Caution, Work in Progress – Weekly Sermon – March 3, 2019

 

March, 3, 2019

“Caution, Work in Progress”

Romans 7:15-22

There is an Old Cherokee legend about a conversation between an old man and his grandson.

It went like this:  “A fight is going on inside me; it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – this wolf is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and ego.

The other wolf is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The same fight is going on within you as well grandson.

The boy thought about it for a minute and asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win”.  The old Cherokee replied – “The one that you feed the most”.

In this text there are 2 points.

  1. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, yet we are more that conquerors through Christ Jesus.  
  2. The Torah and the Law though important to him and the Jews/Christian it could not ever be sufficient enough to conquer sin, but something was and it was Jesus.  

Paul did not have the ability to overcome sin in his life, by himself alone, nor by the Torah, he could only do so with the Power of Christ.  

Paul was not a perfect man, he had his moments when his mind permitted “Tho no willingly” to be carnal.

He was no longer a prisoner to sin, but it was something that at times that temporarily bound him in his Christian life.

Paul fully understood that God’s mercy his grace and the atoning blood of Christ were more than sufficient to conquer any failure of his flesh and the carnal mind.

His desire was to deny the flesh and follow Christ, but there were times that the dark wolf of sin won the fight in his thoughts and mind.

The light and good wolf was certainly the stronger of the two, but now and then that dark wolf of sin and the flesh would win the fight.

Who he let his mind feed the most determined who would win out.

This was not a matter of the heart, his heart and soul were God’s, but the mind is here the fight for control of a matter, a decision was made.

He was not shirking his responsibility when he sinned, he was merely relating that the carnal flesh caused him to do the things that he hated and that God hated too.  Verse 23

In the flesh, he held no good thing, the flesh did him no favors, it caused him to think thoughts, to fail in his spiritual journey. The flesh held his sinful nature.

There were times that Paul was, as he put it in 1st Timothy 1:15 “Chief of all sinners.”

Paul hated the flesh and sin of his persona and life journey, he hated his failures, he hated the times when his life did not bring glory to God.

His heart broke when he broke the heart of God.

He rejoiced when God was pleased with him and he mourned when the carnal flesh brought sorrow t Christ.

Paul was not willing to let the evil wolf be fed well, he wanted it to starve, but the dark wolf now and then would still get fed more.

He was not giving excuses, he explains, that he too was a sinner saved by grace.

The Jewish converts were torn between their upbringing of the Torah and the Law could never break them free as Prisoners of sin it was only redeeming grace of Christ that could ever do so.

When Paul sinned, when they sinned, when the dark wolf was fed more than the good wolf, forgiveness could be found in confessing and repenting of it.

There really is a fight that goes on within us.

Our hearts and minds are God’s, yet how often do our minds get fed more that our hearts

Who wins more the light wolf or the dark wolf?

Christians are no longer prisoners of sin, yet we permit ourselves to be bound by it, way too often.

We want to do that which is right. We want to do that which is right in the eyes of God, we do.

We want our lives to be good examples, to be lived out whole and pure.

We want to be walking and talking, living and breathing fruits of the spirit.

We want to be people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self controlled.

Most of the time we are, we’ve fed the good wolf.  The food that we feed that wolf is what our hearts and minds get fed.

When we feed them love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control the good wolf will win the fight.

We feed our hearts and minds things of the flesh, which lead to the carnality of the mind the dark wolf will win.

His food is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

These are works of the flesh, how many times do our hearts and conscious say I am not going to do that again” yet what we do, we do, we entertain it in our mind and the dark wolf is fed well.

Our earthly flesh wants to sin, we do the things that we do not want to do  and we don’t do that which we know we need to do.

We don’t want to fail, we don’t want to let God down, do we?

I thank God for his amazing grace and his mercy that sustains us even when we have fed the dark wolf more.

What do you feed your heart and mind?

My Dr. told me once that if I eat healthy, healthy things come out, if I eat garbage, garbage will come out.

“Let’s get better folk.  Let’s stop letting the evil wolf win, let’s stop feeding it garbage.  Let’s feed the good wolf good, godly things and we will see many more victories for the good wolf within us.

Let’s not shirk our responsibilities.  The devil can only feed us what we choose to eat.

Life is filled with choices, always remember that with every choice we make there will always be consequences, good and bad.

Confess our sins, repent of our ungodly actions and let’s stop feeding the Dark Wolf and let’s find victory through our Lord Jesus Christ our Savor and Redeemer.

This also reminds me of the old cartoon with an angel sitting one one shoulder and the devil on the other.

Both whispering in our ear, trying to convince us to listen to them, to go with their advice and guidance.

Who wins?  God or Satan

Who Wins? The Good wolf or the Evil Wolf.

Who do you feed more?

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