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Day 31 - The Anniversary

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Reading: Romans 7:1-4

Reflective Thoughts

The Anniversary

It seemed like I was forgetting something. I had no idea what. I carried on as if it were any other day of the week: laundry, housework, story time with the girls, naptime, dinner preparations before Tom came home. I was sitting on the front step when he arrived. We greeted each other, chatted and discussed an invitation to dinner at a friend's house. What date was that? In the process, we figured out today's date-and both of us drew in a breath. It was our 15-year anniversary! Tom looked afraid. I laughed-but probably only because I forgot too. We talked about a last minute effort to make it special. We ended up staying home, toasting glasses of milk with the girls over ordinary grilled hamburgers, potatoes and green beans.

Whether we had celebrated or not-in fact, even if we had not remembered at all-it was still our 15-year anniversary. This is what Paul means when he says in verse 4 that we have been united with Christ. It's not something we must try to do to make happen. Our union with Christ is already a fact if we have received His gift of salvation. We are already dead to sin-not slaves to it anymore. Allowing His Spirit to control us celebrates that fact (Ephesians 5:18). It's the kind of celebration we need to have every day. My calendar is marked. What about yours?

Day 30 - The Wages of Cupcakes

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Reading: Romans 6: 19-23

Reflective Thoughts

The wages of cupcakes

Summer is a couple of months away. Commercials from national fitness chains will soon be buzzing our ears with mantras of guilt. But years of experience has taught me that six weeks of aerobics classes and treadmill work won't do anything for me if I haven't confronted what causes my tight pants in the first place-overeating.

Paul put his analogy of being controlled by sin instead of righteousness in human terms (master/slave, and wages). As someone who has struggled with the sin of gluttony, I put it in terms of cupcakes, too many cupcakes. Overeating carries with it the "wages" of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression-and perhaps least talked about among us, the consequences of not glorifying God in the moment. Even the way I choose to eat reflects how obedience to sin mars my physical body and my spirit.

1 Timothy 4:8 tells us that exercise is of a little value-but exercising godliness is of great value, in this lifetime and for eternity. So whether you eat that cupcake or join the gym or both, do it as someone under the control of God and not things that were never meant to control you.

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