Thought of the Day October 9, 2018 Our struggles

By 9:31 AM

St. Paul was both aware of the life to which we are called and the struggle which still must be dealt with through grace. First, the life to which we are called is expressed in In Philippians 3:14 where he proclaims: "My entire attention is on the  finish line as I run toward the prize to which God calls me--life on high in Christ Jesus." In verses 12 and 13 he acknowledges: "I am racing to grasp the prize if possible, since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus. I do not think of myself as having reached the finish line. I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead." How many have the same conviction and hope?

Earlier in the same chapter, Paul shares what attitude is necessary for us to have for us to finish the race. "But those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. For his sake I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my wealth and I may be in him....I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from his resurrection; likewise to know how to share in his sufferings by being formed into the pattern of his death. Thus do I hope that I may arrive at resurrection from the dead" (Phil 3:7-11) How many feel the same way?

But Paul was at the same time realistic, knowing that it would not be easy. He became more and more aware of the struggle within his redeemed but not yet perfected nature as a human being.  He says in Romans:  "The desire to do right is there but not the power. What happens is that I do, not the good I will to do, but the evil I do not intend....My inner self agrees with the law of God, but I see in my body's members another law at war with the law of my mind; this makes me the prisoner of the law of sin in my members. What a wretched man I am! Who can free me from this body under the power of death?" (Rom 7:18-19, 22-24) How many can relate to this? (To be continued)

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