Moving Forward

As we enter a new year, may each of us strive to be transformed in our journey with Christ.  At the least, our call in a life established in Christ is to strive through all distractions of self and the world and obtain a greater intimacy with him.
In the book of  Romans, Paul makes an assessment of the Roman church, diagnoses a number of fundamental problems, makes a prognosis, and writes a prescription to help obtain a cure. (Good nursing skills!)

 In Chapter 12, Paul establishes how those claiming to be Christians should live their lives so not to contradict the gospel and model of Christ. 

 1) Verses 1and 2 identifies how to be a living sacrifice.  In order to truly understand how to live a life truly representing Christ, we must understand what it means to sacrifice.  The previous blog provides two good examples. Mary and Joseph.  They both had to surrender and submit physically, mentally, financially, emotionally, and spiritually to fulfill God's will. This occurred in order for God's plan to be accomplished,  that his son would understand the meaning of sacrifice.  Jeremiah describes how God reveals himself to us, by our surrendering our whole heart.  The heart is what sustains your life. So all that sustains you must be surrendered.

2) Verses 3-8 defines the importance of humble service in the Body of Christ. Each of us has a gift to be used in a specific way just like the body had different parts that have important roles. Like the human body, we who make up the Body of Christ (the church) must work optimally as individuals and together in order to  not inhibit the function of the whole.  Individual responsibility requires at the very least, discipline. If I am not disciplined in my function, I fall and so does the whole.  The human body has built in mechanisms to provide compensation for a short time, but if the whole is not made well through optimal function of each part, balance cannot be obtained and the whole dies.
3)  1 Corinthians13 describes that the greatest gift is not prophecy, speaking in tongues, or any other but is love. Romans 12:9-21 describes how to live or act out that love.
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.[a] 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,”[b] 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.”[c]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Make a decision to take God's hand intentionally and allow him to direct you to a more intimate relationship with him. Do not be afraid to release control of your vessel over to him. He created you to be an ambassador of his kingdom. He knows what you need better than you do. Surrender and submit. Devote time with him. You have to make it happen for a little while, then it will become more natural. If you want him to be intentional in your life, be so in his.
Open your eyes and you will see him. Open your ears and you will hear him (get away from the noise). Open your heart wide and your will receive him more deeply. Your salvation was just the first step. Now you must make the effort to walk the path of transformation. He is there to help you. A map is good, but you must know how to use it. Trust God, his word, and his desire for you.
Be transformed!








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