Monday Devotional: March 20, 2023
Bible Reading: Romans 8:6-11 (CEB)
6 The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace. 7 So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t. 8 People who are self-centered aren’t able to please God. 9 But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him. 10 If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.
Have you ever ridden in a new car and then start to see cars just like it everywhere you go? Have you had a new song stuck in your head and begin to hear it everywhere? Have you made a mistake and then every thought reminds you of your failure? Sometimes when we focus upon something, it becomes all we see in the world.
Paul tells the Romans that it is important where we focus our minds. Paul says that if we set our minds on our own flesh, it will lead to death. He is not arguing against our bodies or suggesting that our flesh is something from which we need to escape. Rather, he is warning against focusing on our human desires. This human focus often leads us to be self-centered, greedy, vengeful, and even fearful. If we focus on the flesh, it will shape how we see the world in a way that leads to our downfall.
Paul urges us to set our minds on the Spirit that resides in our mortal bodies. If we set our minds on the Spirit of God, we will set our sights on the new life offered in Christ Jesus. This life is an assurance of God’s redeeming love that claims us as God’s own. To focus on the Spirit is to focus on the goodness of God for us and the world.
In these days of anxiety, worry, and fear, we need to focus our minds on the Spirit of God. If we set our minds on the Spirit, we can focus our lives upon forgiveness; we can have hope for tomorrow; we can live without fear. Set your mind on the Spirit of God that fills us with the hope of new life and peace, so it becomes all you see in the world.
Spirit of God, help me to set my mind on your goodness, forgiveness, and love so that I see your righteousness in all I do. Amen.
By Robert Brewer, The Upper Room Disciplines 2023, page 108.