In Romans 12:9-21, the apostle Paul, in
writing to Christians, gives some guidelines for Christian living. Please read
these verses for yourself, but this is what I take away from Paul’s discourse.
We are to love unconditionally and let our
love be expressed in tender affection. Our love should be demonstrated actively
in meeting the needs of and being hospitable to others. This should be directed
to fellow Christians first but also to strangers and even those who treat us
badly or hurt us. We should be focused on good and hate anything evil. Patience
is needed when pressures and afflictions come against us and we should respond
with rejoicing, standing firm in trust of our loving heavenly Father. Try to be
a blessing to and love anyone who acts as an enemy; avoid anger and never seek
revenge. Let’s avoid opinions and criticism and leave any judgement to God.
Walk in peace and seek unity, even if others refuse to.
Be an encourager; praise God for the
success of others and show great compassion and sympathy when others suffer hurt
and loss. Be a friend to all and put others first. Don’t elevate yourself as a
know it all, or the bee’s knees, or the cat’s meow, but be humble. Be
spiritually on fire for God, sold out to his commands, completely focused on
serving and pleasing him.
I don’t know about you but there were some
places where I felt an ouch and was convicted in this passage from Romans. This
is one of those sets of verses that we need to prayerfully read and re-read and
re-read. We need to read with an open heart and allow the Holy Spirit to
chasten and encourage us. Let’s sit quietly and ask the Lord to show us where
we need to grow and where we may have blind spots.
This excites me as I am sure it does you.
Let’s dig in with renewed fervency and diligence to grow in Christ, and be his
beacon of light on the earth. Heaven knows that light is needed.
This came to me one morning in
my prayer time. Our role is to be living witnesses for Christ, our lives should
shine. We should share Him boldly but in love. Let God's love rule our lives. We need to press in to Him, his word, and
pray in faith for all things and people as the Spirit leads. Let God do the
changing in others but let’s be open for him to change us; humble and
teachable. Let us think, speak and act as He directs. Let us be emptied of self
but filled with Him, vessels fit for the masters service, living sacrifices.
in Saskatchewan, with our vast farmlands, we are all familiar with sowing and
reaping. But do we realize that this principle is throughout the bible and
affects every aspect of our lives? “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received
in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him” (Gen 26:12; KJV).
That’s a good crop!
and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken
together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same
measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again" (Luke
Interesting that how we give affects how we receive.
Galatians 6:7, we read that God is not deceived, we reap what we sow. Sowing
and reaping affect every aspect of our lives not just farming and financial or
material giving. Job lamented that: “they that plough iniquity, and sow wickedness,
reap the same (Job 4:8; KJV). Hosea observed that those who have: “sown the
wind”; “reap the whirlwind” (Hos 8:7; KJV). In Proverbs 18:24, we read that to
have a friend we must be a friend. We also know that our words can reap a
harvest of good or evil (Prov 15:1).
you noticed that everything reproduces after its own kind? I think a pig would
be surprised if it produced chickens. Let’s meditate on our giving and receiving;
sowing and reaping today. Let’s do a checkup today; we need to be reminded that
how we give, in every aspect of our lives determines what we will receive, good
or evil. Is that an amen or an ouch?
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6:25-34, is a wonderful exhortation for us not to worry about our needs. God
says look at the beauty and magnificence of my creation; the wild flowers that
surround us in the countryside and the birds that swoop through the sky, see
how I created them and care for them. If God can do that how much more will he
care for us. God says, you focus on me and being like me and pleasing me and I
will take care of the provision.
is not short on supplies for our provision. Everything on this earth belongs to
God. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand
hills” (Ps 50:10; KJV). “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the
Lord of hosts” (Hag 2:8; KJV).
like his instruction to us to leave the worry with him. In 1 Peter 5:6-7 (KJV),
we are told to: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that
he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for
you”. Now this does not tell us to sit idly by and wait for God to provide; no,
we are to work with our hands to provide our needs. In the apostle Paul’s
second letter to the Thessalonians, he wrote: “For even when we were with you,
we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thess
3:10; KJV). But, if we trust God and do our part we don’t need to worry, we
need to trust God that everything will be taken care of; ends will more than
meet. Trust God, take the limits off of him; he will provide.
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are spiritual beings, living in bodies and having souls, which are our minds,
wills and emotions (1 Thess 5:23). In 1 Peter 1, the apostle Peter talks about
salvation. Salvation means to be spiritually reborn, born again or saved (John
3:3-8). We are saved from the spiritual death (Rom 6:23) that resulted from our
sinful life prior to us becoming Christians. We are spiritually saved or born
again by repenting of sin and asking Jesus into our life as Lord and Savior
(Acts 3:19; Rom 10:9-10). Salvation encompasses forgiveness, restoration,
prosperity, protection, safety, healing, preservation, joy, eternal life and so
much more. This is all available to us when we are saved and is referred to in
1 Peter 1:3.
1 Peter 1:4-5, 9, also refer to the promise of the completion of our salvation,
or final salvation as we meet our Lord and savior in heaven at the end of our
life on this earth. This is the continuation in heaven of our eternal life, which
started when we asked Christ into our lives here on this earth.
apostle Peter also writes about how God by his power (Greek word dunamis, from
which we get the English word, dynamite) keeps us in this present life (v 5).
He works in us to grow and change us to be more like him (Phil 1:6) and to
protect us and keep us for our final reward of eternal life in heaven (Ps
91:17a). Wow, what an awesome journey.
has us covered; all we have to do is submit (James 4:7-8,10) and cooperate with
him. How do we cooperate as Christians? Start with prayer and immersing
yourself in the Bible.
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