Along with spring also come thoughts of new life and Easter. I always get extra happy because it’s the season of my spiritual birthday! I’m very old! And then, of course, that thought sends me into a time of reflection and questions such as the ones above along with a voice in my head saying, “If you’re so old, why haven’t you done more for The Lord?” STOP IT! I have to remind myself of Romans Chapter 8. However, it’s good sometimes to ask yourself some of these questions to nudge you back on the right track. But when they lead to self-condemnation, then there’s a problem!
8: 1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[d] from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Heirs with Christ
12 So then, brothers,[e] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
This past week The Lord allowed me to peek in to this spiritual truth.
I will forever tell of His great deeds among the people. (Ps. 105:1)
The King of kings suffered for me.
He was persecuted, made lower than the angels for a little time and he tasted death…for me! (Heb. 2:9)
My peek this week was just that! A re-visiting of Him descending to earth, a life in human flesh, His teachings, His relationships, His love for people, Him serving, His persecution, suffering, and ultimately His death on the cross and resurrection so that we can become joint heirs with Him.
Now, let’s go back to those questions that seem to rush through my mind and answer them through a Jesus lens.
His level of commitment and loyalty to me was so high that He yielded His own life for mine. He was constantly thinking about relationships and pursuing others to know the Father. He did that for me! He was driven by love and his devotion to us cost Him everything. His passion caused Him to seek, heal, reveal, and provide hope. All that He did brought glory to the Father. And when He seemingly lost everything, even hanging bare – clothes stripped away and skin and flesh stripped away, He completed the Father’s will by freely giving His life when He cried aloud, “Into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
Then I re-read verse 15.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
The Father has redeemed me. I am His own. All that He has He freely gives to me because of His perfect love for me. No one can remove me from the palm of His hand. (Jn. 10:28,29)
In the physical realm, I reproduce characteristics of my parents. Unknowingly, I have walked in the steps of my dad. Some of my “ways of thinking,” are like my mothers. I am, in a sense, a reflection of the two combined. As a daughter of the King, I have taken on the characteristics of Christ. It’s what happens when we become His! So as I think about my “spiritual birthday,” and how old or mature I am, I am reminded that spiritual maturity begins with loving one another…no matter what…or who! This is how others will know that I am a disciple of Christ. (Jn. 13:34,35) It’s not what I have done for Him, how devoted, committed, and whether I do Bible study first thing in the morning, or how strong my prayer life seems. It’s all about loving others in the same manner that He did…even in the midst of persecution and suffering. Would I want to go back and start over? Absolutely not! It is His faithfulness of the past that gives me hope for tomorrow!
Rejoicing in His Tender Mercies, Sherry
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