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Daily Reading: Romans 7

Scripture Focus: We serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7.6b)

Devotional Thought: Several months ago, I was at a cross country meet with a friend of mine. I watched with admiration as the young runners kept up the pace and crossed the finish line. I was just as amazed, however, with something I noticed my friend doing. Many spectators had dropped water bottles, cups, and other trash around the area. My friend busied herself picking up the discarded items and placing them in the proper trash receptacle which was overflowing. She even approached an event organizer and asked for another trash liner. I commended her for it. It wasn't her trash, but she picked it up anyway. She shrugged it off, saying, "I just like to do my part."

I wondered what the litterers would have done if a police officer had been there with a sign that said, "$100 fine for littering." Not having the law compel them into being conscientious, they just threw their trash down. My friend didn't need the law. There was something inside her that just wanted to do the right thing.

Some folks try to serve God by following the rules. They may do OK as long as they feel that God is watching, but there is something missing in their motivation. Rules have their place - they help us know what the right thing is - but rules are just not good motivators.

Aren't you glad that we don't serve God in the old way of the written code? We have the Spirit who is our strength and helper. He is our motivator. Folks who serve by the rules, say "Is this enough?" Those who serve by the Spirit say, "Can I do more?" What motivates you?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the written code which has shown me the right thing. But help me not to simply follow the rules, but instead to follow you with my whole heart. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet-- 17 I can count all my bones-- they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 19 But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! (Psalms 22:12-19)

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