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Devotional - week of March 13, 2011


BEGINNING AGAIN

   

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:11

 

The idea of the word “reckon” is to believe. We must believe we are dead to sin and alive to God.  In Greek, the word is in a tense that means “keep on believing.” Romans 6:11 is the first of the five commands for experiencing the life of grace. The second and. third commands are also in the tense of continual action.

 

With this in mind, meditate on the following story. Joseph had read a book teaching one how to live by grace. He obeyed the five commands. Immediately, God placed him on a new level of life. He was filled with joy.

 

About two weeks later, he called the author of the book and told him that he no longer had the victory God had given him just days before. He wanted to know why.

 

The author asked Joseph if he was continuing to obey the five steps of guidance for living the life of grace. Joseph said that he was not continuing in them. The author told Joseph that one does not live by grace just by obeying those commands one time—or even several times. He must continue to obey them. When Joseph began to obey those directives repeatedly, he was back on the level of life he had experienced earlier.

 

All who live by grace have had this same experience throughout a day. We obey the commands until some problem comes up then we try to deal with it out of our own wisdom and strength. We fail in our efforts. Minutes or hours later, the Lord reminds us that we are working in the flesh. We must return to the life of grace.

 

The answer to our problem is simple. Start over! Obey the commands again. It is that simple. If necessary, start over dozens of times a day. Begin again!