You Can’t Save Yourself!

March 31, 2010 6:14 AM
Scripture: Psalm 49:7 No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him–
8 For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever–

Observation: What I see this passage saying is this – You can’t save yourself, so stop trying. It’s too costly and you’ll never be able to afford it. The ransom is too great. In fact, it cost God his life….

Application: I, like nearly everyone, need to be continually reminded of God’s grace. I cannot win my own salvation by somehow doing enough evangelism, giving enough money to the church, seeking even to read my Bible every day (that should be about building a relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit I cannot win salvation by doing enough good deeds. I can never be good enough to get to heaven.

I can’t pay my own ransom, I must let it be paid by Jesus.

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Self Control is Hard, but Good!

March 24, 2010 5:57 am
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Observation: Paul has just made the case, seeming to defend his own actions, that he is an apostle, he deserves to be paid, have a wife, and be treated like all the rest of the apostles. It’s almost as if he’s looking for affirmation from people who aren’t giving it. Then he goes on to state, that is NOT what he’s looking for, but rather that he’s seeking to be self-controlled in ALL things.

Application: Self-Control is one of the hardest things. It is not played out well in our society except in the area of sports. PEople aren’t self-controlled in the area of food, work, time spent with people/friends/family. They aren’t self-controlled or disciplined in their direction in life. We tend to operate under the line: “If it feels good, do it.”

Of course these leads to obesity, sexual promiscuity, STDs, and simply put, pure, unadulterated selfishness and greed.

One of my life core values is: “Discipline will get me where I want to go.” But that has been a hard journey. I’m not naturally inclined towards self-discipline. Both of my parents taught me to treat myself in different areas – which meant I was out of control in every area, not just some. And through the sports mentality, Tae Kwon Do, I learned self-control and discipline. I’ve been able to apply it to my own life in the spiritual quest and over the last 20+ years have seen some amazing growth patterns in me. PTL!

There have been times that I don’t want to be that way – disciplined. There have been times when I am not that way – self-controlled. I’m usually sorry for not following through later. My stomach hurts, I feel fat and lazy, or I’m just not getting anything done.

Today’s reading in the LIFE Journal is simply a reminder that I need to stay the course. Run in such a way as to get the prize! Don’t run aimlessly, don’t run without a goal, don’t run for fifth place – run with self-control to get the prize.

Yes, that’s me – and Paul’s closing statement is so apropos to me – you would hate to win the world for Jesus Christ and yet lost your own soul because you couldn’t control your whims.

Prayer: Lord, lead me on this journey, please. Continue to lead me down the path of self-control. I should not, cannot not go down the road of self-indulgence in any way shape or form – in sugar, lust, sexuality, anger, leadership, rebellion, etc. Please continue to lead me.

I submit to you, Lord. I submit to you and pray you will keep leading me and keep directing me. I pray for the Holy Spirit. I pray you will lead me down that journey with the Holy Spirit. I ask you to fill me and change me and make me like you. Please come into my heart, Lord. Please come and make me like you.

I went back to using the Pareto Principle last night. And I know that you are leading me now. Please give me some direction, Lord. Please help me to stick to my tasks. I ask you to guide me each step of the way. Please fill me.

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