June 15, 2018

Your Thoughts Matter

Romans 8:1–8

10 Comments | Listen | Print | Full Chapter

Life in the Spirit

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.1 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you2 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,3 he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


[1] 8:1 Some manuscripts add who walk not according to the flesh (but according to the Spirit)
[2] 8:2 Some manuscripts me
[3] 8:3 Or and as a sin offering

Your Thoughts Matter

Bio | Hannah Hays

Hi, everyone! My name is Hannah. I'm from Southern California and  now have lived in the great State of Texas for almost two years. I love my job as a wound-care nurse. Some of my favorite things include sports, good food, traveling, worship music, and engaging with people. I love Jesus and desire to honor Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I'm a small-group leader in Wake and love serving any way I can!

Central Truth

Because of our security in knowing there is no condemnation if we belong to Christ, we have the freedom to walk in the Spirit and experience joy and peace.

Devotional | Romans 8:1–8

Anxiety and overthinking have been longtime struggles in my life. They creep in when I attempt to take control of my circumstances and do not trust God. For a while, I thought if I prayed hard enough or just tried to...

Anxiety and overthinking have been longtime struggles in my life. They creep in when I attempt to take control of my circumstances and do not trust God. For a while, I thought if I prayed hard enough or just tried to make my anxiety stop, it would. When it didn't, it became frustrating. One day it clicked for me. I realized I wasn't replacing the lie or my anxious thoughts with God's truth. Allowing myself to wallow in anxiety and fear does not bring about life and peace, and it certainly doesn't please God.

I started to actively choose to set my mind and thoughts on God's truth, instead of allowing myself to dwell on the lie. Trust me, this didn't happen overnight. It's taken continued practice! After meditating on what God says about me and reminding myself of all He has done, even giving His Son's life for mine, I want to honor Him with my thoughts and desires.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the promise of the Holy Spirit to help us as we choose to put off the old self and put on the mind of Christ (Ephesians 4:22-24). One of my favorite song lyrics is "Lord, I need you; Oh, I need you. Every hour, I need you." It reminds me that even as often as every hour, I need to surrender my thoughts and will to the Lord. I ask Him for direction in what I feed my heart. The things I feed my heart create desires within me, and these desires then translate into the decisions I make and how I live my life.

We will never walk perfectly in the Spirit every day. However, I choose to remind myself that I am free in Christ and that I am no longer a slave to fear, guilt, and shame. I was bought with a price; I am loved; and I am a child of God. Walk in that freedom today! Start living a life full of peace—yielded to the Holy Spirit—and share that hope with others around you.

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1. What do you feed your heart? Consider TV shows, movies, music, what you talk about.

2. What lies do you believe that cause you to become anxious or fearful?

3. What Scripture can you memorize to combat those lies? 

10 Comments available

greg jones 9 months ago

A great example of life experience in this devotional. Things like fear, depression, anxiety, are not the kinds of things we hope to experience in life. But when we do experience these kinds of things, what a great fulcrum to test what we believe. When it “clicks” and we learn to shift the balance of our “thoughts and desires” what a better outcome than praying away the pivot points in life. There is a difference in people who think, desire, and pray on the top side of life where balance occurs and those who think, desire, and pray on the bottom side of life where God allows fulcrums.

Great example of a topside life. Thank you so much for this today.

Ronnie Oldfield 9 months ago

Watermark is such an inspiring place to be because we are all moving in the same direction—being all in disciples of Christ. When I allow my flesh to rule, I am not alone on an island- I have some great friends in community, people in the Prodigal ministry, fellow Frontlines servants and many others to turn to. To stay in the flesh I must intentionally hide my struggle from those who love and care for me. I pray I will turn to others when I am slipping away from the ways of the Spirit so that my testimony for Christ will not be diminished. Thank you Hannah for the excellent wound care today!!!

