Make No Provision

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Romans 13:14 (ESV)

This week I have been meditating and focusing my thoughts on this verse from Romans where Paul sums up his teaching on how love is the fulfillment of the law. I was leading a small group through the larger passage of verses 8-14 and we spent a good amount of time discussing what this verse looks like in our lives as we seek to not only put on Jesus but to make no provision to gratify our fleshly desires. This really is a double requirement in life as it would be difficult to have one and not the other. How can we put on Christ, but continue making provision for sin? How can we stop making provision for sin, if we are not putting on Christ? Paul’s encouragement and challenge is to do both at the same time. For as we put on Christ, we will necessarily want to rid ourselves of those fleshly desires and no longer seek their gratification.

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Holy Mindset

Journal Entry // July 16, 2022

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (ESV)

Romans 12:12

This morning was one of those Bible reading times where I came across a verse that made me completely stop everything else and simply focus on what I just read. Eleven simple words that pretty much sums up the antidote to my current malaise. I have been struggling for quite a while with a lot of self-doubt, a lot of worry, a lot of guilt, a lot of anger, a lot of fear, a lot of shame, a lot of despair. It’s like my mind is stuck in this rut that I simply cannot get out of and the same patterns keep occurring and weighing me down. I lose hope and depression sinks in. But this verse challenged me this morning and is a great reminder of the power of Christ in my life.

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From, Through, To

Journal Entry // July 15, 2022

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV)

Romans 11:36

All things… Not just the things we can see. Not just the things we want to ascribe. Not just the immeasurable number of natural phenomena that are beyond human control. All things. There is nothing in all of life that is exempt from this description of God’s sovereign control. From the most distant atom in the farthest galaxy, to the sun rising upon the earth again and again, to the seeming moments of coincidence and randomness. Nothing is outside the perfect loving hand of the Creator. For each and every moment, each and every circumstance is from him and through him and to him. Why? For his glory alone!

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Wrong Comparisons

Journal Entry // July 5, 2022

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Romans 8:18

Comparison is a dangerously deceptive mindset that is all too easy to find ourselves stuck in as we continue on this journey throughout life. The message of the gospel and the message from the beginning of creation has always been the same when dealing with comparison in your life… There is no room for comparison in the life of following Christ. Yet, I find it so easy to compare myself and my situation to others. Jealousy and covetousness find easy pathways to my heart more often than I would like or care to admit. But really, there is one true deep comparison that has taken root within me. That is the comparison of my current life to that life that my mind creates and builds up within me. This “secret” alternate life that is constantly forcing me to compare my current situation against this mythical alternate reality that blooms inside my head.

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Reign of Sin

Journal Entry // June 30, 2022

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. (ESV)

Romans 6:12

I so often forget the truth of this passage. I allow sin to linger in my thoughts, in my mind, and eventually it takes root in my heart. Once it takes root and I stop battling and fighting for obedience and righteousness in my heart and soul, then sin is allowed to reign. Sin takes up residence and I begin to obey its passions. I begin to lose myself in the slavery of following after those sinful passions and I forget about the freedom I have in Christ. As sin reigns in my mortal body, it makes me obey its passions because I continue to allow it to thrive and flourish in the depths of my heart.

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Abounding Grace

Journal Entry // June 28, 2022

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, (ESV)

Romans 5:20

Grace abounded all the more… It seems so paradoxical to think that the giving of the law was brought in to reveal and expose sin, thus increasing our knowledge and understanding of sin. The law exposes the lies of sin and we can better see the reign of sin in our life. It seems so bleak to think about the severity and pervasiveness of sin in my life and in the world. It is everywhere and it appears overwhelming at times.

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Riches of Kindness

Journal Entry // June 23, 2022

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (ESV)

Romans 2:4

Gods’ kindness is meant to lead me to repentance. This is something I truthfully don’t think that often about. In all honesty, I am much like Paul’s statement here that I presume upon the amazing kindness of God in my life. His kindness that is meant to expose my falsehood and unbelief and then naturally lead me to repentance and faith, this same kindness I twist and turn to my own selfishness and allow it to puff me up with pride and arrogance. Worse than that I allow myself to see the kindness of God and view it as confirmation that the Lord is pleased with the current state of my heart and then use it as an encouragement to keep carrying on in my ways, instead of letting his kindness expose the darkness within and be drawn to the beauty of Christ.

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