in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

(Romans 8:4-5, via BibleGateway.com)

Memory Technique

I think I’ve told you already: my acronyms and mnemonic devices can get rather unique sometimes. But that’s ok–actually it’s really good. Uniques memory tools are vivid, which means they’re easier to remember.

So here we go: I look for repetition and alliteration in verse. These devices help me latch on to more memorable parts of the passage. In verse four, I notice that “righteous requirement” is alliterative. It simply becomes RR, or “railroad.” The end of that first clause is “in us.” That prepositional phrase pairs quixotically with “railroad.” In the relative clause right after that (I pray that I’m not messing up some of these terms. If any of you are English teachers, just show me grace, please), “flesh” and “spirit” are the two most important words. They simply become “FS” or “Full Send,” which, in millenialese translates to “go for it–all out.” Thus, verse 4 becomes a peculiar dialogue, according to my mnemonic:

  • “Railroad in us?”
  • “Full send.”

I hope you indulge some simple reductions for verse five. You might notice that verse five is repetitive. Repetitive verses are our friends. It means we have to memorize fewer letters of an acronym. If you read verse five enough, you’ll start to recognize it has a catchy cadence. I reduced it to a simple set of strangely punctuated letters. The most important words are according-flesh; flesh-desires & according-spirit; spirit-desires. I reduce that formulation down to AF;FD/AS;SD. And there you have it. Day 3 in the books.

Again, I encourage you to recall this verse every hour on the hour from 9-5 (please don’t peak at the verse unless you absolutely must. Try to recall your acronym/mnemonic. Then try to remember the full verse). At 12 and 5 try to recall the entire chapter that you have been working on for the month.

A quick note about method. I’m going to keep assigning 2 verse a day this month. That way, we should finish the chapter with a few days to spare. We will use those final few days to solidify the entire chapter. If someone stops you on the street and says, “recite the entire 8th chapter of Romans, right now!” you should be able to do the whole thing easily, by the end of this month. If things get easy, then we might just go on to a new chapter, but it will be helpful to stew on the entire chapter as a whole. Also, don’t worry, right now the technique may seem mundane. This is simply the bread-n-butter framework we’re trying to establish for Chapter 8. In future months we will use a brand new method or combine it with our Mnemonic/Forced Recall paradigm. That’s when we’lls start getting even less conventional and even more whacked-out. If I run across any tidbits before that (this is an education for me too!) then I might include them sooner. In the meantime, feel free to comment or message me with any tips that work for you!

Devotional Thoughts

What does the flesh desire? I don’t need to go into graphic detail, but think for a moment. What does your body want most often? Our most carnal desires are sometimes our strongest. But we are called not to set our minds “on what the flesh desires.” That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever eat or rest or procreate, but if our minds are devoted only to our flesh, then we will fall into the corruption of the flesh–the corruption that our forefather Adam introduced into the world. Now the seed of every sin is sown in every heart (to paraphrase John Owen).

We are called instead to focus constantly on what the spirit desires. Now don’t worry, the spirit won’t neglect our physical needs, and I believe the spirit will even tell us the appropriate times to work/rest, eat/fast.

This brings us to a practical question. How do we know what the spirit desires. I don’t think it’s actually that hard. Does it align with scripture (that’s why scripture memorization is so important)? Then the spirit likely desires it. Is something tugging at you on the inside? It might be the spirit. That feeling might be some other spirit or passion, but it might be the Holy Spirit also. Try this, if you would: every time you feel a tug on your conscience to do something (or refrain from doing something) today, go ahead and do it, so long as it doesn’t contradict scripture in any way. You might be surprised how often we become callous to our conscience and thus neglect the Spirit.

How do I know I’ll Stikk to this?

If I’m being honest, I’ve picked up commitments like this–started other blogs, tried to memorize other passages and everything–but I don’t usually (or ever) follow through, certainly not for a whole year. But this time I’m almost certain that I will.

I’m using a wonderful website called Stikk to help me stay on track. With Stikk, you make a financial commitment to introduce a new habit or kikk ( 😜 ) an old one. Quit vaping in the new year, anyone?

I committed to writing 6 days a week on this blog for a full 52 weeks. For every week that I mess up, I have to pay ten dollars. But here’s the real kick for me: users on Stikk can select an anti-charity to which all crow-eating proceeds will go. There are some controversial charities on there, and I personally selected one that I absolutely detest. I’m not concerned about dropping this commitment; I’d rather voluntarily shave my head and eyebrows than give up to $520 to this organization. That’s the power of incentives, baby.

TL;DR

in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Becomes “Railroad in us? Full send”

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

(Romans 8:4-5, via BibleGateway.com)

Becomes AF;FD/AS;SD

Railroad in us? Full send + AF;FD/AS;SD = Romans 8:4-5

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