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.

My Treasure

Matthew 6:21   (KJV)   21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Our minds and hearts are invested in God and heavenly thoughts. The more we do, the more we’re drawn to them.  There really is no being, system or cause greater than God. He has no equal, no qualified rival. Strength, glory, honor, and supreme rulership Matthew 6.21 - My Treasurebelongs to Him.  In His presence is fullness of love, joy, peace, and freedom.  He frees us from all earthly worries and encourages us to focus on things that are eternal and heavenly.

Oh, to taste and see that the Lord is good; to know Him increasingly more; to know His face, His Word, His will, His ways, His works; to know the power of His resurrection, His Kingdom now, and His Kingdom to come—nothing beats or surpasses any of these in value.  No, we’re not of those who are too heavenly minded and no earthly good. In fact, it is our being increasingly more God-minded and heavenly-minded that we become truly earthly good.

We’re not affected by people’s perception of us; we’re not affected by their lack of interest, their low estimation of us.  We’re beyond that; we’re free from people’s opinions and influence.  We serve God; we shine His light—not to elevate ourselves or to boast of how good we are, but to point them to God.  We forgive those who wrong us; we love our enemies; we walk the extra mile, we bless those who curse us.  Those we do because we’re not a part of the dog-eat-dog, “survival of the fittest” competition that the world has cruelly imprisoned and controlled people with.  What matters is the infinitely more precious existence with our wonderful God now and in eternity.

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.

One Thing

Luke 10:42   (KJV)   42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

In the final analysis, there’s only One that really matters: Jesus. Although there are those who get bogged down with a lot of small details, what’s important is our Lord: things in and about Him. It’s a joy to know that we make the right choice, and the Lord values our luke-10-42-one-thingchoice of Him; He protects that; He vindicates us as we stand for Him: for what is good, right, and godly; when we choose Him over anything and anyone; when we choose the eternal over the temporal.

We believe in the existence and reality of God; we believe in the reality of the invisible spiritual dimension. Others only believe what connects with their senses: what they can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Our prayer is that they’ll have a saving belief of and experience with the Lord so that they could share in the wonders of life eternal and the unlimited realm. The supernatural exists; our Lord Jesus: His coming, His teaching, His resurrection, His ascension proves that.

We make the main thing the main thing. We know who we are; we know our purpose; we know our destiny. We are God’s children; we keep pursuing a growing and more intimate relationship with the Father. There’s a great harvest; we are lambs sent among wolves, but we go loving on the wolves nonetheless. We don’t fear because God has given us power, love and wisdom; we know how to navigate through the rough “seas” of this earth. We press on towards the mark of the high “heavenward” calling of God in Christ Jesus. It’s really that simple. So we seek Him and His righteousness, and all the small details of life that often distract others from what really matters in this life and eternity are taken care of personally by our precious Lord Jesus.

Beloved Children of God

1 John 3:2   (KJV)    2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

One of the greatest blessings in our relationship with God is us being adopted into His family as His very own children. Those of us who receive Him, who believe in His Name, He gave us this awesome right and honor of becoming His children. We have a true, living, 1-john-3-2-beloved-children-of-godloving Father-child relationship with God. This is something affirmed in us by His precious Holy Spirit. We now call Him Dad.

Because we have this saving belief, experience, and relationship with our Father, we’re assured of our eternal destiny: we will spend eternity in His presence, and our predestination will be fully realized: complete conformity to the image of our dear Lord Jesus. Right now we enjoy and celebrate our victories in growth. In this imperfect world where the prince of darkness still has widespread influence, we, though still sharing in this imperfection, though still struggling at times against temptations, though still failing and falling at times, look forward to our ultimate transformation. One day soon, we will see our precious Lord appear in the clouds, and we will be gloriously changed.

God wants us to draw ever closer to Him because He loves us truly, fully, unconditionally, and infinitely. We all turned away from him, went astray and got separated so far away from him. I can’t imagine how much we broke His heart. He did everything so He can bring us back. Through our precious Lord Jesus, we’re back. People don’t understand why we love Him; we don’t have to be forced, threatened, or coerced to pray, read His Word, fellowship with our spiritual family, and speak to others about Him. We enthusiastically and excitedly look forward to them. How can we not be? We and Dad—we love each other very much.

New Heavens and New Earth

Isaiah 65.17 - New Heavens and New Earth - 1Isaiah 65:17   (KJV)   17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Our God, He Who created the heavens and the earth will one day create new ones; both will be gloriously different. It will be a creation “untouched” by sin, sickness, poverty, fear, hatred, and death. Everything in this present creation that pull people away, everything people trade for the most awesome Being there is, all will be forgotten. What awaits us is a place of unimaginable beauty, wonder, and splendor. It’s a place of purest love, overflowing joy, and absolute peace. Please consider: the most expensive places on earth, the best resorts, the most tranquil vacation homes, the most jaw-dropping houses—is there anything that even comes close to what awaits those who truly love God?

We as His people taste a small portion of the glory that waits. Poverty is rampant, but we’re not in want. Loneliness and shame abounds, but we’re blessed and bold. There are tears and despair, but our hearts are filled with joyful songs. Our God Who we will spend glorious eternity with is with us—in us—now—hearing us, speaking to us, answering our prayers. God sits enthroned on High; heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool; we can never build a place big enough to house Him, but He resides in us; He gave our bodies the highest honor by making us His temples.

This world doesn’t entice us. Why? Because our hearts are set on a much greater version—a place where chaos and wars and rebellions are no longer found. Holiness and righteousness are its hallmarks. There will not be a presence of evil there. It will be a place of resplendent purity and indescribable beauty. There will be no darkness there, no foul smell, no unpleasant sight, no revenge, no evil intents, no cursing, no persecution. The greatest thing this world system offers, everything godless people clamor for and passionately pursue, is trash compared to the real treasure that will be enjoyed by those who pursue God. New heavens and new earth—that’s our real home; there’s our real citizenship.

Of Truth and Enemies

Galatians 4:16  (KJV)   16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Truth can create enemies. People can be so innocently deceived and be so convinced that they’re right. Others are deliberate deceivers.  They know they’re wrong but they continue to deceive because of personal benefits. The more important the truth, the more passionate people can become with it. Bearers of the truth stand in the way of the deceived and the deceiver; no; they crash against each other.

Truth-bearers, truth-sharers will make enemies – not by choice, but as a consequence. With that in mind, will we stand back? Having enemies isn’t ungodly; this is unavoidable. We ought to love them of course. Not that easy but it ought to be done. In fact, if it’s at all possible, we ought to pursue peace. But if peace means muzzling and sacrificing of truth, let’s then prepare to live with the presence of enemies. There are truths that are pleasant and truths that are ugly. Truth will hurt, especially ugly truths about ourselves.

Some have become very comfortable with hidden ugly truths. They want to live in them instead of being free from them. They’ve chosen and mastered the path of covering the inner monsters instead of getting rid of them. They know how to act on the outside differently from what they feel inside; they act differently in front of people and they act differently alone. They don’t want to be found out. Truth also liberates those who genuinely seek it. Some will welcome it, some will abhor it. If truth be told: truth ought to be told – especially the truth that makes a difference in our eternal destination or existence.

Dear God, You are Truth. You are so good, so great. Men and women from all corners of the earth ought to know You; You’re really good news. In fact, there’s no better news than You, what You’ve done for us, and what You have in store for us. Please help us to always remember the value of what You’ve deposited in us, that we may see the value of sharing them – at all godly cost.