READING: Psalms 84-86, Romans 12
“I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.”
This devotion is both easy to write and hard to apply. In the latter section of Roman 12, Paul describes a life that is pleasing and honorable to God. The descriptions are extensive, and they dig deeply into the heart:
Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in 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. Be in agreement 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. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For 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. (Rom. 12:9-19)
When I read this kind of summary, I use it to evaluate my Christian walk simply by forcing my life through the grid of the text. Thus, here’s my evaluation (and I hope it helps you evaluate your life, too):
- As far as I know, I’m at peace with others. I cannot think of anyone with whom I’m in conflict.
- I want to detest evil, but I don’t always cling to what is good.
- I need to grow in patience, especially when things aren’t going my way. I too quickly get frustrated. I need to rejoice more.
- Pam and I are generally giving people, but we don’t seek ways to “share with the saints in their needs.” We could probably do more if we intentionally seek opportunities to help.
- I guess I will always struggle with pride. I need to hear the words again and again: “Do not be proud.”
So, I have much room to grow. I particularly commit myself to grow in patience and giving while pushing against my pride. Please pray for me.
- Work through the same process I have done, using Romans 12 as your guide.
- When you’ve completed your own evaluation, share your response and renewed commitment with somebody else.
PRAYER: “God, help me to offer myself as a living sacrifice to You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 87-88, Romans 13