Unicorns and Puppy Dogs

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now 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. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:16-18)

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Words of powerful declaration over your life

I am attempting to memorize Romans 8 this year. It’s a leftover goal from last year.

A few posts back I talked about uncomfortable shifts at 50, and I’ve discovered shifts like… my memory just isn’t what it used to be! I just can’t slam some verses out in memorization like I used to!

So I’ve chosen to prayerfully meditate through Romans 8 to let the words soak in and know that as I walk yet again through this great chapter, the words will come alive in my heart. Today is one of those powerful days.

It is a day of declaration. It is a day of understanding who we are in Christ. 

The first part of v. 9 shouted into my spirit as I read these powerful words:

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit…

There is a clause at the end of that sentence. It is a clause where we need to understand we ARE in the realm of the Spirit, but there are days I need that first part shouted into my spirit, and today must be one of those days. A day where the Spirit takes those words and says, “Dan, you ARE in the realm of the Spirit!”

The verse of Romans 8 that always “revs my engine” is v. 11

And 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 because of his Spirit who lives in you.

And, again, the Spirit today shouts to my spirit, “That same Spirit DOES live in you!

There are days we need that bold declaration shouted in our hearts. Today seems to be that day for me. Maybe it’s that day for you as well.


Sweeping Victory

What is the power of the resurrection?

It is “sweeping victory.” This is where I like how the Common English Bible puts some phrases. They take some very familiar passages and bring a fresh perspective.

The resurrection is power.

11If 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. (Rom. 8:11, CEB)

This is one of my favorite verses. I need this reminder all the time. The Spirit that blasted Jesus out of the grave dwells in me. I carry resurrection power.

The resurrection is sweeping victory.

37 But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. (Rom. 8:37, CEB)

Romans 8 is a place I like to camp from time to time. Reflecting on the resurrection of Christ, I can find no better place to dwell. I need this truth DEEP in my spirit. We all need this truth deep in us.

The resurrection of Christ is not just victory. It is sweeping victory. Nothing can stand in the way. All the junk has to go. Why would I want to deal with the crud in my life when I have this radical love in my life? Yet, I deal with crud because I don’t always dwell in the radical truth of God’s deep love for me.

We are walking in resurrection power. We may have hardship. We may have suffering. But in the middle of it all we have Christ. He is there with us. His presence is victory. The victory is sweeping and complete.

Transformation of the Mind

This past Sunday I actually used all four texts of the Sunday reading in my message. I couldn’t even begin to dig into any one of them, but I felt the Lord had something from each passage to give to people in the congregation.

The ending passage was Romans 8 and the thought we left with was the need to renew the mind. The battle is in the mind. We cannot halt everything that comes at us through our eyes or our ears. What we CAN do is learn to put up “Kingdom filters” so we can control what stays in the mind.

We have water filters in a few places in our house. The filters try to capture the last small particles that the city water filtration can’t do so we the water we drink is a little better.

Even if we did not have that, the city water filtration system is built to try and purify water and keep a huge percentage of bad elements out of the water so that when we get water out of the tap it’s mostly pure and good for drinking.

On the other end is the sewer line. No big filters there, right? Just moving junk away from the house, out into the main sewer system where other lines have fed into it and you have no real filters. Nothing is meant to be caught there.

Most of the time I find our minds don’t have very good filters. They’re more like sewer drains. We just let everything in.

The conversation I want to extend this week for anyone in my church, or anyone reading my blog for that matter, is how do we work on transforming our minds? In Romans 8 Paul talks about setting our minds on the things of the Spirit. That is possible because as believer our minds are made alive by the Spirit. It is up to US to set up those Kingdom filters so that our minds are set on the Spirit and not on the junk of this world.

Please join this conversation as I post! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. What is helping you renew your mind? What helps you filter out the junk we deal with all the time in our world?

No Grave Wins

All of the texts for Sunday speak to resurrection power. Ezekiel 37 is the Spirit bringing life into a place where death has ruled for a long time. John 11 is the Spirit bringing life where death has gripped Lazarus for a few days. Romans 8 is the power of the Spirit breathing new life into our dead souls.

This thought has come to me in all of this: When Jesus speaks (and I am thinking here of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus) NO GRAVE WINS.