If Jesus has risen, then why do I struggle?

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on April 23, 2020

If Jesus has risen, doesn't it make sense that he would use his power to change us? 

Paul in Galatians 5 (click here) explains that he has changed us. He has created the "new self" or the "spirit" within us that desires to do God's will. But we still have that sinful nature or flesh that "desires what is contrary to the Spirit... They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do what you want." Until Jesus comes back or he calls you home to heaven, the real "you" that Jesus has created will have to "crucify the sinful nature" through daily repentance - confessing our sin and claiming Jesus' death that paid for our sins. 

In Judges 7-8 (click here)  we see this struggle played out in real life.

  • The LORD makes Gideon a mighty warrior (Judges 6:12), but after the battle with the Midianites, he loses the battle within. He leads his people into idol worship. He declines the kingship, but then acts like a king and marries many wives. 
  • The LORD gives the Israelites a great victory over the Midianites, but quarreling and vengeance show that they lost the battle within. 

No wonder Paul closes Galatians 5 with the warning to our sinful nature: "Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying one another."

Video Devotions

Mike Westendorf and I are enjoying producing the video devotions three times per week. If you missed any, here is the link to the video devotion library. 

Family Devotions

One of the amazing blessings of our "Safer at Home" time is seeing parents grow in their roles as pastors or shepherds of their family church. Our synod is producing daily devotions with children in mind, including questions for a variety of age groups. Check out yesterday's devotion here. If you would like to have the devotion emailed to you,register here. 

Kids Club Lessons


While the family devotions are topical, our Kids Club studies are designed to help our children learn the Bible history upon which our faith is based. Our lesson for this week is attached.

A Time to Celebrate!

Last year during the Easter season, I invited people to join me in daily Bible reading using the reading guide attached. Many people over this past year have mentioned they are with me in what I call "The Fellowship of the Empty Tomb." (Yes, I am a Lord of the Rings fan!) Yesterday, two dear friends shared this great news: This morning was the final segment of the path that you encouraged me to walk just a year ago --- completing reading the Bible in a year. My wife has also walked that same path.  We are both happy that you made that suggestion to us.  What a trip it was.

The Bible can be an intimidating book. Let's walk on this journey together. If you have questions, email me the questions. I'm reading the same section as you are. 

May our Bible reading lead us daily to the Empty Tomb and the certainty that in Christ we are victorious.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Pete

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