Romans: Day 16

How Can Death Bring Life?

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Today's Text: Romans 7:1-13, Proverbs 1:19, John 14:6-7

Scripture Reading: Romans 7:1-13, Proverbs 1:19, John 14:6-7

My buddy Andrea wrote yesterday’s post, and I loved it. But no offense to her, sometimes real, live fruit can show up without much planning. Here’s what I mean.

I follow one of my favorite Instagram accounts specifically for the Insta-stories. One account I adore is of an incredibly fun mom living in Florida. Last week, she did three or four videos of the same tree: an avocado tree. Hanging from the branches were dozens of avocados.

“Look at these beauties!” she yelled to the camera, “And my husband takes all the credit for this tree!”

Apparently, a few years before, he’d planted the pit of an avocado there in the backyard, just behind the pool, and voila! AVOCADOS! He didn’t plan it or even care for it. Just planted the pit once the original avocado was eaten and then didn’t think about it again.

Just a dead pit. Buried in the ground.

What viewers like me saw was the tree—the product, the fruit grown from the death. But the part we didn’t see were all those days in the middle. The dead days. The days where nothing grew and nothing changed on the outside, but everything was changing on the inside.

I need to see the avocados. And I need to see the dead days too. Because I feel them. Don’t you? There are stories in my life that just plain feel dead. It feels like I did all the work I knew to do, and yet nothing seems to be growing or changing.

But death brings life. So it is with us because of Jesus.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the body of Christ so that you may belong to another… (Romans 7:4).

To be a Christian means that we belong to Jesus. And He belongs to us. Our sin was there on the cross. Our flesh was crucified with Him. And when He went to the grave to conquer death, He took our sin—our past, present, and still-to-come-future sin—with Him and buried it all there.

After those three dead days had passed, Jesus came back, fully alive, and brought us, His made-new creation, with Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I’m not a huge avocado fan, but I can see an object lesson when it’s before me. So I went to the grocery store, found two avocadoes that felt ripe-ish, and bought them. I didn’t have a plan—I just knew I needed them.

I got home, sliced one open, and no kidding, the minute I saw the pit I started crying. Because I saw it, right there in the middle, the death that had grown life and sustenance. I pulled it out with a knife, washed it off in the sink, and just held it. And prayed.

I asked God about all the avocado pits I see in my life, things that look dead. And I asked if they were ever going to grow into something that mattered. Did they matter? Did He even see them?

…You belong to him who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God (v.4, continued).

While the Holy Spirit whispered truth to me, I already knew it; I saw it there in the avocado. Of course, He sees it all. He alone brings life from death, even when it feels like no new fruit will ever will grow in those dry, barren places.

I breathed a prayer of thanks. And then I made guacamole.

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  • ill-gotten gain is one of Satans surest traps!!!
    When we are tempted to rebel against Gods laws, we need to look at them with a wider perspective. If we focus on His great love for use, we will understand that he only restricts us from actions and attitudes that will ultimately harm us!!

  • I recall many times while hearing a message, sermon, devotional, etc and knowing without a doubt that the Lord had brought me to this place for such a time as this. Today was such a time. The message was clear and spoke to me deeply. Thank you for being His instrument!

  • Simply_Jaquie

    You know it’s a great devotional when it ended with my husband and I both looking at each other and saying “Mmmmm… Guacamole…”
    :)

  • Very meaningful and easy to understand I’ll forever have a whole new love of avocados and barren seasons bring purposeful of so many things. In my profession, we see so much of just that dead season but this reminds me to keep the hope and faith alive knowing things happen, wonderful things that remain to be seen..Truth!

  • Becka Roth

    This is probably my favorite This is probably my favorite entry that I have read on this site! So real and honest, so relatable!! Thank you for this truth!

  • The last two sentences are so real. Lol. I loved this post!

  • Romans 7:13 is confusing to me. Through rules and the law our sin becomes more sinful? Isn’t that a case for doing away with rules?

