July 22, 2004Email to a FriendPrint
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6
Physical fitness rates as a much higher priority in America today than in the past. Along with greater attention to nutrition and diet, aerobic exercise has received widespread endorsement. Such exercise demands careful discipline in order to bring results.
Saint Paul in Romans 8, his great chapter on the Holy Spirit, stresses the importance of what we might call spiritual aerobics. By nature we live the wrong kinds of life-style – selfish, rebellious, disobedient. But God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. He fed on the Word of God, obeyed the Father, exercised spiritually in prayer and worship, and went to the cross for us. The Spirit of God brought Jesus into our hearts in our baptism and nurtured our spiritual life through whatever Christian education we received. The Spirit of life has set us free from sin and death.
We are now free in Christ to choose a life-style of spiritual aerobics. We put to death the old nature every day and let the Spirit control our minds. We come to God in prayer. We read and study His Word. We worship with fellow believers. We confess our sins, breathing out the stale air of sin and breathing in the fresh air of God’s forgiveness in Christ. As Paul puts it, “the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”
We need careful planning, discipline, regularity, and positive motivation in order to grow in God’s peace and joy. But the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Jesus Christ has won the victory for us. Spiritual aerobics, letting Christ live in us and through us, works to the glory of God.
PRAYER: Dear Father, discipline my spiritual life so that I may serve You freely and joyfully. Let Your Spirit fill my mind with life and peace through Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)