Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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.
Romans 8: 12-17 (NIV)
Joint heirs with Christ....what an exceptional place to reside! Wow! Everything that Jesus owns is also mine. Eternal life if just the beginning.
Peace...finding peace in this troubled world can sometimes seem difficult, even impossible. But the truth is that His peace abides in me if I belong to Him. I can tap into that peace no matter how much my life seems to be coming apart around me. There is no circumstance above that peace unless I allow it to be.
Joy....as we used to sing in church "it is joy unspeakable and full of glory, oh the half has never yet been told"! I own that joy, there is not need for me to be "under the burden". The peace of God which passes all understanding is mine. (Philippians 4:7) The source of joy resides within me, there is no reason for me to be down-hearted or overtaken with sadness. Do I get sad, of course I do. The point is, I do not have to live there. Now, I know some people suffer from problems with brain chemical imbalances and they experience depression. I am not putting those people down. God has an answer for that too. That is why he gave us doctors with knowledge to address those issues.
Unfailing love....I can love the way Jesus loved if I trust Him to guide me through the troubles of life and relationships. Many will not understand me. It doesn't matter. I can live above the hatred so rampant in today's world. That does not mean I should accept everything without question, but that I should respond with respect and love in every circumstance.
Hope and a future....I sometimes face difficult circumstances on this earth. I may often feel there is no future for me. But the truth is much different. Scriptures teach me that I have "hope and a future". (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) God tells Jeremiah that he has plans to give him hope and a future. That promise was fulfilled when Jesus Christ came and died. When I surrendered my heart to God's will and asked Jesus to live within me, at that very moment I received "hope and a future".
Eternal life....John 10: 28-29 teaches me that, when I commit myself to Jesus and ask him into my heart, I belong to him ETERNALLY and will never perish nor can anyone take that security from me. I am held eternally in the loving hands of Jesus. God, the Father, gave me to him and no one can take me from the hands of God, who in turn gives me over to the Son, Jesus Christ.
I am secure, my future is secure, my hope is secure, peace and joy are secure. I often forget these things for a bit. A moment, a day, even longer. But when I reach out to God, the reassurance comes immediately. You belong to me (that means I belong to Jesus!) and my possessions are eternal. Nothing can take you from me. Praise the Lord!
Paul reminds me in Romans 8:38-39 (NIV):
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No power exists that can remove me from the hands of the father or his son and all the blessings that come with that.