Struggling with sin
Today's daily devotion is based on Romans 7:18, where we read of Saint Paul's struggle with living a Christian life. "For I desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out."
Paul does not mean that we are incapable of doing some good things. He is talking about living a life that is in harmony with God; to be like God in devotion and compassion. Like Paul, we cannot do it alone no matter how hard we try. Our sinful nature is our great misfortune. This nature makes it impossible for us to reach God in the way we consider most natural; by altering ourselves, we stop doing what is wrong and start doing God's will. Living the life that God desires must come from outside of us.
The good news is that we have a Lord we love because he loves us, forgives us, saves us, and becomes our most intimate friend. We are thus changed, set aside to be, as Martin Luther once wrote, "little Christs." This is not a condition, not a reward, but an outcome of God's love toward us.
Please pray with me, Lord; I thank you for the beautiful thing you did when you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth so we can be declared righteous before you. I am far from being righteous, so I give you all praise and thanksgiving for this gift. Please help me to live a more God-pleasing life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.