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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Romans 5

The Lord has been feeding me with Romans 5 for the past three weeks. Our pastor has been encouraging us to read through daily. I really didn't want to, but after hearing his sermon on the first verses, I was excited to do so.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5: 3-5)

I did not really think I was suffering, but my attitude had been sub-par. I was trying to figure out how to build character (not in so many words). God showed me here how to take steps to do so. Endure the suffering, shape the character, experience the hope.

Then, this week again at church, Chad preached on Romans 5.

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (v 2b)
I began thinking about what my hope lies in. I say and even think that it lies in the hope of the glory of God, but is that what my actions and thought life really give testimony to? My hope often lies in my husband or children or friends or possessions. Chad emphasized over the past few weeks that this is not a worldly hope. It is not indefinite. Our hope is certain. One day we will be just like Christ. That thought blows my mind.

Then, I began thinking about how I try to pattern my life. I realized that everything I want to be, I have modeled after a woman I know or know of. I want to be disciplined with eating like this friend, I want to teach biblical standards to my children like that woman, I want to clean like that friend, I want to speak eloquently like this woman.

I started getting worried that the Lord would say to me, "Oh, it's you. You desired to be like the others".

What I desire for Him to say is, "Welcome into the kingdom. You desired to be like Me."

I realize that is the process of sanctification. I am so grateful for the Word that gives me instruction on how to imitate Christ. I plan on studying the attributes of Christ for my time with Him and ask Him for the strength to stop comparing myself to others. That does not really matter. I know the Lord puts godly women around me to edify me. I want to look for the Christ in them from now on. How exciting!

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