whole heart. I will be attentive to God's presence and learn to live by faith--relying on the strength and guidance of the Spirit. I will press on to take hold of the life that comes through faith in Christ. I will pursue every means to be shaped and led by God.
O God, teach me your ways and show me your path. I want to be more than a hearer and a knower; I want to be a doer of the word. Help me, through faith, to do the good things you have prepared for me to do. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Philippians 3:7-9
7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Why Sin Matters: The Surprising Relationship between Our Sin and God's Grace
by Mark R. McMinn