I'm excited to post this morning. I feel awake. It's going to be another gorgeous day! aaaand it's Thursday. Which means I don't have anything that I don't choose to do! (aka I don't have to get up and leave at a certain time. I can finish all of my schoolwork.)
Today is Day 4 of 100 Days of Holiness for me.
... Hm. I don't think I ever fully explained what 100 Days of Holiness is. So here goes nothin: during 100DOH (abbreviation for now) the participant wears a blue cloth around their wrist or on their clothing or on their ankle (like my sister does...). The blue cloth basically represents Jesus. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew people wore a strip of blue cloth on their clothing to remind them of God's commands. I was curious, so I went on BibleGateway.com and looked up "blue cloth" and didn't find anything, then saw "blue cord" in the suggested searches and clicked on that. It took me to Numbers 15:38-39 38 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. 39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD.
We are wearing these blue cords to remind us that God is with us. We're trying to treat everyone how Jesus would treat them. No hate, no spite, just love.
We're not doing this for ourselves either. This is to change other people's lives. I'm still trying to find the time to write a post about Sunday night's Encounter62. It was all about the 100 Day Challenge.
You can click on the link that's up there. The devotionals are archived so you can read whatever day you're on. I'm on day 4.
Now. On to Romans 8 (LOVE this portion of Romans 8.... just so you know!)
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death
No condemnation. BOO YAH! When Jesus died, the law of the Spirit of life set us free from the law of sin and death. Nice parallelism/opposites, Paul. But do you notice how there's still a law? hmm... interesting *strokes imaginary beard*
3For 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.
Crazy stuff right here. Ready? (I'm not sure I am, but let's go!)
God sent Jesus in the likeness of a sinful man (notice that he wasn't sinful... he was just in the likeness) because the law wasn't able to save us because it was weakened by our sinful nature.
So God sent Jesus annd thenn... God made sin officially bad. He condemned it. In man. Sooo that we could become fully righteous when we live according to the Spirit.
I think that's what it says.
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.
It's all about where your mind is set. How you live kind of dictates where your mind is set. It also dictates what goes through your mind. We can have our minds set on what the world wants, or we can have our minds set on what God and the Spirit want. Your choice. (I'd advise that you read a little further before you make that choice ;)
6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
Hm. Not sure which one I want now. (completely sarcastic...) Death...or life and peace? I'm going to pick the "life and peace" option.
7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God
These are some strong statements. The sinful mind is hostile. It does not want to submit to God's law nor can it do so. It's not possible. Crazy. When you're controlled by your sinful nature, it's impossible to please God. Why? Because God is perfect but can't tolerate sin.
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
Have you ever heard someone say "We're all children of God"? Yeah. This is where that is revealed as a lie.
But first: We aren't controlled by sin. We're controlled by the Spirit of God... if he lives inside you.
Here's the kicker: If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Anyone who doesn't have the Spirit in them cannot be called a child of God. It's a little mind blowing...
10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
This is kind of confusing to me. I don't really get the "your body is dead because of sin" part. I get the "your spirit is alive because of righteousness" but I don't get the "dead because of sin" part. Anyone care to take a gander at explaining to me? (Wait... I might get it... keep reading.)
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.
Okay. I think I get this. Please correct me if you think I'm wrong. Or know I'm wrong. Here I go: So if the spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, is living in you, then you won't be dead anymore either... You'll receive life through the Spirit... who lives in you. (Abby's Loosely Translated Version (ALTV? haha))
.Begin mini tangent.
There is a fantastic song by Everyone's A Poet that is based on this verse. There is also a video of some of the guys in the youth group (at the time) rocking out to the "original" version of the song in a condo in Myrtle Beach while we were at a conference (High School Leadership Training HSLT. We're doing HSLT this summer too, but LT stands for Life Training). (If you go to youtube and search "oversome HSLT" you should find it. Yes. Oversome is right.) The song was written at the same conference the year before on like... Wednesday night? I think we sang it for the first time on Thursday night and my dad went up to Kimball (the worship leader) and asked him why we hadn't sung that song sooner, and Kimball told my dad that the song had been written the night before. My dad had happened to share Romans 8:11 with us the night before during our "Tie down" (discussion time). And that's the verse that the song is based on. So our youth group has a kind of special tie to it. They revamped it and recorded it and it's on their self titled CD. You can listen to the song at http://www.myspace.com/everyonesapoet There are a couple of their other songs on there too. It's a sweet band. Buy their CD. I'm pretty sure there's information on the page.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it
We have an obligation. Powerful word. It's not to our sinful nature though... hm... I wonder what it could be an obligation to...
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.
There's that death and dying thing again. But if by the Spirit you put to death the wrong things that you do you'll live. Because when we're led by the Spirit, we are sons (or daughters) 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."
This is probably one of my favorite verses. We aren't slaves of fear. We were slaves of fear, but not any more. We have received the spirit of "sonship" or adoption. Adoption. God chose to bring us into his family. How amazing is that?!?! And by him (I like to think "to him") we cry DADDY. He's giving us permission to use this name. We have the ability to approach GOD with arms open wide and say "Daddy" and he'll pick you up. I'm looking at notes that I took during an Encounter from last month about this passage and going back to about verse 12 (I have 8:12-17 written down) I have this written: If you put something to death, it doesn't have the option of living itself out in your life. SWEET.
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.
More of my notes from these two verses: God agrees that we are children of God. Not only that, but we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
I'm a daddy's girl through and through. :D
Since we are heirs, we inherit God's kingdom. God's kingdom is bigger than any kind of earthly inheritance we can hope for!
The last part of verse 17 is kind of interesting: if indeed we share in his suffering in order that we may share in his glory.
This is one of those times where God warns you that it isn't going to be easy. You're going to have to share in some of Jesus' suffering a little bit if you're going to be a co-heir. Interesting. Yet again.
That was a lot. If you seriously got this far, congratulations. I guess I should get off to do school... I'll leave you with a video that they showed at LT one year. It's another video about evangelism. It's kind of long, but definitely worth watching! (Kimball in the video is Kimball who wrote Overcome ^ up there)
Well. I'm going to do school. (And technically I can get on facebook again today! (If I want) But i'm not going to. Because I need to start school.)
Have a good day!