Friday, July 29, 2011

A Battle With Sin - Lessons from Romans

Struggling with Sin (Romans 7: 14-25)

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power[e] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

So.....basically this sums me up. What I want to do, I don't; and what I don't want to do, I do. When I read the footnotes in my NIV Bible, it became more clear to me. I do these things that I do not want to do, then feel terrible about them, then try to change, but always fall back into my sin. The problem is that I am trying to stop myself from sinning. I am a sinner. We all are. And the only way to be free from the power of sin is to turn to Jesus. He is the ONLY WAY. The footnote said, "Jesus Christ, who has conquered sin once and for all, promises to fight by our side. If we look to him, we will not have to give in to sin." There it is. I cannot do it on my own. I have proven this over and over again. Everything in my life needs to be committed to Him, His Will and His plan. EVERYTHING. He Promises to fight by my side. Can you hear this, Michelle? Jesus will fight this for and with you! Turn it over to Him. Even the things that seem to simple to give to a powerful God. Lest I forget that He already has control anyway. So, these areas that I continually fall into sin in are the very areas that I need to be taking before my Lord and Savior, hourly, maybe even minutely. God is faithful - He WILL keep His promises. In that I am very sure.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

So Much to Praise Over

I have had so much good new lately! I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be in this place at this time. Otherwise, I would have missed out on this excitement!

1. I had an opportunity to share Scripture with and pray over a friend who is really in need of God's grace. She is struggling with some MAJOR issues - and God is the ONLY answer.

2. I heard from another wonderful friend that he "may have said a prayer or two". Praise God! I have been praying for him for over 10 years and even though he thinks is doesn't mean much - it sure does! Praise God alone!

3. My momma has an interview! Now, while I hate that she has to work, I am so excited because since she HAS to work, this appears to be a very good fit for her. I pray for God's will in this situation (and every situation and second of my life) and that He will guide her in His path for her.

WOW!!! I am talking about some SERIOUS EXCITEMENT! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Photos courtesy of SleepyJean Photography

Friday, July 8, 2011

God's Love

Why do I have a hard time understanding God's love for me? It makes perfect sense when I look at my own children. They are not perfect - far from it - but I love them immensely. Why? I love them because they are mine. They are made in my image. I do not love them because of what they can do for me. I simply love them because they are. And....they love me because I love them. Yes, I provide for their needs, but I also discipline them. That is exactly how God's love works. We do not have to do anything. He loves us because we are made in His image - because we are His. He does not love us because we can do something for Him - He needs nothing we can give. Because of His great love for us - so great that He sacrificed His Son to pay the penalty for sins run rampant - we have no choice but to love Him. Oh, some people choose not to, but when I look at that I see nothing but loss. Think of it in terms of the parent-child relationship - and we see this way too often today. The parent that loves the child, provides for the child, disciplines the child, but the child doesn't like it - rather doesn't understand it - so they reject it and run away from it. It is the same way with God. People see (blindly) only the discipline - they forget about all God has provided and His immense love for us. They reject His sacrificed Son and run away from the one thing they need most. I have moved very far from where I was originally headed with this post - basically, looking at my relationship with my children helps me to understand God's unconditional love for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Speaking To Me

I really think that God is speaking to me. I have had something weighing heavy on my mind and heart. I have been praying about it. I have been praying God's will, but I have also been telling God the desire of my heart. Listed below are the Daily Bible Verses I get sent to me email.

July 2, 2011
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13 (NIV)

Good gifts given to those who ask.

July 3, 2011
For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. – Hebrews 9:24 (NIV)

Jesus appears before God on my behalf.

July 4, 2011
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:13-14 (NIV)

Ask in my name.

July 6, 2011
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. – John 15:7 (NIV)

Remain in me and ask.

July 7, 2011
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:5-6 (NIV)

Then we get to today, when I was praying over it again. The difference is I really feel that God is working it out. Then this morning I was almost doubting because it is such an amazing thing that I am expecting to take place. I almost feel arrogant to expect it, but then I feel that I am supposed to expect it. Are you confused yet? Yeah, me too. Then I get this DBV telling me to believe and not doubt. I REALLY feel that God is speaking to me. His word is alive and living and speaks to us all the time. I think the devil is trying to put the doubt in my mind to get me to doubt God. I know God is faithful. I know He is going to work in this situation for HIS GLORY. And that, I welcome with arms wide open. I love that I get to have a front row seat to all the God is doing in my life. I am also thankful that I can see that God's plans for me are the best. I am glad that He has opened my eyes.

I am an American Idol (in my dreams, that is)

Two nights ago, I had a dream that I won American Idol. I was up against a Chinese girl. They called me up to sing when it was not my turn, so I had to run through the back of the stage to get to where I needed to be to sing. Then the song I had to sing was one I had never heard of. So I did my best and slurred a lot of words. You can only imagine my surprise when they announced: " are........the next American Idol!" Then I woke up. Good grief - what a dream.

Back Talk

At breakfast the other day, Jacob was getting in trouble for talking back. All of a sudden Grant turns to me and says, "Don't talk to my brudder (brother) like that!" Well, hellllllllllo sassy mouth! Suffice it to say, he also got in trouble.

4th of July - for real

We spent the day at the pool. We swam, we ate, then we swam some more. It was perfect! Later that night we went to my parent's friends house for a spectacular fireworks display, up close and personal. The kids were a little nervous about being so close (and if their dad was there he would have been crazy), but they really enjoyed themselves.

4th of July Fireworks (on the 2nd)

Our family, Grandma, Doug, Edy, Madelyn and Delaney all went to the Walmart parkign lot to see fireworks. Greg had me very nervous that the fireworks were not going to happen, but we set up "camp" in the parking lot anyway. We had so many people stop by and ask us what we were doing. This only added to my worry that we had the date wrong. One time I told some people that we were having a family reunion and asked them to join us. They did not. We were in the parking lot at 8:45pm and the fireworks (yes they did happen!) did not start until 10:20pm. So, while we waited Greg and Doug played football with the kids. Grace and Madelyn cheered. And for a few moments Krystel, Mom and I experience peace and quiet while Greg and Doug took all 8 kids into Walmart. I am sure we looked interesting then - just the 3 of us in our lawn chairs, relaxing in the Walmart parking lot. We had a great night together and had fireworks going off to the north and the south of us. It was so much fun!