July 19

Romans 8:12-25

Mt 13:24-30, 36-43

If you put petrol in a diesel engine, don’t blame the manufacturer for your monstrous repair bill. It was never meant to run on petrol. So, if human life was meant to run on love (respect, compassion, cooperation, mercy and commitment) don’t blame God if you run into strife trying to live selfishly. Life running on love was always God’s intention and through Christ he opened this up in what he called the kingdom of God. But God has an enemy. The figure of the devil has been lampooned so often that it is hard to take it seriously, but no one can read the Bible without meeting up with the idea that God has an enemy. Personal experience and observation back this up. By whatever name, there is one who sows weeds among the wheat. There is a destructive power pitted against the Creator. Not to be identified with any particular group, or nation, there is a rebellious spirit in the human heart that opposes God’s intended way of life.  Now those who, by faith, belong to God’s realm live side-by-side with those who are acting as agents of the enemy. Wheat and weeds grow together within our own hearts and lives. Ultimately though, there comes a day of reckoning whether that’s a day on the calendar or a figurative expression. The world was made to run God’s way, mess it up and face the consequences or respond to the opportunity opened up by Jesus and live intimately with God, redeemed, forgiven and empowered by God’s own Spirit. Live each day in anticipation of living in a transformed creation characterized by peace, justice, goodness, love and joy, and, although it means struggle and strife, seek, by the Spirit, to live that way every day.

  • What forces do you see in the world today that are opposed to the way of life that God wants for us?
  • Why is it important that we do not identify Satan with any particular person, group or nation?
  • How important do you think the theme of God’s judgment is for the Christian faith?
  • How important for your faith is the theme of future glory as expressed in Romans 8:18-25?