Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30 - Hearts and Minds

Today's Reading:
Job 37:1-39:30
Hebrews 10:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
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Focus Verses:
Hebrews 10:14-17
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."

The sacrifices of the Jewish priesthood had to be repeated over and over because they were only about forgiveness and repentance. The sacrifice of Christ Jesus was about forgiveness from sin, and it was also about something even greater—transformation and freedom from our bondage to sin. The priesthood of Christ brought more than forgiveness; it brought the possibility of new life.

By the power and grace of the Spirit of Christ, we can now escape from our fallen obligation to sin. Instead of trying to keep a law that is external and contrary to our nature, the Christ-follower has the will and the ways of God engraved upon their hearts and written in their minds. Because our nature is changed, we can be renovated from the inside out. We experience more than forgiveness; we experience transformation.

Response and Action:
My faith in Christ is about more than forgiveness. I look to the power and grace of his Holy Spirit to change me. I do not look to him for new rules and special insights to pursue in my own strength. Rather, I look to him for the transformation of my heart and mind. I want to have a heart and mind that are inclined toward the ways of Christ. The holiness and wholeness of my life must flow out from the change I am experiencing in the deepest parts of my being. I want more than forgiveness for my past; I desire strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

O God, help me to live for you and through you in thought, word, and deed. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead, teach, shape, and strengthen me that I might delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Thank you for Jesus who makes forgiveness possible. Thank you, even more, that he makes change and new life possible. Thank you for the new and living way he has opened for us. It's in his name that I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Romans 8:12-13
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Recommended Reading:
Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ
by Dallas Willard

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