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Read |Romans 6|
I listen to music every day. I listen with the kind of attention born of great expectation--I'm going to hear something beautiful today. I'm going to hear something that just might make my life a measure more lovely. I am serial listener. A song resonates with the season I am in and it is the only song I will listen to until the season passes. And it never gets boring. With each cycle of sound through my ear I hear anew. It's a kind of meditation. I find this to be my experience with reading God's Word. Even if I have read and studied the same passage, over and over again, there is always something new. There is a call to go deeper. It's truly miraculous! However, sometimes the call is not to go deeper, but to remember. Today, I received such a call, as I read Romans 6. I was called to remember that my life is intertwined with His. That when I read of His journey from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave and from the grave to the sky, I am actually reading my journey--what has passed and what I know is to come. I can read and say, "Me too!" And this declaration of truth has great power. The sound of it reverberates in my spirit and encourages me to choose as God has chosen for me--a life lived under His righteousness.
Today, I invite you to remember with the meditational images below:
Scripture: "Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call!" (Romans 6: 6 - 7, MSG).
Reflection: When we believed in our hearts that Christ was risen from the dead and confessed with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, we were saved (Romans 10: 9). We were made a part of Him--in His death and resurrection. In being made a part of His death our old selves, rebellious against God, were killed. In being made a part of His resurrection we were given new life by the power of God--having His Holy Spirit to guide and empower us to live a life committed to God and free from the dominion of sin.
Beloved, do you feel haunted by your past choices? Do they replay in your mind? If they do, be encouraged that the Word of God is true, even when you can't feel it. The old has passed and behold all things are new. (2 Corinthians 5: 17). You are not the same person you were before giving your life to Christ. You never have to worry about being that person ever again. You belong to God and He will give you the power to live in your new identity. (Galatians 2: 20).
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me Jesus Christ. Thank you for the gift of faith. Thank you for raising me from the death unto life in Jesus Christ. Thank you for what Jesus' finished work on the cross means for me. Thank you that it means that I am no longer bound to repeat the same old ways. It means that I have a future, fueled by your Spirit's power. I thank you for these truths and receive them in Jesus' name, amen.
Scripture: "We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us." (Romans 6: 9 - 10, MSG).
Reflection: Jesus Christ died, but He did not stay dead. No! God the Father lifted Him up from the grave--a miraculous and very public display of His approval. The penalty for all sin has been paid. The verdict: there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8: 1 - 4). Instead, there is life and life and life and life! At the moment of our belief we became a part of Him. His finished work became our own, so that in both His dying and victory over death each of us could say, "Me too!"
Beloved, if you find yourself in a cycle of sin, do not believe the lie that it is your end. More--so much more--is available to you in Jesus Christ. Confess your sins and He will forgive you. (1 John 1: 9). Turn to Him and find rest for your weary soul. (Matthew 11: 28). Invite His power to do, what you are unable to do in your weakness. (2 Corinthians 12: 9 - 11).
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the blood of Jesus that is applied to my case. Thank you that it washes away all of my sin. Thank you that I am not only freed from the penalty of sin, but liberated to live the abundant life by your Spirit. Father, help me to trust in your power to live my new life in you. Forgive me of all my sins and cleanse me from unrighteousness, in Jesus' name, amen.
Scripture: "From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did." (Romans 6: 11, MSG).
Reflection: Beloved, because Jesus' conquering Spirit lives in us, we can conquer too! (2 Timothy 1: 7). We must believe what He has said to be true, even if we feel otherwise. We are His creation. We belong to Him! And we were made to do the things which He prepared in advance for us to do--the good things. (Ephesians 2: 10). We are His sheep who hear and follow His voice. (John 10: 27 - 28).
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Thank you for the victory that I now have in Jesus over sin and death. Help me to remember, and know even more fully, what you have accomplished and how it has changed my life. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for giving me a new and permanent identity as your child. I chose to believe everything you have said about me. I am yours. It is your voice my heart longs to hear. I will say yes, to your will for my life, day by day. In Jesus' name, amen.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.