Spiritually-Minded

Romans 8:6   (KJV)  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

As God’s children, we think godly thoughts. We enjoy life and peace now, and we’re looking forward to life and peace with our Father for eternity. We understand we still have choices. We believers don’t lose our free will even after surrendering the throne of Competitionour lives to our Lord Jesus. We choose the focus of our thoughts. We’re also very much aware of the huge implications and repercussions of our choices. Our heavenly Father doesn’t spoil His children.

I pray that this won’t be an issue of intrigue; my prayer rather is that it will be a thought to at least ponder on. Jesus has already borne the penalty of our sins on the cross. In fact He Who knew no sin was made sin for us. That Jesus has taken the death penalty for us is an absolute truth. What is this death then that results from being carnally minded? It’s easy to choose one and reject the other. In doing so, others explain away whatever they prefer to reject.

Forbid the thought that they would question the efficacy of the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice, so the trend is to deal with the death that results from carnal-mindedness. We’ve heard others interpret and teach that as death of a physical kind. And there’s no doubt, some sinful or even wrong choices can reap physical death as a consequence. But although there’s truth in it, it also misses the fact that physical death also comes even to the spiritually-minded people.

On the other hand, if the consequence of our godly thinking is life of the physical kind, what’s the necessity since we’re already physically alive? Unless it simply means continuation of our physical existence in our present condition, the other and I believe the more logical conclusion is that it also refers to life of spiritual kind. This becomes obvious when looking at the context of the passage. The entire chapter deals very much with our spirits. Without disrespect or preference of any denominational distinctive, we can safely conclude: 1. It’s absolutely and undeniably true that Jesus paid the sin-penalty of death; 2. It is also absolutely true that to be carnally minded—having our sinful nature control our mind—is or leads to death.

Whatever each of us believe; we may not all agree on one line of understanding, but the non-negotiable mandate or exhortation we can all agree and focus on is this: shun sinful nature that produces sinful thoughts, and yield to the precious Holy Spirit Who produces good, spiritual, right, and godly thoughts.

We’ll be Prepared

1 Thessalonians 5:23   (KJV)   23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s commonly known that we’re a tripartite being—consisting of three parts: body, soul, and spirit.  Our body is the material, tangible, and visible part; our soul is composed of our intellect, emotion, and volition (or will); our spirit is the part of our being that 1 Thessalonians 5.23-24 - We'll be Preparedconnects with God.  Prior to our salvation, our bodies and soul catered much to sin, and our spirits were dead; we were separated from God.

When we placed our faith in our Lord Jesus, when we placed our full dependence on Him for our forgiveness and salvation, when we surrendered the throne of our lives to Him, we were made alive; our spirits were reborn. We’re become new creations; the old “us” are gone; the new has come.  We’re now experiencing and enjoying eternal life, seated with our Lord in heavenly places (the full meaning and implications of which He alone knows).

This doesn’t mean we’re now in our full heavenly state—no, not yet. Our bodies and souls still show signs of many flaws and imperfections.  Although, we’re slowly changing even in these areas—from glory to glory, He’s changing us into the image of His Son—our dear Lord and Savior Jesus.  I’ve heard it often, “we’re not sinless; we just sin less.”  Not to be used as an excuse or in pride, but the statement is true.  We humbly admit: we’re not perfect—yet.  But we don’t fear.  We have different levels of maturity and different rates of growth, but when our Lord returns, we’ll all be made ready. We who despite our “working out of our salvation,” and despite our “striving” and wanting to be holy for our Father in heaven is holy, still mess up, will be “qualified” because: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (v.24).

Redeemed from Death

Psalm 49:15   (KJV)   15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

Everyone needs redemption—physically and spiritually, except the saints who will be alive when our Lord Jesus returns. There are at least two major pernicious human conditions that Jesus alone can remedy: sin and death; one is a result of the other. God alone can Psalm 49.15 - Redeemed from Deathforgive and erase our sins. He already paid for them through the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. In and through Him, although we die, we will live again,

We’re not the ones without hope and assurance of forgiveness and salvation. Although it’s true that there will still be times when we sin, even as believers, even as saints, we’ve already placed the hope for out eternal salvation in Him. He’s perfect and will forever be perfect. He loves us so much that He gave us His Son Jesus Who willingly let go of His glorious existence to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death—for us. We continue to depend on Him and Him alone.

