We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Hannah Winslow.
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8 is an encouraging, challenging, and life-giving chapter written by Paul for the church- both then and today! It is the gospel correctly applied to the life of a Christ Follower. It explains the mental and spiritual conflict that we all experience, as well as the outcomes of where we land during those times where our minds and hearts are struggling with opposition with God’s perfect word.
As a Christ follower, it can be so discouraging when we know our feelings or thoughts or even behaviors are not lining up with the truth of God’s word. The good news is that God is so gracious that not only did he make a way for us to be spiritually alive and well, but he also provided instruction and encouragement for how to walk out the reality of our salvation in a broken world AND with a sinful human nature to contend.
Paul plainly explains in Romans 8 that before we meet Christ, we are spiritually dead in our sins against our creator God. This means that nothing we could think or feel or do could have any spiritual value to God! As hard as we tried to be a good person or feel and think the way we perceived to be “right”, we could only fall short of our efforts. Not only that, but our efforts were misguided because we weren’t able to see in the light of God’s reality! But God, by his very own Spirit, has offered us spiritual life and oneness with him when we lay down our autonomy and take his name and ruling over our lives instead. In submission to God, we have the ability to see and think and feel the way that he does! And that is a state of spiritual wholeness, or peace/shalom, meaning that there is nothing missing, nothing broken.
There is a clear distinction between a mind governed by our own human flesh and a mind governed by the spirit of God-one leads to death and the other to life! This is good news to anyone who is tired of operating in their own understanding and strength and who is ready to acknowledge that their very CREATOR probably has a better way. He does. Proverbs 3:5-6.
God, thank you so much that you are not only our creator, but our Father! As the human race we don’t live up to what the role of parents were designed by you to be, but ideally parents guide our development and provide our needs along the way. This is exactly what YOU do for us perfectly, and we can’t thank you enough for this unconditional and undeserved love and care. We need your help, God-we can’t live in alignment with your Spirit without your help. For the ones who want this, please do a work in our minds and hearts making it possible. You said that whatever we ask according to your will would be done for us by Jesus, so we believe you Jesus and we thank you in advance for the work that you are doing in our lives. (John 16:23, & 1 John 5:14) Amen!
Our homework is to find the people in our lives who are governed by the Holy Spirit, and to learn from them! If you don’t have any Christ-like examples in your life, please get involved with a community of believers in some way! That is actually what the church is for-because we can’t be or do what God has called us to in isolation. We need God’s people around us to encourage each other along as we grow and live in Christ. Paul said in another part of the New Testament to “Follow me as I follow Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1. Set aside whatever it is that keeps you away from discipleship of the more mature or obedient disciples of Christ around you. We need each other-God designed us that way!
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