“Our Spiritual Worship” ( Romans 12: 1, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.”

 

Notice Paul says “your bodies as a living sacrifice.” He implies that it is the offer of our collective bodies which constitutes this “living sacrifice.” Together, we create “spiritual worship.” We individually “renew [our] minds” and are “transformed” “so that [we each] may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12: 2) So, we act individually and then mutually to worship God.

 

Paul explains, “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.” (Romans 12: 4-5)

 

Therefore, “come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Psalm 95: 6-8)

“Go About With Humble Folk” (Romans 12: 3, NEB) by Carley Evans


“Think your way to a sober estimate based on the measure of faith that God deals to each of you,” writes Paul. He tells us, “Do not be conceited or think too highly of yourself.”

After all, our gifts “are allotted to us by God’s grace, and must be exercised accordingly.” (Romans 12: 6)

Each gift is designed and given by God for the benefit of all — no gift goes unneeded though many go unappreciated. One gift is not like the others, but each is uniquely individual. Each is to be exercised through God’s grace “with all [one’s] heart,” “based on the measure of faith that God has dealt each of you,” “in proportion to [one’s] faith,” “with all [one’s] heart,” and “cheerfully.” (Romans 12: 3, 7, 8)

No gift is to be lifted up as superior to another. Paul writes, “Give pride of place to one another in esteem.” (Romans 12: 10) He reminds, “Do not be haughty, but go about with humble folk. Do not keep thinking how wise you are.” (Romans 12: 16)

Remember, “he who loves his neighbor satisfies every claim of the law.” (Romans 13: 8)

“Become All Things To All People” (Romans 12: 15, HCSB) by Carley Evans


With those who are happy, be happy alongside them. With those who are sad, be sad alongside them. With those who are rejoicing, rejoice alongside them. With those who are praying, pray alongside them.

With those who persecute you, bless them — “bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12: 14) “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12: 21)

With those who have little, share what you have. Open your home; showing hospitality. “Love must be without hypocrisy.” (Romans 12: 9)

“Be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.” (Romans 12: 11) With those who are lost, reach out to them. “For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11: 32)

“Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes.” (Romans 12: 17)

Paul sets the example, saying: “Although I am a free man and not anyone’s slave, I make myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people… I become all things to all people, so that I may by every means possible save some.” (1 Corinthians 9: 19, 22)

“The Evil Man Has No Future” (Psalm 59: 16, ESV) by Carley Evans


David knows Saul is seeking to kill him. Yet, David sings, recognizing God is “a fortress and a refuge in the day of [his] distress.” David sings, “God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.” (Psalm 59: 10)

Jesus says, “You who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.” (Luke 6: 27 – 29)

David asks God not to kill his enemies, but to “make them totter by Your power.” (Psalm 59: 11) He asks that they “be trapped in their pride.” (Psalm 59: 12)

Solomon strongly advises, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away His anger from him. Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” (Proverbs 24: 17 – 20)

Paul writes, “Repay no one evil for evil.” (Romans 12: 17) “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12: 19 – 21)

Do not be afraid of your enemy. God is your strength and fortress. Do not take revenge. God is in control and this is His realm, not yours. Do good to those who hate you; and so overcome evil through good. Do not envy the wicked; for his lamp is of darkness and he has no future.