    • Allie

      Sara, Paul certainly has a dizzying way of presenting his arguments sometimes doesn’t he? :) He says multiple times, though, that what he is saying is NOT a license to do whatever we want or “do away with the rules” as you put it. (6:1, 6:15, etc.) This is what I think vs 13 is trying to say: sin is sin no matter what. But it is only recognized as sin when it is pointed out. The law is there to point out our sin so we can then turn to God as a savior. As the famous quote goes: “Until sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.” ~Thomas Watson I hope this makes sense! If anyone has more incite, please correct me!

  • I often look at winter turning to spring I see all the dead branches and that’s how we see our lives sometimes dead nothing happening but inside God is busily preparing a beautiful spring blossom. Gods pre-ordained plan for us. So we must never look to the outward events that sometimes bring us down or our feelings that can deceive us but Gods promise for what is to come. We must continue to seed the word despite our own perceived limitations God word never goes out in vain. God will water and grow all we must do is obey and sow. Even if the results are not seen in this life, they may appear in eternity.

  • Avocado pits for me from now on are going to be reminders to pray WITH HOPE and FAITH for the stories that look dead to me.

  • Love how these verses continue to bring to life the truth of redemption… isn’t it just about bringing life out of death? When things seem hopeless and someone’s life seems to be wasting away, that God comes in and totally redeems and restores that person or situation. Usually in ways we can hardly imagine. Redemption gives me hope that as this devotional says, even in the deadest days, we can trust that life will come with redemption.

  • This is so true! For the past few years my life has floundered and has been a dead ‘avocado pit’. I begged God to deliver me from my circumstances, without believing I was worthy of such deliverance, and without trusting He would deliver me. But once I started living where I was planted and being grateful for what I DID have in my life, only then did He not only deliver me from my circumstances, but He gave me so much more than I could ever have imagined! We need to remember the days we seem to be dead on the outside but are growing on the inside. We need to remember that He is growing us for a reason, that we need to be stronger and more beautiful on the inside for what He has planned for us. I still have many challenges to face right now, but I know, without any doubt in my heart, that I am not only worthy of what God wants to do for and with me, but that I will be strong enough to endure the ‘dead’ days while I wait.

    • Terri

      Thank you so much for sharing this. It brought some clarity to me as I’ve struggled through Romans. I just didn’t seem to be getting it, and your words helped make it come together for me.

    • Leslie

      Thanks for sharing this…it sounds like me. Have a great day!

  • Thank you for this awesome devotion today…It is great confirmation as God is working Romans 8:28 into my life…

  • Such an awesome lesson today! Thank you for the reminder that the days in-between the planting and the harvest are also important. Thank you, God, that when we let You, You will always bring goodness out of the dark.

  • This was beautiful and powerful. Thanks for writing Annie. Needed to be reminded of the fruit that grows even when we don’t see it happening.

  • Allison Joy

    As I read this, I was struck by how God brings things full circle, and changes “bad” to “good.” In Genesis 1, the original sin is eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve’s eyes were open to right and wrong. In God’s prefect world before the fall, we didn’t even need to know what “good” was because everything was good. There was no “evil” or bad to compare it to. There was no need for the law. But then once good and evil became known, that’s when the law had to be made. God had to SHOW us good, when before it’s all there was. The law was seen as an obligation in the OT, and there was no freedom in that law. And then Jesus comes. And He not only redeems us, He redeems the law. He makes the law good once again, as it shows us His glory and our need for Him.

    • Emily B.

      “He makes the law good again–” love that! Thanks for sharing!

    • Allison Joy

      Just realized it’s not Genesis 1. It’s Genesis 3. Should have just said the book and left the chapter out. Whoops!

  • jill-smiles

    Amen!!!

  • I find the allegory a little confusing, too.

    On the one hand, Paul explains that when we realise our sinfulness we realise how dead we are and we realise that, we can find life in Christ.

    To me this passage suggests that emptiness/death in our life will lead to new life by nature. Because in nature death and decay will make new life possible. However I think this is not inherent to the nature of life. I think that only after the paradise death was needed for new life.

    Instead, we are not to believe that the dead parts of our life will turn to something new and beautiful and fruitful because of the death, we need to search and wait for growth BECAUSE Jesus is alive. Something with the root of Jesse for those who followed the Isaiah study.

