Friday Morning: 05 Apr 2019 – Romans 12 ~ the transformed life

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Romans 12 (NLT)

A Living Sacrifice to God

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

Instead,

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
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Morning Reflection:

The Transformed Life

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

The transformed life is a response to God’s grace – a ” living and holy sacrifice” offered to God as an act of worship. It is a life that has been redeemed by Jesus Christ, and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It is a life that is continually changing, being renewed, as increasingly it is governed by the mind of Christ.

So what does the transformed life look like? What distinguishes it as being different from the behavior and customs of society?

+ The transformed life ministers God’s grace to the body of believers.

  • The question must be asked of every believer: “What are your gifts? What is your calling?” God has entrusted you with manifestations of His grace that allows Him to work through your life to bless others.

+ The transformed life reflects God’s grace in relationships.

  • Truly Loving – Holds onto what is good and rejects evil; seeks the good of others at its own expense.
  • Enduring and Diligent – Endures hardships and presses on – with hope, perseverance and prayer.
  • Compassionate – Sensitive to the needs of others, hospitable, generous, humble, and kind – blesses even its enemies.
  • Peaceful – Exercises self-restraint; repaying evil with good, and trusting in God’s mercy to bring enemies to repentance and restoration.

Questions for consideration:

  • Has God’s grace ever motivated you to dedicate all that you are and have to God? Do you consider yourself a “living sacrifice?” Please explain.
  • Has God called you to a particular ministry within your community of faith that is empowered by the spiritual gifts he has given you? Please explain.
  • How has God changed your mind in a way that is counter-cultural? What has been the result? Please explain.
  • When you think of doing good to someone who is your enemy, who comes to mind? What would doing good to them look like? Please explain.
  • How does the Bible and the Holy Spirit fit into the transformation of your mind? Do you have a disciplined approach to either, or both? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: Thank you for graciously adopting me into your family through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. You have shown me your goodness, delivered me from bondage to sin, provided opportunities for useful service, and given me a place of rest and quietude. Thank you for the trustworthiness of your promises, and the hope for my future that they offer. Transform my thinking, and open my heart to any new possibilities you place before me. And empower me by your Spirit to complete the work you have given me. I ask this in Jesus’ name, that I may glorify you. Amen.
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“Living Sacrifice” – Chris Christian

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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