We have peace because we know our Lord won’t fail. When the time comes, He will call us from the grave, and up from there we will rise to die no more. That’s a reality based on His dependability. Our total and absolute redemption through our bodily resurrection is more valuable than anything this world offers. Others pursue riches, fame, relationships, and even the fountain of youth. They even succeed in some. But everything here is fleeting—like a flower: no matter how pretty, they eventually wilt away.

We don’t envy them; those things may be important from the perspective of a temporal life, but we possess the greatest riches in eternity, or shall we say, the true riches.

Channels of Glory

Galatians 1:24   (KJV)   24 And they glorified God in me.

As His children, we’re given a high honor and privilege of being channels of God’s glory.

Not all we do bring glory to our God. Through us, God can either be praised or cursed.

galatians-1-24-channels-of-gloryWe can have better chances of channeling peoples praise towards God if we’re not involved in works of darkness. It is when we let our light shine before others that they’re able to see God in us—how good and great He is. That’s how those in darkness are drawn to the Light.

God is Holy, loving, mighty. We’re not necessarily the same. It’s when those are seen in us that people see the reality that’s not us—a reality that’s attractive and magnetic, a reality that’s bigger than us, a reality that sincerely-seeking people want to be a part of.

God is essentially glorious. He isn’t always given His du—often because others aren’t just conscientious or aware. We as people in whom He dwells can bring the truth of God’s glory closer and clearer to the people.

Our lives shine; there’s no life more beautiful and radiant than that which glows with God’s beauty.

We know our worth in Him, that’s why we don’t desire glory to ourselves. We’re the pointers not the destination of praise.

Temples of the Holy Spirit

1-corinthians-6-19-temples-of-the-holy-spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19   (KJV)   19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

The more we realize that God cares about us as a whole, the better we appreciate and treat ourselves. It’s true: God cares for the spiritual part of our being more than our bodies, but He does care for our bodies. Many people are not aware of how God has brought a very high honor and value to our bodies. He has, He has made us His possessions; He made our bodies His dwelling place—the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Everything we have is a generous gift from God. We don’t own our bodies; He does. We never owned it to start with; I don’t remember paying heaven a single penny to purchase them. Praise God for His super-gracious gift; we can never afford them in the first place. God’s been very good to us. In the middle of a culture that looks at anything material as evil, He elevated our bodies to that of the holy. We’re fully and gratefully aware of that—humbled because of God’s great love and kindness.

Now, we offer our bodies to Him as living sacrifices—holy and acceptable to Him. We keep away from sacrilegious thoughts, desires, words, and actions. He is holy; His temple is holy. We honor Him with it. There are things necessary for its survival although they may be temporal. We eat, and even that is God-honoring, although food perishes. But we employ great care and wisdom in our choices. Immoral, wrong, ungodly, and evil choices are absolute taboos. There are many other things we engage in, but we utilize our bodies in accordance with the honor God has given them. We engage in what are beneficial, constructive, inspiring, loving, and God-glorifying.

Extravagant Love

Luke 7:38  (KJV)   38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

The woman’s love for Jesus was displayed extravagantly, emotionally, affectionately, and very visibly. It had no regard for other people’s impression of who she was and cared not for criticisms she would receive. How could she do it? Why did she do it? Before she poured a single drop of perfume, she first poured all of herself. Her all-out external display of love naturally exuded from an all-out love that was already resident in the depths of her heart. It was a great “show;” she had a great love.

Love expresses itself. Love finds a way to do so. Much love will express much. A lack of loving expression may be an alarming signal of a lack of love. Please, conscientiously watch the signs. If we truly love our Master, let no personal predispositions, religious traditions or popular opinions hold us back from letting our love have its way. This is not a proposition to listen to the heart without consideration of wisdom. That would be foolish and disastrous. Lovers have been unnecessarily hurt because of solely emotional decisions. This is not a rebellious outcry to discard boundaries; that wouldn’t be love; love is righteous; it springs from the very nature of God. We need not indulge in ungodliness to generously demonstrate the greatness of our love.  We have enough godly expressions of love to last us more than one lifetime. We are to love God with all our hearts, minds, soul, and strength. Let our love flow: emotionally, intelligently, deeply, physically – noticeably.

Loving God, thank you for sparing no expense in showing how great your love is for us. You gave it your best; You gave us the greatest expression of Your love by giving us Your Son. Please help us to reciprocate Your gesture – limited as we are. May we never be ashamed of letting others know of our love for You,  even in the way we love others too. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.