Day 147: May 27, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Romans 8:1-11
1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, 2 because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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The Spirit Gives Life
by Cliff Duren, Music & Worship Associate Minister, Brentwood Campus

I was recently praying, along with hundreds of others, for a friend from college named Sharon. Sharon is a Christian, full of life, energy, and humor. She suffered a traumatic brain aneurysm on a Friday and went from perfect health to life support in a matter of moments.

After the doctors tried all they knew to do, her husband made the decision to remove life support, saying, “This is not a way of life that Sharon would find acceptable.” Less than 12 hours later, and less than a week after the incident, Sharon was absent from her earthly body and present with the Lord.

On this earth, we will continue to see death all around us. We may hear about it on the news, or it may strike closer to home with the loss of a friend or loved one. We’ll hear or say phrases like, “They really lived a good life,” or (in Sharon’s case), “Their life was cut so short.”

Thank God, His definition of life is vastly different than ours. The life that Christ offers to all is one with eternal value. It’s a life without death. A life with no end.

It’s also a life He wants us to live NOW. Our flesh is prone to live in survival mode, because it’s weak. But Christ has a greater plan for our earthly life. Just like Sharon being on life support wasn’t satisfactory for her, Jesus isn’t satisfied with us just trying to make it through.

Do you watch the soap opera “One Life to Live?” Never mind. Don’t answer that! I don’t know anything about the show, but I love the title…because it’s true. You have one life to live and Christ doesn’t want you to spend it defeated. He wants you to walk in victory with the Holy Spirit breathing into your every moment.

Verse 2 says that when we are in Christ (saved), we are set free. Free from what? From the law of sin and death. That’s right. We get to pick! Death or life? Heaven or hell? Eternity with Christ or eternity separated from Him?

If you’re like me, it’s as obvious as the choice between a 12-ounce steak and a bowl of stale cereal.

As Christians, we must hold fast to God’s definition of life. As you’ve read this passage, you’ve seen the results of trying to live this earthly life on your own. There is no hope to be found. However, when we walk by the Spirit, relying on Him and trusting in Him, our lives are defined by life and peace (verse 6).

Remember, “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (verse 11).

Apart from being raptured (which is on my bucket list, by the way), our bodies will die an earthly death. But in the meantime, God’s desire is for us to live in victory today. We don’t have to wait for heaven. We have the Holy Spirit alive in us!

Praxis

  1. Reflect. Read this passage again. There’s a lot of meat in there that you can chew on today (pun intended!).
  2. Evaluate. Is there an aspect of your life that you’re trying to manage or handle on your own?
  3. Hand it over. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you give up whatever has you bogged down. Nothing is worth trying to handle without the help of the Holy Spirit.

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.