Links Daily Devotional

Tell on Yourself

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate… For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. (Romans 7:15, 18-19, ESV)

Many people claim that Paul is their hero of the faith, with which I would agree. Many people’s reason for this is his love for the Lord and the lost, the amount of people that came to know the Lord through him, the fact that he wrote half the New Testament, or that he would even be willing to go to jail half his life in suffering for the sake of Christ.

My hope and prayer is that all of us would have the courage that Paul had, in which he wasn’t afraid what people thought or knew about him.These are all wonderful things and great reasons to look up to Paul. However, the reason why I look up to him so much is found in these three verses. Paul is raw, real, honest, and downright telling on himself in this passage. This is why I love Paul.

When is the last time you were sitting in church and your pastor said something to this affect: “Church, I want you to know that I am a huge sinner. I know the good that I should do, but I very rarely do it. I sin often, knowing that it is wrong. There is nothing in me that has the ability to do good. Please know these things about me, brothers and sisters.”

I would imagine this is a rarity in most churches that we attend. It’s so unnatural (and even seems wrong) that we should call ourselves out like this. However, we see one of the heroes of our faith do this very thing.

Brothers and sisters, it’s time that all of us begin to be completely and utterly honest about how sinful and depraved we really are. It’s time we start calling our own selves out like Paul does here. This leads to two things.

First, when we realize how broken we are, we see God as more beautiful and loving. As my pastor put it once, “When someone is aware of their sin, they never ever say, ‘What’s the big deal about grace’?” Grace is beautiful only to those who see themselves as completely helpless and powerless and who desperately need a Savior. It is those who see themselves as big sinners that get to see the bigness, majesty, and great love of our wonderful God.

Second, this leads to mask-free, genuine community that I am so very passionate about. Why? When I finally revealed to a few, trusted, safe guys how broken and sinful I was, they ran after me and pursued me. They were finally able to love Rosson Anderson, not my mask. And I was finally able to feel their love. These same guys know absolutely everything about me to this very day. They have not run from me. They love me as a brother and constantly point me to the One who calls me his beloved son!

My hope and prayer is that all of us would have the courage that Paul had, in which he wasn’t afraid what people thought or knew about him. His identity was so grounded in the grace and love of the Father that he allowed himself to be open and free with who he really was. May we follow this example today, tomorrow, and the rest of our lives, living freely in community and living moment-by-moment with the One who scandalously and lavishly adores his children.

Rosson Anderson
May 31, 2016
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