    Having said all this, it is also my experience that ugliness, sadness, emptiness, loneliness, sin – all that’s dark and dead in my life – can seem endless and yet through it new opportunities grow. So in that sense the avocado allegory really did speak to me.
    And I like to believe that this is how God works in my life too.

    I hope I can. After all, aren’t there God-fearing, devoted people in whose life light hardly ever shines despite their efforts?

    • Ana

      ” After all, aren’t there God-fearing, devoted people in whose life light hardly ever shines despite their efforts?”
      So true! Although it doesn’t apply to my life, what you wrote moved me because I see so many people in that situation and I often think of our responsibility to bring a little bit of light to each other’s life. God uses us to shine His light. Jesus said “You are the light of the world.” We don’t see God, but we know Him and we can “see” His action and presence in our lives also through the actions and words of each other. And we must remember the words of the father of the lost son (which are our Father’s words): “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” What a beautiful and glorious hope we have! God bless!

  • This message made me cry. Avocados have been a sort-of sign for me for the last 10 years. This week marks the one year anniversary of a tragic death. With it died hopes and dreams. For the past year I have floundered, often gripped with loneliness and depression. I have asked the Lord many times what purpose this has held. But these deaths are the avocado pits buried with lots of wait time. Thank you, Jesus, for sprouting new life.

    • She Reads Truth

      So sorry for your loss, JoAnn – even a year later that pain lingers. Praying for the Lord to continue to heal and provide hope. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • songbird

      That hits me Joann. I can imagine that no words can describe the pain you went and are maybe still going through. I shall take this up in my prayers.

  • So the law gives names to specific sins and thus illuminates the sin in our lives. And obeying the law perfectly means avoiding those sins that we have names for through the law. Failure in even only one area means failure nonetheless when we focus on the LETTER of the law. The “checklist”. But, when we focus on obeying the SPIRIT of the law, we are free of mere rule-keeping and check-listing. We are free to love and we are loved even when we fail. The SPIRIT of the law is so much bigger than the LETTER of the law.

    • Tochi Heredia

      Beautiful insight, Bridget! I loved how you pointed out the Spirit of the Law.

  • Stacey Cochran

    I can see this truth in my husband’s life. He told me that when his first wife divorced him, he thought his life was over. He felt dead for months. Then, before we met, he started studying Scripture and just started living again. God brought him back to life. And see God’s handiwork in his life every day.

  • I love this picture of how God can be growing and transforming on the inside without our even knowing it, which often feels like it’s still a dead season. It feels like we’re sometimes stuck in the death without the new life (even though we know deep down that’s not true). Will we ever see fruit? Will I ever see that prayer answered? Will I ever experience joy again after this suffering? But sometimes God’s work in us is so quiet and gentle and patient. I’m continually amazed at how intricately He knows us and what we need at just the right time. Praying for all of us who feel like we’re in one of those “dead” seasons right now, that God would give us gentle and joy-filled glimpses of His new life in us!

    • Emily B

      Beautiful. I like that prayer, agree, and will join you. God’s tenderness and gentleness towards me is, I think, one of His most transforming attrIbutes- meaning, attributes that transform my heart and mind.

  • There is this kind of death in my world… avocado pits formed from dreams that were once vibrant and full but now are completely dry and dead.

    For years, I would cry out in prayer for these dreams, begging for my Father to answer and direct. But instead of growing closer to these dreams, every place he has led me has brought me further away. Every thing that he has directed has been good… I truly do love the life I live. But now desperate prayers have become just a whisper of my heart.

    My heart is longing. Looking at it all right now, it’s impossible that I could still have this dream completed. But why? Why would he plant a talent, a seed, a dream inside my heart to just bring me further away? It feels cruel, although I know that is not his heart.

    Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about dreams- and I know he hasn’t forgotten. Maybe it’s just a extra long road to get there, or maybe I need to learn to be completely satisfied where I am now. I don’t know. But I am praying life can grow where this dead root has overtaken my soul, that a dream dead and impossible can be made possible through Christ.

