For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Romans 7:19
I just finished three hours of hard work in our backyard. Autumn leaves had deluged our lawn. I raked and bagged more leaves than I care to count. I mowed the lawn to get any remaining leaves. Now I sit exhausted looking out the window. Already a few leaves dot the backyard. And the front yard, which I cut yesterday, sports a carpet of more leaves. When will the cycle ever end?
I can’t help but think of Paul’s struggle with sin described in Romans 7: “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” He adds, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death” (Romans 7:24). When will the cycle ever end?
We share Paul’s struggle. Our spiritual nature wants to do right and avoid what is wrong, but our sinful flesh leads us astray. We feel helpless. We rake leaves and bag them, but they just keep coming back like a nightmare. With Paul, helpless on our own, we cry out, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” When will the cycle ever end?
Paul answers his own question, “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). God’s Son has set me free from the cycle of sin and death. The law could not free me. But Christ paid the full price for the sin of the world. He is our Righteousness. Therefore we are controlled not by our sinful nature but by the Spirit of God. We live by the Lord’s power, and so we can defeat sin in our lives every day.
I look out the window and know that while the battle with the leaves will last yet for another week or so, I will win the victory because these dead leaves are almost gone. And I thank God that He likewise has put sin to death and will give me the victory in my daily struggle.
PRAYER: Dear Father, help me win daily victories over sin through the victorious power of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)
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