Thanks Be To God Through Jesus Christ Our Lord

We please God most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms.  A.W. Tozer

 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want ... Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from  the body of this death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! ... (Rom. 7:18-19, 24-25a)

 The reality of the good that we were designed for at creation and so desperately long to experiential know has got nothing to do with our own ability to bring it about.  The Apostle Paul made this patently obvious in the above passage stating that he could not, by his on determination bring about the good which he longed for.  If the man whom Christ used to face imprisonment, stoning, and shipwreck as well as write at least 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament say’s he can’t in and of himself bring about the good he wishes for his life then why would any of us think that by insisting on our own self dedicated effort to be like Jesus could achieve what Paul could not?

 “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).

 We who are true believers in Christ have no problem believing that there is nothing good in and of ourselves that can bring about our salvation.  Therefore, we have put our faith in Christ trusting Him for  His finished work in death, burial and resurrection to bring about the reality of His salvation for us.  But do we realize that this life that we could only enter into by faith in Christ can only be walked in and matured in by faith in Christ?  “Therefore as you have  received Christ Jesus the Lord, so  walk in Him,” (Col. 2:6)

 When I was a teenager I got into a very bad automobile accident.  To make a long story short I was found at fault and given the ticket.  Because of my age and this being my first offense I was required to appear before the judged.  My dad asked me if I wanted him to go with me to which I replied, “no I can take care of this myself”.   I remember dad being a little taken back my response but he didn’t push it with me and simply let me deal with it my own way.

 On the court date I drove down town and while approaching the Court House I noticed that there were several people my age already in line outside waiting for the doors to open.  Obviously this was the day that the court scheduled all the teenagers who had committed traffic violations to appear before the judge.  As a matter of fact several were friends of mine and even one was among my closest friends.  They were all there for either speeding or parking violations.  Because of the seriousness and extent of the damage involved in my accident I was considered the hardened criminal of the group.  I also observed (and this is important) that everyone of them had their father with them!  This last fact began to bother me.  What was I thinking?  I’m just a kid.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  But everyone of my fellow law breakers had their father, their advocate with them and I had chosen to do this alone.  As the time drew near for us to go inside I became anxious realizing that I had no understanding as to what I was getting myself into and therefore had no idea how to handle it.

 My close friends father could tell by the look on my face that I wasn’t doing so well.  To be honest as I look back I now realize that everybody in line as well as those passing by could tell that I was about to have a nervous breakdown!  My friends father walked over to the hardware store next door and ask if he could use their phone.  He then called my dad who was just a couple of blocks away at work and informed him as to the situation.  The next thing I knew my dad was approaching me on the sidewalk and took his place by my side in order to go with me before the judge. 

 As my dad was walking toward me I remember being overwhelmed with a since of peace as well as confidence to face my judgement.  It had nothing to do with myself but everything to do with the presence of my dad.  As we went in I faced my judge.  I answered his questions and admitted my guilt.  Then I notice something.  I’m almost 60 years old but still remember to this day as though it had just happened. After my confession it was no longer me that the judge was looking at but his attention shifted to my dad.  Their eyes locked on each other and then they both smiled.  As I look back I now understand that the judge and my dad were having a conversation with their eyes and smile.  A conversation that no one else in the room, including me was privy to.  It was just between them.  The judge then nodded his head toward to my dad and turned back toward me and said, “we’re gonna forget this ever happened!”  Then he looked to his assistant and said, “remove this from his record.”  He once again looked at me and said, “you’re free to go.”  Then one last time he looked back to my dad and they again smiled at each other and we walked out.

 Believe me when I say that I am so thankful for my dads presence with me in that courtroom.  I am so thankful that I had with me the one who could communicate with the judge in a way that I could not.  I am so thankful for an advocate that could convince the judge to forgive me.  I’m so thankful that on that day my dad could do what I could not!

 Do you see what I’m trying to get at here.  If you have placed your faith in Christ then you have been brought into the family of God (Hebrews 2:9-18).  But this does not mean that you have been made the Head of the House.  You are not qualified.  Though you may want to exercise authority and ability to do good you were not designed nor appointed for such in and of your self.  It is Christ who has been qualified by God the Father to come to your aid and achieve on your behalf what you could never do in and of your self (Hebrews 2:18).  It is for you to confess your inadequacies (1 John 1:9) and in doing so you are getting out of the way that Christ might do for you what you could never do on your own.  Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from  the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! ...” (Rom. 7:24-25a).

The victorious good that we were created for is only a reality with the One who created us.  If we are not found with Him then we are susceptible, to all the opposing forces around us.  But in Him we have been made “overwhelming conquerors” (Rom. 8:37).

 “Unless there is within us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us.                                     P.T. Forsyth  

We at A’del truly appreciate all of you and thank you for letting us be a part of your life.  Please know that we pray for you daily.