Daily readings and Thought for July 31st. “ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST”
How challenging – to our minds – no, more than that – to our hearts, are the words of Paul that we read today – the words he addressed to the believers in Rome. His 7th and 8th chapters are among the most challenging – for our meditation – in the whole of God’s word! They demand our heart-felt meditation.
There are two ways before us – two options as to how we should live our lives; it is fatal to just drift along: our hearts and minds must have a clear focus on the way ahead. In this respect let us see our minds as a spiritual camera, a camera that does not have an automatic focus. The more we read God’s word then the more our minds will come into focus – on things Divine. It will become evident in our conversation and our actions that we have done this.
Looking for a moment at the other side of the coin – how ‘eternally’ meaningless each day is the conversation and actions of those who never read God’s word! They do not sense the reality of God – especially his all-seeing eyes! However, the time is coming when they will no longer be able to do this! Let us recall what we read in Isaiah last month, he was caused to write of the time coming when, natural (and spiritual) people “will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.” [29 v.23]
Wonderful – but let us reflect on the warning in the words of Paul we read today! “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” [8 v.9] How challenging! Let us ask ourselves – to whom do I belong? How vital that we “have the Spirit of Christ! But, as we read, in particular in ch. 7 v. 22,23, having “the Spirit of Christ” leads to a sort of ‘battle’ in our hearts and minds as we strive to “serve the law of God.” [v.25]
Let us read again – and again – chapter 8 – to see how it provides the triumphant sequel to the battle. Verse 9 is the one we should, indeed must, memorise! “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Let us read the Spirit-inspired word every day – this alone lays the foundation for truly developing “the Spirit of Christ.”