Turn off your cell phone, TV, or radio. Listen to the silence that is around you. Listen for God to speak to you.
Romans 8:1-11 (NRSV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Some say Romans 8 is the greatest chapter in the Bible. My mother kept a plaque of Romans 8:28 on the wall and I grew up thinking since I loved God, things in my life would always be good.
The first verses of Romans 8 are difficult to understand. Paul is saying we are all sinners and are saved only by the grace of God. Most of us think we are basically good, but Paul wants us to understand we are all guilty before God—not saved by any good that we do, but only through Jesus’ death for our sins.
Many of my friends and family members have died in the past few years. Death is something we will all pass through, but it is a great comfort to be assured that when we are one with Christ, we will live again. If we are truly in Christ, then nothing in creation will be able to separate us from God’s love.
Dear God, thank you for loving us so much that you gave your Son that we might live. Help us to take our eyes off the world’s difficulties and focus on your promises of the resurrection. Amen.
Go with God!