Dear Jesus: Open my eyes to the message in Your Word today. Teach my unteachable heart to see your love and sacrifice through these verses. Free my mind from today’s to-do list, and send your Holy Spirit to turn my eyes to you! Amen. Romans 8:14-17 (The Message)
2-14 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
I chose to meditate on The Message version of these verses because I think the wording is more “personal”. I grew up in a very traditional church, who used the King James Version most of the time until I was an adult. For some reason, it was easier to separate myself from the meaning of God’s words when they were more formal – big, scary, unfamiliar words to my central Texas ear. For example, using “Holy Ghost” instead of “God’s Spirit”. The word ghost was more of a scary word than a comforting word!
One of the phrases that gave me pause in this version was “It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.” I’ve always known I was God’s child, but I never approached him with a “What’s next, Papa? I called my father “Daddy”, so for me to pray to my “Daddy” immediately makes him feel more accessible to me, and loving. I still call my father “Daddy”, because I lost him to leukemia when I was 12. I was recounting a memory of him to a friend of mine recently, and she laughed when I called him Daddy. She said it sounded so childish, until I explained that I never had an “adult” relationship with him. He will always be “Daddy” to me! What a wonderful way for me to connect with my God in a personal way, than to call him Daddy! I like that!
Further on, it says when we call on our “Daddy”, he sends God’s Spirit to confirm to us that we really are his own, and because of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, we can look forward to life with Him, in eternity. How awesome that a simple conversation with our “Daddy” can remind us of such a gracious inheritance. An inheritance that we do not deserve, but that was bought and paid for by our Savior, Jesus. Jesus stood in our place to receive all the condemnation we should receive.
Knowing about this gift, we can look to the future with joy and excited expectation. We’ve been assured of his love and forgiveness, so we can live on this side of heaven, with its ups and downs, all the while knowing that we have a Daddy that loves us, and is preparing a place for us with Him in eternity, to experience “good times”!
Dear Daddy: Thank you for sending your Son to suffer in our place, and to conquer the evil in this world. Please send your Spirit to remind me each day of this awesome gift, and to talk to you with expectancy, peace and joy! In Jesus Name. Amen.