Have you ever wondered how to do this thing called LIFE? As a teenager, I’m sure you did. I think above all ages, so far the teen years are the worst.
I’ve been reading in the book of Romans and when Romans 12 came up, it was like, YES! That’s it! That’s the book to LIFE. It’s interesting, this week in all my devotions, Romans 12 has come up. God must be up to something.
Check it out for yourselves and see what I mean.
A Living Sacrifice
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
15 Steps to LIFE
- We are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord for others
- We are not to conform to the patterns of this world (don’t let the world shape us, we must shape the world)
- But be transformed by the renewing of our minds (change our thinking ) Phillippians 4:8
- We are to be humble
- We are to serve one another
- We are to hate evil and cling to good
- We are to be joyful, patient, faithful, and hospitable
- We are to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn
- We are to live in harmony
- We are not to be proud
- We are not to be conceited
- We are to do what is right
- We are to live in peace with those around us
- We are not to take revenge
- We are not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Lastly, the greatest of commandments …
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
These sections of Matthew 22 and Philippians 4 really do pull Romans 12 together. If we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, we love our neighbor as ourselves, and think on things that are pure, right and praiseworthy, Romans 12 will be easier for us to live out.
The trick here is to live for the Lord and not ourselves. You can read more of my thoughts on selfishness in my post, “Selfishness it’s like a dandelion.”
What do you think about Romans 12 and what has to say about living our lives? Does that list of 15 actions put things into perspective or doesn’t make it more difficult for you?