    • Susan

      This is so beautifully put Veronica. I was thinking about what a friend told me once when she was struggling with a dashed life plan of hers. For whatever reason, her career was not taking off and she felt that God was closing it off for her, but she didn’t understand why. She was happily raising her three little ones and helping her husband build his career so that she could be with their children full-time. Things were good, but drat! … what about HER career? She prayed about her feelings and told me that she came away from one particularly intense time with God with the distinct feeling that “sometimes God just says no, this is not the time” She obediently left her pursuit and settled into domestic life and has had such a wonderful life! The fruits of her domestic life are plentiful – she has used her time to raise her children and be involved in their lives, volunteer in her town, run for office, serve her church community, become an accomplished textile artist, write poetry. God has given her so many rich experiences … new dreams and new challenges.

      • Hannah

        Veronica, as I read your comment, I thought of Abraham and Sarah…. Abraham knew his body was as good as dead but he also knew that God had called him to be the father of all nations. Despite his body and Sarah’s barrenness (the impossible) he chose to believe that God is faithful to his promises & the dream He placed in Abraham’s life….I pray you never give up on your dreams and you trust God over the overwhelming feeling of impossibility. I can totally relate and I thought I’d share what God has spoken to me through Abraham and Sarah. Keep believing! xx

    • songbird

      It sounds like I know how you feel. I don’t know the specific details of your dreams etc. but sometimes one wonders why God has made us in a certain way and not fulfill what seems to be suited to the way we are. I am trying to accept that maybe in this life God doesn’t fulfil our dreams, hopes, ambitions, longings. Sometimes I wish I was Sarah, than at least God had promised me something specific. He hasn’t promised me anything except that he will love me and give me strength when I need it.
      Is this too gloomy? After all it is THE LOVE OF GOD, shouldn’t that be more than anything in the world?
      Unfortunately I am all too human to be satisfied with this.
      And then I think, well it wasn’t like Sarah had an easy time believing the promises and through this ancient story God has shown his nature. In the darkest moments, this can be rays of hope.

  • churchmouse

    I belong to Him in order to bear fruit. The better I know Him, the more I will resemble Him. Belonging begets the bearing. One follows the other. The relationship is paramount. The fruit comes after, naturally, from its attachment to the Vine. Lord, help me help the order straight. Amen.

    • Emily B

      Great point. I guess when we aim to get the fruit first before the attachment to the vine and the relationship, we are trying to live by the law- it is a self gained, self righteousness rather than the natural, over flowing, responsive, cooperative one. The first repels people,and the second brings healing to people. I hope I keep the order straight too!

  • This is a reminder that I needed. I have a situation that in a short time I will have dead, beaten souls in my home that I have been praying for the Lord to give life too. The reminder is that he sees it all and He is the only one that can bring life. I can plant the seeds but it will be Jesus and only Jesus that can bring life. Thank you!

  • “Seems like all I could see was the struggle
    Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
    Bound up in shackles of all my failures
    Wondering how long is this gonna last
    Then You look at this prisoner and say to me ‘son
    Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won’

    I am redeemed, You set me free”

    -Redeemed

  • Linette Caton

    At my father in law’s house is an avocado tree that is 65 years old and stopped bearing. I am close to that age and felt the same way, done, too worn out to accomplish anything. But to my surprise that old tree has fruit this year after a very wet winter! So I find myself praying for a deep watering of His word and His Spirit. Perhaps if He wills it this worn out tree can produce again for His purpose. Thanks for the hope.

    • Michelle

      Aww sister Linette I too feel what you are saying but NEVER give up hope! I will pray for your “deep watering”. May our Lord give you your hearts desire.

    • Emily B

      God is such a beautiful Author of our lives to give us real metaphors and similes to encourage and teach us. Love these stories about avocados and the link to the water. Thanks!

    • She Reads Truth

      What a beautiful picture, Linette! Thank you for sharing!

      – Stormye

    • Diane Huntsman

      Hugs Linette!! In this world where youth is esteemed and aging women seem devalued, not so in Gods economy!! We are aging, but we are valued, loved, and greatly needed in so many ways!! Big hug from one older woman to another! xo

    • Sandy W.

