Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Adopted, Welcomed, Loved

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. (Romans 8:5 NLT)

God wants His Spirit to permeate every area of your life: your thought life, your relationships, your work, and everything that you do.

The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18 NLT). Another translation of the word “filled” speaks of the wind filling the sails of a boat.

Imagine being out on a lake, bobbing around in a sailboat without any wind. But then a gust comes along, you hoist your sail, and you pick up speed. In the same way, how much better our lives are when we let the Holy Spirit fill our sails and give us the strength to live the life God calls us to live.

This isn’t about trying harder. It’s about asking God to help us, because we can’t do it on our own. This is not works-based righteousness; it’s working righteousness. If you don’t want to go backward, then go forward.

The best way not to walk in the flesh is to walk in the Spirit and take practical steps to do that every day. As believers, we should start each day by asking God to fill us with the Holy Spirit. 

Spirit-led people are spiritually minded people. Romans 8:5 tells us, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (NLT).

In other words, be preoccupied with things that preoccupy the Holy Spirit. And what are those things? The rest of Romans 8 answers that question. For instance, verse 14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” (NLT). Verses 15–16 tell us that God removes the fear of rejection and assures us that we are His children.

Also, verses 26–27 tell us that the Holy Spirit gives us confidence to approach God in prayer. Therefore, God wants us to think about the fact that He adopted us, He loves us, and He welcomes us. 

As a child of God, you’re adopted. I got my last name, Laurie, from a man named Oscar Laurie, one of my mother’s many husbands. He adopted me and treated me as his son. He’s in Heaven now, but I still feel a great love for him.

God loves you, and He welcomes you in prayer. This is important when you’re going through something that causes you to worry. Remember, you’re God’s adopted child. He welcomes you. He wants to hear from you. He wants you to think about Him. That is what it means to be spiritually minded and have the Holy Spirit dominate your mind.

In contrast, when the sinful nature dominates us, we “think about sinful things” (Romans 8:5). A lot can fall into this category, including lust, anger, and hatred. But it also can include empty things such as fame and fortune.

Let’s fill our minds with the things of God.

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