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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.