      I will soon be 65 also. Praying that the Lord fills us with passion and zeal to keep on serving our Precious Lord! Amen

  • God requires our love and devotion. He does not require perfection. What a relief! I pray we all remember to take our avocado seeds to him, the greatest gardener of all time! It’s amazing how he can use anything for our good. This weekend, in my sin, I cried out to God in my mind. It’s comforting to know this is what he wants us to do. I’m excited for the ways he is transforming my heart day by day. I feel grateful for his everlasting grace and patience as I learn to make better choices through Him.

  • Diane Huntsman

    “He sees it all. He alone brings life from death, even when it feels like no new fruit will ever will grow in those dry, barren places.”
    Ahhhh this! At 49 you sometimes wonder if life will ever bloom from so much death .. I’ll be looking at my avocados much differently, this is for sure!
    To all of us still awaiting the life that comes from death, even things we have killed ourselves through our own sinful choices.. He makes beauty from ashes.. we do our part, take responsibility, repent, ask for forgiveness from those we’ve hurt.. and then we don’t stop praying for His healing work that eventually brings life from that dead whatever..
    let it be so, Lord!

  • So much amening over here. Believing he will bring life from my ‘dead’, barren womb. It’s what he is, it’s who he is. He takes the most desolate places and brings of a downpour of rain to them

    http://www.in-due-time.com

    • Emily B.

      So inspiring. Thank you for always being willing to share your heart. :)

      • EmB

        Oh my, I think there are two Emily Bs! I will try to change my name to EmB..that’s what my family calls me anyway!

    • EmB

      Caroline, I did not know amen could be a verb, but I like it and completely Amen that notion!

  • Thank you for this today. There are areas in my life that feel dead and I often wonder if there will ever be life there again. I was reminded today that Christ brings life to those dead spaces when I surrender myself to Him. Such a needed reminder. Thank you!

  • I LOVE THIS! This made me cry….. and made me laugh!

  • Such a beautiful, Timely word. Thank you. ❤️

  • Amy S Brown

    Thank you for this!

  • My heart lifts this morning knowing I am not alone in scrambling through the barren places in my life and heart. Choosing to think of each one as a process submitted to the Lord, each a seed in an ever-changing garden being cultivated by The Gardener of the universe, is something that alters one’s perspective entirely. (Even an active but admitted cynicism-fighter like me.)

    May we all go forth today knowing that our seeds will yet bear the fruit we need in accordance to what He deems fit for the kingdom and our very best. I have a feeling it will be better than any of us could have ever imagined, because of the unfathomable radiance of our King.

  • Tochi Heredia

    I just realized that​ I’ve been somewhat afraid of the Law. I felt that it was bounding and limiting, contrary to the freeing salvation of Jesus. Sooo Old Covenant (just kidding, I’m Reformed).
    The Romans verses proved me wrong by showing me a completely different thing: the Law is good, and it carries the love of our God withing itself.

    I guess it frightens me because it’s unachievable. The proud overachiever in me is squirming here in my armchair, it makes me uncomfortable knowing that I can’t attain ALIVE status on my own (I’m totally imagining some kind of report card my mind). But oh, what a joy, that when that Law was written, it wasn’t done just to correct some wayward people by one annoyed God. No, Someone Else was present, something else was in mind.
    Thank you Father, for giving us Life through the Truthful Way that is your Son, Jesus Christ.

    —–
    I hope you gals in the northern hemisphere are enjoying your summer. We’re in the low 30s were I live in Argentina!!! Lots of love to you all ❤

    • Heather

      I felt the the same way about the law. But today’s passage really opened my eyes to the value of law (showing us our sin) and God’s over and abundant grace.

    • CJ

      ” . . .that when that Law was written, it wasn’t done just to correct some wayward people by one annoyed God. No, Someone Else was present, something else was in mind. Thank you Father, for giving us Life through the Truthful Way that is your Son, Jesus Christ.”

      Thank you for this Tochi!

      • EmB

        Thanks for putting your words to your feelings. Totally have felt those things. Love your conclusion! Thank you.

      • Nyla

        I love this. Thank you.

      • Nyla

        Today’s study was another hard concept for me to wrap my head around. I tried a couple of different bible translations again and then went on to read others comments. One stand out comment was Tochi’s insight. I loved it. It makes sense!

