Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Isaiah 36:1-10 and Romans 7:13-25.
Romans 7:19 “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (NIV)
Let’s be honest, we all struggle with sin. All of us have a selfish habit or shameful secret in our lives. We try to deal with it and often come to God asking for forgiveness, understanding, and support. We look for His grace to allow us to start again; we seek His mercy to blot out our mistakes. Things go well for a while, but then we fall into the same old ways and sin again. It’s a recurring pattern and one that possibly frustrates us because we have failed to live up to our promises to God.
When I read today’s Bible verse, it made me realize that the great Apostle Paul struggled with sin and selfishness, too. He even confessed it to the young Roman church – a congregation that he was trying to impress! By admitting that he kept doing the wrong things, Paul was opening himself up to ridicule and shame. At the same time, however, he was also showing them that he was imperfect, a sinner in need of God’s grace, a fallen follower who required Christ’s help.
In a strange way, this personally gives me hope because an amazing leader like Paul can understand my struggle with sin, as well as the sins we are all struggling with each day.
In the end, Paul comes to God again and expresses his gratefulness for being permitted to confess his fault in order to receive grace. As he enthusiastically writes in the same letter to the Roman Christians,
“Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)
Point to ponder: What personal sin am I frequently and currently struggling with? Am I willing to sincerely confess my fault before God? Am I thankful for Christ’s grace?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we all make mistakes and fall short of God’s expectations. We all struggle with personal sins and reject opportunities to be and do good. Forgive our failures and help us to overcome our faults. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s Good Friday drawings called “Sin Bearer.” If you would like to view a larger version, click here.