Romans 6:1-11 - What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Another Christmas season has come and gone. Our New Year's Day celebrations are now more than a week old. I find it pretty much a rule that after the buzz of Christmas and New Year's Day has come and gone there's a bit of melancholy that sets in. The good cheer and hopeful anticipation for the new year has had a chance to fade, and the real matter of living gets back to its normal routine.
That's where the rubber meets the road, isn't it, especially for the Christian—the normal routine? As we reengage with our colleagues in the workplace, how does our living reflect the gift of the Savior we have just finished celebrating? As we head out on the road, how quickly do we find ourselves silently (or not so silently) laser beaming drivers to oblivion? Is it possible for the light from Bethlehem's star to illumine our lives with the hope and joy of the Savior beyond the last Christmas carol heard and the last goodbye to visiting family and friends?
It's easy to take for granted the new life we have been given in Christ. How often the world suffocates our desire to live a life that's pleasing to God. How often it leaves us with nothing but junk. "Think! Think!" I urge myself, looking for some internal resolve against old habits and knee-jerk reactions. "Watch out for the landmines and the dodgy situations! Do the right thing!" you might say to yourself.
But even as we slip and slide through life, blowing it here, fumbling it there, God loves us. He knows our weaknesses and shortcomings, our secret sins and indefensible excuses, and He loves us anyway. Jesus is proof of that. He "came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10b)—and that includes you, and that includes me. And by His death and resurrection, He has given us newness of life.
And what better knowledge than this can we have in the new year?
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the new life You have given us in Your Son. May our lives glorify Him—the One who came to save us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. What's the hardest part about making resolutions "stick" in your life?
2. Do you walk in "newness of life" better some days than others? What makes the difference?
3. When you so something wrong or foolish, how does God see you through?
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