        I also read in the comments, of the long suffering, of people and seemingly fruitless prayers for loved ones. All of which ties in neatly with my personal struggles. God is showing me so much. Why would He allow the suffering of innocent children? Is one of the reasons, for me to have compassion for someone I am judgemental of and impatient with? Really?!? Am I so selfish He has to use them to get my attention?!? God, are we really so thick headed?

    • She Reads Truth

      Such great insight, Tochi! Thank you for sharing!

      – Stormye

  • Ah, this was so amazing! He gives life to the dead and I know for so many years, I was. I have many avocado pits in my life that I’m questioning whether they’re gonna grow or how long it’s going to take. God is an expert gardener. He will not let anything grow in my life that won’t bear the fruits He wants for me. Thank you God for my avocado pits and let me see the beauty in all the days of its wonderful journey ❤️

    • J

      “Let me see the beauty in all the days” – what a great thought, Katalina! We do not have to allow our inward clouds and worries impact our outward disposition and our joy while we wait. Thank you for your words today!

  • Oh Annie. So many avocado pits in my life, too. Thank you so much for the encouragement that God sees every single one that appears dead to me but are so very alive to Him. May we all see our avocado pits grow into something and trust Him in the process. Lord, this was good stuff this morning. ❤️

  • I wish I could show you a picture of my garden this year! I never wanted to be a gardener. I always knew I would forget to water it, or get too grossed out by bugs, or forget to weed it… etc. this is my fourth year, and yes every year I totally do get sidetracked and forget everything. Every year, I grab seed packets from Dollar Tree and tell myself, “There’s no way these cheapo seeds are actually going to germinate! But who cares. Maybe I’ll let the kids play with it…”. And yet, every year, even 4 years in, towards the end of May when northeast Ohio finally starts to warm up, I’m SHOCKED that I have lettuce, radishes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, peppers, basil, chives, asparagus, strawberries, kale, spinach… And it just reminds me that sometimes it’s not us–I’m the laziest and sloppiest of gardeners–but God still sends his rain of grace on the just and the unjust. He blesses the earth. And even when I’m absent from my garden for a trip or just a too busy week, I return to plump lettuce heads, red radish tops and find that HE never left it!

    • Kylee

      Love this Mac!

    • Holly

      Thanks for the inspiration Mac. I have seeds still in the packet that I keep thinking I need to start but I am terrified of bugs so it takes me a long while to get everything planted as I have to run and hide each time I see anything scarier than an earthworm. Reading your words has convinced me to try. I want to see my seeds growing so I can realize the same thing is happening inside of me with all the seeds I’ve planted.

    • Emily B.

      I love your analogy! God is always working, and He’s faithful even when we’re not.

  • Oh Annie, today I needed to read your words, but especially, “are they ever going to grow into something that matters?” This brings me hope!

  • Ha, the irony of the avocado story — I also live in Florida, and our avocado trees are ANYTHING but low maintenance. If they actually get fruit, it falls off, Squirrels get most of the remainder, and the ag office says all the trees are infected with a terminal disease! Moral of the story, the Spirit blows where he will! Looking around to compare the situations and fruit of others will only make me prone to discontentment. Whether the Lord bring “avocados” for me or not right now, through Jesus I can choose to bear “the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

    • Eriana

      I love this perspective! He gives and takes away but redeems everything for His glory one way or another. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kasey Summers

    Love this reminder!! Reminds me of the song No Longer Slaves! It says I’m not longer a slave to sin. I am a child of God!!

  • Paul says in these verses that once he was apart from the Law. Yet elsewhere he claims he was born a Pharisee. Does anyone know what he means here about being once apart from the Law?

    • Laura

      My study Bible notes say Paul is writing “in character”, from the perspective of Adam. Makes more sense that way.

    • SARA

      Debi, my study Bible I reference some with Paul, pointed out that in verse 6 he was dead to the law but alive in Christ. In this figurative language he’s saying his sin nature broke his fellowship with God. After his conversion, while enjoying fellowship with God,he was confronted by the law and he died to it. I hope that helps!

