Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Rom. 1:16-17, “16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”
To be “justified” does not mean to be “made righteous,” but to be “declared righteous.” This has been a matter of debate through the years, but this is the meaning of the phrase that is translated “the righteous will live by faith.” A better translation might be “The righteous, by faith…will live.” In other words, we are declared “not guilty” by God as we place our faith in the gospel. So, we escape the death penalty by faith…we live.
When the judge declares the defendant “not guilty,” he does not change the defendant into a new kind of person. Rather, he declares him innocent of the charges. People who experience God’s grace through the gospel do change, but they change as a result of having been declared “not guilty.” After having been justified by God, they have new power and relationship with God so that they can be sanctified (changed over time) by Him.
It can be confusing and frustrating to be a “new creation” in Christ and yet still struggle with a lot of the same old stuff. Part of the confusion flows from the false expectation that becoming a Christian ends our struggles. Rather, it can create some new ones. In a sense, struggles increase in the believer’s life because the new life and the old life are at war within.
The frustration is normal because in this life we have access to the power for ongoing victory through Jesus, but we often lack the will and consistency of practice to utilize that power. Our frustration is most often with ourselves.
Put the frustration aside for a moment. Consider how you have changed since you believed the gospel. Give God the “credit” due Him for bringing about this change. We honor God when we consider the good changes He has brought into our lives. If you are a follower of Christ, you have changed. What does that change look like?
Consider how you have yet to change. Turn to God in trust and dependence. Ask Him for His help.
Decide. If you believe you cannot or will not ever change in certain areas, it is likely you will not pursue the things necessary to actually do so. You can change; God will empower the change.
From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.