Sunday 19 July 2020 Message Supplement: “Transformed Perspective”

Today’s message highlights Romans 8:12-25, where Paul the author encouraged overcoming destruction via spiritual life.

The holistic way in which God created people means that humans are a combination of a physical body, a mind, and spirit. God calls each person toward a life of wellbeing that maximizes potential for each of these vital areas. Paul repeatedly emphasized the contrast between the spiritual side and the more troublesome parts, which are often self-destructive attitudes and behaviors. “[F]or if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

Paul next highlighted the family status of believer’s in God’s kingdom. His emphasis was that we are God’s children, not slaves to sin. And if we are children, Paul declared, then we are also God’s heirs, alongside Jesus. Do you feel that you are part of this beautiful faith family? Accompanying redemption is a person’s splendid new spiritual status in God’s care. Many earthly families are dysfunctional, but in God’s kingdom even troubling relationships can be transformed in a wonderfully positive manner.

The human condition still involves pain and challenges. Even as God’s children, Christians are not immune to problems. Moreover, death afflicts everyone. Denial isn’t a good strategy to overcome these brutal truths. A true view of reality requires acknowledging troublesome facts. Threats are everywhere and just by being alive people are constantly bombarded. The wonderful news is that all these problems are overshadowed by the marvelous new life God’s offers those who are awakened and ready to better manage themselves (with God’s help, of course).

Rather than be burdened or stymied by the human condition, faithful people can admit what they face and seek an intentional partnership with God. As you achieve this, you’ll become stronger and more resilient in the face of whatever life throws at you. “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). This keystone verse is all about maintaining a proper perspective.

Despite obstacles, don’t allow distress to rob you of vitality. Resist anything that drains you so that you’ll progress toward that revitalized person God is helping you become. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Also resist dwelling on all the situations that contribute to dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Such complaining or blaming fuels a bad attitude, which sucks energy from more positive pursuits. As always, life gets worse when you allow yourself to get stuck in self-defeating attitudes and behaviors.

As you overcome challenges you’ll build a bridge between current problems and the greater goal of wellbeing, which can lead to ultimate fulfillment. Part of this is choosing to view situations in a better perspective. It isn’t easy to overcome negativity because it takes practice and patience to restructure thinking, feeling and behavior. It may require a mighty effort to overcome bad habits, but the glories of God’s blessings are worth the effort. God will help you overcome, even when you get in your own way (and when you fall, get up again!).

Although suffering defines human existence, you and I have hope for a glorious life both now and in the future. Following God means that we are blessed, equipped with all we need to live triumphantly. As you do your part, God as the power of love will transform you from the inside/out. Claim God’s promise of redemption and live like you want the most out of life. Soon you’ll develop a perspective that exemplifies the exhilarating presence of the Almighty.       –Reverend Hoxey

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