Monday July 19, 2021
Lord, help me to pause, help me to focus, help me to receive your word in a way that makes an impact on my day. Amen.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Have you noticed this is one long, complex, run on sentence where one thought, before complete, runs into another? I struggled to hear the truth woven into the complicated, flooding prose, but this is what settled out of my struggle.
God does not condemn us, but reconciles us to God, ourselves and each other through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Gone is the fear of not being accepted by God and the need to be found acceptable by God through our earned worthiness.
We are at peace with God, others and ourselves through God’s gift of mercy and grace. We are not in the hands of an angry God, but in the heart of a living Father. In Jesus we are children of God, not servants or slaves. We cry out to God “Abba” (daddy). Earthly fathers are a pale comparison to the Lord of all who says, “Call me Dad.”
As daughters and sons of God, we are also members of the family business of proclaiming the saving grace of God in word and deed. We are to offer a home for the prodigals and a membership in God’s family business established “In the beginning…”
Where do you need to find reconciliation with God today? Do you understand your role in the “family business?”
Thank you, Abba, for my reconciliation with you. May I be faithful in my part of the family business of grace. In my brother Jesus’ name, Amen.
The First 15
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