By Mrs. Lawrence Coffee
Romans 8:1-17 – "1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And 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 through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now 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."
Today is Christmas day and 2007 is history. We just survived another Christmas season, or did you? Did the holiday season go by leaving you feeling a little empty?
Did you spend a lot of money, buying presents for people who did not reciprocate? Did they thank you for the time you spent doing the wrapping, shopping, delivering gifts, baking, and cooking? Did you visit family members, and not receive a hug, or a hello, how are you? Perhaps you were even insulted, criticized or ignored? Maybe you went home thinking they might not even miss you next year if you don't go?
I pray you did not lose a loved one this year, but for those who have; I pray that you have been comforted by our great Comforter, Jesus.
If you felt slighted this Christmas, if you felt left out, if you felt unloved, or that you were treated unfairly, if you did not get your way, or did not receive the gift that you wanted, remember this chapter of the bible, and read it over again and again. It says in verse 5 that those who are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the Holy Spirit, and if we do that, we won't feel slighted. The custom of gift-giving and baking cookies during Christmas seem to gratify the flesh.
If we feel we didn't receive the gift we deserve, think again, we have received Jesus, and are joint heirs with Him, through Him.
If we think we have suffered too much, think of verse 17 that says we must share His suffering to share His glory.
And if we feel unloved, remember verses 1, 2, & 3, that God sent His own Son as an offering for sin to all who accept that sacrifice, and we are free from the law of sin and death. How much LOVE has God for us? So much that verse 14 says that all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God! We are forgiven, sons of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus; what more could God give us?