Daily Devotional – Tuesday July 4 2006
Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.
Greetings on this National Holiday and I wish God’s blessing for you. As a Canadian living in this great Country for many years, I have always been impressed by the patriotism and great pride in Country I see. This nation has grown and prospered as a unique community where most feel secure and protected. I am sure the Roman Jews in Paul’s time also felt secure and protected within their unique community. I can image how difficult it would have been for them when Paul and others told them that Jesus Christ offers them a better community. Paul had to promote the new “life in the Spirit” without trashing the old “life in the flesh”
Today’s reading from Romans is a brilliant example of how God inspired him to do this. The fact that the law only applies during one lifetime or can apply to a specific set of circumstances would be a difficult concept for them. The example of a widow’s ability to marry illustrates this very well. He also suggests what we know very well, that strict adherence to laws will breed behavior aimed at going around the law to satisfy our human nature.
Paul is careful not to represent the law itself as sin. He turns it around to show how the law is essential to identify sin. The law is therefore holy, righteous and necessary. Just as Jesus died in the flesh he also died to the law. His rebirth in the spirit takes us beyond the law. This is very relevant to me as I look back at my slow and often painful conversion. It was only when I accepted that God has given me a spiritual nature that I was able to see Jesus face to face. Right relationship with God is not just adherence to right actions and good deeds but is belief and faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Happy 4th of July.
John Dickie, July 4 2006