Do you ever struggle with thoughts or feelings such as, “Others seem to have an easier time living for Christ?” Or, “I just can’t do better with living out my faith, no matter how hard I try!” If so, I want to encourage you today by saying, “No, we can’t do better” which is why Christ came. It is only through Him that we will be able to overcome selfish desires, vengeful thoughts, unhealthy habits, and the list goes on. Paul said in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
On our own, we are unable to fully obey the law, which is why Christ came, to fulfill the law (Matt 5:17). Through his sacrificial death and resurrection we have been reconciled to God, our Father. This Scripture is letting us know that with Christ living in us, there is less room for self, which makes the ability to “crucify,” or deny our flesh, more attainable. Death is not the focus of a Christian life, our focus is living — living with Christ. To say that we have been crucified with Christ, means that we now desire to live a life with Him, and forsake the former man we were before we came to Him. If a person feels no need to change from their former way of living, then they must also feel that they don’t need a Savior, and that grace has produced no fruit within their life. I don’t know about you, but I certainly needed to change, and I have to die daily to some of the same struggles and temptations I faced the very day before, but God is always faithful, and His Spirit strengthens me. I am so thankful for His grace!
Christ is our power for living. If you are dealing with struggles or guilt from daily living that you don’t feel lines up with the Word of God, let me encourage you to invite more of Him in. We can do this through daily devotion, Bible reading, prayer, thankfulness, and praise. The more we focus on Him and the grace we have been given, the less of ourself will rise up. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, but focus on what He can do!
While we are not perfect, we can live a life with Christ that produces fruit of a new creature, crucified and risen with Him. Don’t let feelings of failure or the inability to overcome cause you to give in or give up! Everyday is a new day, and there is more grace for each new day! Invite Him in right now and ask Him to live in you, and through you this very day!
I pray, “Lord, help me remember that is no longer “I” that lives, but it is You that lives in me which gives me the ability to overcome. I am free because of Jesus, and my sinful former life can no longer assert itself to rule over me. Thank You for loving me, thank You for saving me, and thank You for living in me with grace for each new day! In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.