Episode #129. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 12 together. Paul defines a living sacrifice, states there are many gifts but one Body, and makes a list of Christian ethics.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #129. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 12 together: Paul defines a living sacrifice; states there are many gifts but one Body; and makes a list of Christian ethics.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
My pastor, Hans Frei, gave me something to think about this past Sunday. He preached about the way we should pray according to Ephesians chapter 1, and I have to say, his admonitions have invaded and disrupted my prayers this week.
So much of what I pray for is temporal: “Please heal this person.” “Please comfort that person.” “Please protect my family.” “Please prosper my kids.” What about thanking God for who He is and what He has already done thru Christ? We could spend a lifetime just acknowledging and practicing contentedness in that.
Hans went on to challenge us to go beyond praying for temporal things and to pray for the work He is doing in the spirit. Instead of praying that our kids will prosper, it is critical that we also be praying for their deeper awareness of God, for example.
I was reminded of the very first line of Romans 10 that we just read a couple of days ago. Regardless of how much Paul disagreed regarding law versus faith, his number 1 priority was praying for their salvation.
How do we pray for others? Prosperity? Healing? Comfort? How often do we pray for salvation? It’s the A-number-1 thing that a person needs! Do we pray that God will give our brothers and sisters – even ourselves – the courage and boldness to present the Gospel when prompted by the Holy Spirit? Do we pray the Holy Spirit fills our mouths with the words necessary as He promised He would do?
Of course, it is absolutely appropriate to pray for temporal things. But I don’t think we should forget that Matthew 6:8 tells us He already knows what we need before we ask. Let’s add the salt – the flavor – of Kingdom concerns.
Romans Chapter 12
A Living Sacrifice
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Many Gifts but One Body
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But
If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
For in so doing
you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.
One of the richest chapters in the entire New Testament! I am thoroughly convinced that each of us should print this poster-sized so that we see it on the way out the door every day. Paul has spent eleven chapters recounting rock-solid spiritual truths, and now, beginning with chapter 12, he lays out what those should look like in our daily walk.
It seems to me that our biggest challenge is not to be conformed to this world. We should never forget that that’s where sin started. Eve was deceived and the world and all its temptations can deceive us too. Let us praise God for His indescribable Gift and gifts and in gratitude, give back to Him the very lives that He has given us. What in this list speaks to you? What do you embrace? What do you struggle with? Let’s pray about all of it, shall we?
Father, I think You’ve just compelled me to memorize this chapter. Perhaps there are others in the sound of my voice who feel encouraged to do the same. Thank You so much that You don’t leave us as orphans to figure out all this stuff by ourselves. We have struggled with the first eleven chapters of Romans, Lord. We have persevered, but we have struggled. Thank You that you have given us this road map of what those truths look like in our every day.
Jesus, You know us better than we know ourselves. Please help us. We desperately want to be known as Christians by more than our words but also by our actions. This wretched flesh makes it so hard! Thank You that You have overcome all the obstacles of the flesh and have given us life in the Spirit. Help us to be all that You want for us here. You are our everything. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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