A New Lifestyle
Unto You, Lord, my heart is open. Help me to be unafraid and committed to obedience in all things.
Read Romans 8:1-17
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect on the thrill of being adopted into the family of the King of the Universe. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
The way our inner disposition controls the way we live is a regular theme in the Bible (e.g. Jer. 31:33,34; Ezek. 36:25,26). Paul again offers two contrasting lifestyles (5-8). Note how he connects people’s way of life to their underlying way of thinking. The word translated “mind” (5-7) indicates the direction of a person’s will, or their “mindset” (Eph. 5:17). The convictions of our hearts will steer the course of our lives. So, says Paul, having the mindset of the Spirit will enable the believer who already lives in the Spirit (9) to live according to the Spirit (4b). If I truly want to please God, I need to nurture a disposition of heart and mind that is both Spirit-led and Spirit-filled. That challenges me to ask: what am I filling my mind with? If I am serious about growing in the Christian life, am I seeking to fill my mind with spiritual food? Do I engage with Scripture? Do I really seek God in prayer? This isn’t optional; we have an obligation to live in a Spirit-guided way (12; Eph. 4:22-24).
Paul wants us to know the assurance of “no condemnation” (1) while also heeding the warning of v. 13. We need this balance in our lives. If the Spirit is truly present in our lives, we will produce fruit, but the Spirit does not do his work without our response, and we can only do this through the Spirit (Gal. 5:16,17,25).
We are the dearly loved children of the King of the universe! We will never be rejected. If we really understand this, how can we not break out in amazed praise (15,16)? And what a motivation to put to death the misdeeds of the body (13)!
What things shape your mind and thoughts? Allow the Holy Spirit to be such a presence in your life that you feed on what is true and pure (Phil. 4:8).
Holy Spirit, thank You for leading me to become a child of the Father. May my insecurities disappear as I realize I’m not an orphan but an adopted, beloved child.
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