"I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can't. I do what I don't want to - what I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. But I can't help myself... It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things."
Guess who wrote that? The great Apostle Paul! But he continued writing about the answer we all need.
He wrote, "my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! I has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free" (Romans 7:15, 16, 25b).
Only God can change us. We may try to stop doing things we know are wrong and have some success. But the minute a strong temptation comes we give in and do what we swore we would never do again.
There are people in our life who rub us the wrong way. Nearly everything they do irritates us. We may resolve and even pray for God's help in putting up with them. But we don't even like them much less love them, and they won't just "go away." It may seem like they are our "cross" to bear. How can we change the way we act or react to irritating people and situations and be "good."
God can change us and He did it when He counted us present and put us in Christ when He was crucified. Now it is our turn to live in this glorious truth by counting yourself as "united with Him in His death." Recognize "that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:5-7).
The old person we were before we were born again was crucified. Count on that fact and stop struggling to be good. Yield the "new you" to God's control. You will think differently as you read and study God's Word. Make it a part of your daily diet for it is your spiritual food. And you must "feed" your new nature with the Word.
Your body needs food three times a day to stay strong and healthy. Your spiritual nature also needs food. Jesus said, "I am the bread of Life." Everything He said is "food" that nourishes our soul and spirit. He will transform us from the inside out as we take in the Word by reading, studying and hearing it taught.
Memory Verse: "Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2)
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that we have the Bible and can know you better when we read it. I pray for Christians in other parts of the world who don't have Bibles and ask that they will be given one through the many organizations who do this. I especially pray for believers who live where there is hostility to our Lord Jesus Christ.
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