Daily D – Romans 8:6
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. ROMANS 8:6 (NLT)
When Jesus said, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life,” (John 10:10), he did not mean he is going to force pleasantness and goodness on you. You kinda sorta have to participate. It is possible to place your faith in Christ, to experience his transformation, and later to shift into curmudgeon mode, or worse.
You and I can fill our minds with grace-wrapped words of edification and kindness, or we can fill our minds with the bomb-throwing outrage of our day. How do we get more life and peace, and less death breath? Philippians 4:8 is a good place to start. Listen to what Paul wrote:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
The Message paraphrase says it like this:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
You and I can fix our minds by fixing our focus. There are some things we do not get a choice about seeing or hearing. There are many more things we do not have to see or hear or experience. We can make better choices. We do not have to live like dogs returning to vomit or pigs to slop and mud.
We can look for beauty. We can delight in wonder. We can choose grace.
We see what we are looking for, so it has been observed. What observations will you make today? What options will you choose about what you place before your eyes or in your ears? Me? I want more of the good life. I want more peace. I will ask the Spirit of God to fill my mind with life and peace.
I will choose life and peace.
Our Father, in chaotic days like this, it is hard to escape death-breathing reality. As you have breathed life into us, empower us to breathe life and beauty, peace and purpose everywhere we go. Give us wisdom to turn away from unnecessary hateful and hurtful things. Give us the joy of discovering and pondering beauty and goodness. Fill our minds with your thoughts and our mouths with your words. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.