    • Kristeen

      When I read it I took it as when he was apart from the law, it was possibly before he knew the law, as a child, and as he began to learn the law he realized his sinfulness. Could be wrong, but that’s how I read it.

    • Ana

      I’ve found this study about this question: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/romans-7-9.html
      I hope it helps. It helped me.

  • Christina

    “…having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:6

    Love today’s devotion, Annie! My greatest takeaway from today’s Scripture is this: God’s law is good. But striving to keep it in my own strength is a death-blow. I can never keep it quite well enough to satisfy the judgment due my wrong doing. On the other hand, being raised in the Spirit of God, being alive in Him, indicates that I’ve donned as a cloak the righteousness of Christ. It’s not my effort keeping God’s good law. Christ kept it perfectly. And now in God’s eyes, even though I’m still human to a fault, He sees me as though I’ve fulfilled the law. But it isn’t just enough to say, “Oh, God sees me as if I was keeping the law,” and then to simply walk on my merry way, giving my life–my attitudes, actions, reactions, thoughts, words, etc–no thought. I must die to self every. single. day. Striving to keep God’s law myself and never acknowledging my inability to do so, my need of Jesus, my own depravity…. That is a permanent death-blow. But dying to my flesh, and asking the Spirit to work through me to keep the law God already sees me as having kept because of Christ…. That is a joyful daily death that will one day result in being face to face with the One True God of the universe and being ushered into His kingdom with a “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Dying to self daily for His glory, not for my own comfort here. That is true life.

    • Kasey Summers

      Amen!

    • Rachel Hill

      Thank you, Christina! You explained a complex truth in such a clear, comprehensible way! I appreciate your explanation and thoughts on today’s reading! :)

    • Lana

      Amen!

    • Lana

      Btw just journaled this entire comment. Thank you for this word, Christina. God spoke to me directly through your comment. Feeling so blessed. What an incredible reminder that the God of the universe sees us and responds to us so quickly. I pray the Holy Spirit continues to use you so effortlessly and in such beautiful ways. Thank you again.

    • Veronica

      Such a great perspective! Thank you!

    • Kendra

      Awesome, your words spoke to me!

  • Yesssss Annie!!! Love this!!

  • Karen From Virginia

    Thanks for the hope, the reminder of dormant seeds that are not forgotten by God. Wanting to be content in the beautiful life God has given me and resting in His timing for my life is His.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s reading as when I read Romans7, my hope is stirred when Paul speaks of the wretched man he is where is hope is only in Jesus.

  • This was a beautiful devotional, but I didn’t understand the link between Proverbs 1:19 and the other readings.

    • Marianne

      I guess the author got a bit carried away … ;) I can´t see any connection either. After all the text in Romans speaks about being dead to sin …

      • Erin

        I read it as more examples as Jesus being life and sin bringing death. Romans focused more on the law as the reason we know sin, therefore when Jesus was raised from the grave the law was no longer necessary because Jesus had rid us of our sin. The others explain that without Jesus we know no life, only sin and death.

    • Elisabeth7291

      “It reeks away the life of it’s possessors” – I think the connection is the life-stealing impact of sin.

      • Kristen

        I agree. Sin takes people into places they didn’t imagine at first for longer than they thought. Sin is so deceptive. We rationalize and go for it. Then before you know it, you are trapped. But thank God we can be forgiven and start over.

    • Ana

      Thank you all for your insights. They really helped me to understand. God bless you!

      • Ana

        I think I’m going to read again the readings with that in mind :)

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Ana! Proverbs 1:19 is an example of the damage sin causes, described in Romans 7:8, 11 – I hope that helps!

      – Stormye

  • Such a timely word for a heart that has been asking this very thing. I know he sees me and knows all there is to know, but the dead days are seemingly endless. Thank you for sharing, Annie!

  • Candice Stevens

    Beautiful lesson the last 2 days. God is really speaking to my heart. I am so glad I have found SRT and I am in love with my new SRT bible!!!

  • Wildflower

    This was probably one of my favorite devos so far. Thanks Annie, you have a knack for relating things in a way my 20 year old small town brain can comprehend!

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