We walk in bondage when we walk without Christ.
I used to think I needed a personal trainer, someone who'd get me to the gym and make sure I exercised regularly, someone who would put me through my paces and track my progress. "If I just had a personal trainer," I thought, "I'd be a different man."
Then, someone gave me a personal trainer every week for two or three months. Steve, my personal trainer, was terrific. He got me on an exercise regimen, and I actually liked it. I looked forward to seeing Steve every week. He had a chart for all these different exercises I did, and I liked the challenge of watching the numbers improve. Knowing I was going to see Steve every week motivated me to get to the gym in between the times I met with him.
But then, there was no more Steve; the gift ran out. You know how things work—pretty soon I wasn't going to the gym anymore. I kept the exercise chart for quite a while, and I'd look at it. I couldn't remember what the exercise names meant after a while. I thought of that again the other day. My neighbor, Tracy, is a personal trainer. For her, spending three to four hours in a gym is glorious. I told her I'd just finished a long walk. "Didn't it feel GREAT?" she asked. "Ah, well, it was nice," I said, "but my feet really hurt." I hate to admit it, but I suspect that the only way I'd be steady with exercising is if there were a personal trainer in me or if I had the nature of a personal trainer, like Steve or Tracy. Do you ever feel that way about your spiritual life?
(Read Romans 8:1-3)
Christ is the one who frees us from condemnation
We've been studying some of the wonderful facets of the diamond-like gospel of Jesus Christ. A couple of weeks ago, when we studied Romans three, we rejoiced at the good news that we are ...
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Lee Eclov is pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire in Lake Forest, Illinois and author of Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers). Eclov also leads a gathering of pastors for mutual support and learning called Pastors' Gatherings. To find out more about these Gatherings visit his site www.leeeclov.com.