Some of us look for a word that will guide our thoughts to what we need to work on most to improve our well-being. That’s good. Some of us decide that we need a mentor for the coming year to help us be better in our walk. That’s good, too. Others of us are just trying to survive our ordinary, get up and go to work, come home, go to sleep then do it all again the next day lives. I get that. But, seriously believing friends, don’t we desire more? In our heart of hearts, we who believe in God, reconciled to God through His Son who saved us from our sins, want more out of THIS life we live each day?
Paul began Chapter 12 with, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (v1-2). Paul, like a good teacher who’s been there, done that, he tells exactly how to EMBRACE what God does for us as we transform to be all He has created us to be. THIS is God’s best in us! We must joyfully embrace what God is doing in us, day by day, hour by hour in our ordinary lives.
The embraced character traits God is growing in us is THIS…
ROMANS—OUR CARE AND CALLING
Romans 12:9-21, The Message
(Part two of two)
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Want a word for 2022? Choose from this great list that Paul, inspired by God, gave us!
Alert Servant (okay two words but we can’t separate them!)
Remember, God helps us. His Holy Spirit lives in us to discipline us to growth with encouragement. Every ordinary day.
And when we think we are ready to quit? Paul has remedies for our down times…pray all the harder, pray for your enemies and do good to them, laugh, cry, take your enemy to lunch! What? Smiling. I’ve done this. It did more for me in my letting go of the hurt of my enemy than it did for my enemy…did God know that? I’m sure He did.
Finally, the phrase of the year for me is THIS: “discover beauty in everyone”. When we do, we discover the beauty God puts in all of us, even in our enemies. THIS is where God wants us to be in our “ordinary life—our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—as we place our lives before God as an offering.
“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” THIS is what I want and how I want to think.
Placing and embracing—no other way to live life at God’s best!
THIS, all of chapter 12, is my prayer,
In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen.