Doctors, hospitals and medicines can be helpful, even lifesaving, when we are ill or don’t feel well but I am afraid that many rely too heavily on such for their good health. Good health requires a good diet, good exercise and a good lifestyle. When these things are neglected we are more apt to encounter bad health and will have a hard time recovering. Changing bad health habits for good health habits can often restore our good health without the usual treatments. The usual treatments have been known to cause many bad side effects, sometimes worse than the problems they are meant to treat. More attention needs to be given to the maintaining of good health that we might not only prevent illness but also improve our health.
It is a difficult passage, but the meaning is clear when we realize that he is talking about his struggle with sin before becoming a Christian. As a child, Paul did not know right from wrong and was not accountable to the law of God. He “was alive once without the law” (v. 9). After coming of age, he realized he was a law breaker and now under the condemnation of the law. The problem was not with the law; it was “holy and just and good” (v. 12). The problem was with Paul; he was a sinner (vv. 13-14).
Paul described his struggle as a sinner (vv. 15-23). He knew what the law said and knew that the law was good, but he stilled sinned. Sin dwelled in him. He was controlled by the flesh. Evil was present with him. So, he did what he did not want to do, what he knew he should not do, and he did not do what he wanted to do, what he knew he should do. His mind was taken captive by his flesh.
Young people are going to school. Parents are raising their kids. Many are working hard every day to make a living. The elderly are just trying to stay well and leave a legacy. We are all hoping to survive another day in an evil world.
But why do you do what you do? What is it all about? Who or what are you living for? If you were to sum up your life in one word, what would it be?
The apostle Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). Every Christian ought to agree with Paul when he wrote, “Christ, our life” (Colossians 3:4).
“With what shall I come before the LORD, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8)
Israel was commanded by God to offer sacrifices at the Temple altar on a regular basis. But He was not pleased with their many offerings. Even if they were to make the ultimate sacrifice by offering their own child to Him, He would not accept it. Why?
Are you feeling fatigued and overburdened? Everyone experiences sin, stress, grief, heartache, pain and misery. It can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible to overcome. There is often no relief and no escape.
Here is Jesus' invitation to you: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
“Jeff grew up in a Christian home in the West. He was involved in church and in a Christian youth group. During his teens, he had a crisis of belief and began a search for meaning and purpose. That search led him away from church and to a radical jihadist group.”
“Beyond going to church today and going to heaven later, Jeff’s Christian experience lacked a compelling vision that gave him the reason to wake up every morning. Jeff found this strong sense of world-changing mission, purpose, and challenge in the radical terrorist group."
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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