My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes, Revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
November/December 2013 Issue – ‘Love Came to Bring us Home’
Today’s text for reading and meditation:
Romans 6:15-23 (NIV): ‘What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
Selwyn provides us with some excellent advice in today’s study – the main point is to avoid those situations (places or people), where we know that our will to avoid temptation is at its lowest level.
He writes: ‘Yesterday I said that Jesus is able to help us curb the desires that come from our corrupt nature, but there are things we must do as well. We will only make progress in overcoming our own nature when we realise that we cannot trust it.
It is tremendously important to keep a safe distance whenever you sense the temptation to become involved in something unhelpful to you. … We sin because we want to – never forget that.‘
As I have mentioned on previous occasions – the love, our Lord has for each one of us – is a very active love. His Spirit is always with us – guiding us, on our journey. Selwyn’s advice (above) is to avoid those situations, which we know will appeal to our sinful nature; and, we don’t have to guess what those situations are – God has not left us to struggle with these issues – like orphans without family – He will help us to recognise dangerous situations. It’s our responsibility to keep a safe distance from areas of temptation.
Always hold firm to the truth – if you love Jesus, you will demonstrate your love by obeying His teaching. Remember, that through His love (as seen, by His death for you, on the cross) – you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life’.
As Selwyn mentions, in today’s world, God’s original design is being compromised, in many different areas – you will stand out from the crowd if you follow His footsteps to holiness – and, for many in my Western culture, that’s now a very challenging lifestyle.
To Follow Jesus, Shayne McCusker, 2013