Ronnie Oldfield 9 months ago

…from where my hope comes. Baptists are in Dallas, Republicans are in San Antonio (where I am writing from) to decide as a group how the group will try to influence Texas going forward. I think both groups have about 10,000 people present. The groups will leave their meetings “on the same page” as to how the groups will attempt to impact the lives of Texans. Difficulties arise when people want to wear the “Baptist” or “Republican” cloak, but not “be on the same page”. These people want to do as their flesh desires rather than follow the “spirit” of the Group. Deacons in Baptist churches and politicians who get elected as Republicans but not holding true to the “spirit” of the group brings confusion and dissension. Continue

Ronnie Oldfield 9 months ago

Thank you for coming to Texas so you could bless us today with this devo. You did a great job of being a “spiritual wound care nurse” for so many today. The choice to live by the Spirit or by the flesh confronts Me all day every day. Am I going through the motions of being a Christian (relying on Jesus’s grace and mercy to slip into heaven) or am I today working out my salvation, being an all in disciple of Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to live through me so that I boldly share with others from where comes. Continued

Laura K Webb 9 months ago

So helpful, Hannah! Way to go & thanks for writing!

Michael Scaman 9 months ago

Thessalonians speaks of ‘receiving the love of truth’ so as to be saved. There is a sense where the love of truth and hunger for righteousness is a gift, but its both a gift and something to be cultivated by ‘disciplines of grace’ We love truth as a gift and listen to truth as a discipline.

Michael Scaman 9 months ago

Major emphasis is on what “God has done” and in response we “walk in the spirit” and “set minds on the spirit” but how? And in a sense 'the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God." God has to do it. We have to lean on Him.

The Book of Ecclesiastes has a verse (often translated the heart of the righteous lean right and the wicked lean left) best translated that the heart of the righteous is in the more dexterous hand (Latin word for right is like dexterous) The foolish hold their heart loosely in their less dexterous hand less carefully. We should be intentional about feeding our souls with the word various ways and not let things just happen. But one’s heart desires and hunger for God are also a result of new life

Lindsey Driscoll 9 months ago

Hannah, great devo about keeping our minds controlled by the spirit (8:5) and dependent of God! Q1- good questionto ask myself. What do I feed my mind. By God’s grace I have cut back on media consumption, knowing that I leads me to wanting to satisfy my flesh. Praying today over the negative thoughts I do feed my heart often about work, co workers, and the overwhelm of the undone. Lord, let my heart and mind be dependent on you to help me set my mind on what you Holy Spirit desires (8:5). Let any life and peace in my life be a reflection of you and useful for sharing the gospel.

Sue Bohlin 9 months ago

Learning that you are a wound care nurse makes me smile, Hannah, as I face a couple of surgery wounds from my hip replacement on Monday. (I can feel the prayers of God‘s people—thank you so very much, y’all!)

Today’s passage is a good reminder of how important it is to be aware of the choice between living in the flesh and living in the spirit. We really do have a choice… And it really does make a huge difference in how we live our lives either to the glory of God or to please ourselves. I am reminded of what an honor it is to be made in the image of a volitional God who makes significant choices. That means our choices are significant as well. May we all choose to walk in the spirit instead of the flesh today!

Hugh Stephenson 9 months ago

Good morning Hannah. Great title - Life in the Spirit. Like you, I can only live that out by constant surrender.

Dr C says that “Therefore” starts the conclusion of chapters 3-7.

Several points stay with me in reflection:

There is no condemnation (katakrima, penal servitude), but there is still judgement. I still need Jesus for eternity and every hour.

Dr C again - ‘The “law of sin” is like the law of gravity; it pulls us down. But the “law of the Spirit” is like the law of aerodynamics; it overcomes the law of sin, lifts us up, and enables us to “fly” victoriously over the flesh.’

So, fighting sin on my own is like fighting gravity. LOL. I might as well try and fly around the room.

Reflecting today on what it means to have the “indwelling of the Spirit”;


View More Comments

Download The App

  • Jointhejourney app store
  • Jointhejourney play store