I don’t get mad, I get even. Well, that is one way of dealing with things, but it may not be the best way. What motivates our response to the circumstances around us? How do we respond? Because of God’s great mercy and grace, we should respond in a way that reflects that, therefore. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore is an interesting endeavor. If we think about it, the meaning is contained in the word; what are we there for? Why do we go and do the things we do? What is the reason, motivation, catalyst that causes us to act and react? We have a choice, we can be proactive and/or reactive. Some of us are radioactive!
Most times we are reactive, we react to the events around us. Think about life, things happen and we respond. During the day you adjust and make changes based on how things change. We adjust as circumstances around us change.
Proactive means we make a plan, intentional, it is more thought out. You prepare and plan how you are going to handle things and execute the plan. It also means you have whatever you may need available to allow you to react properly during. For a Christian that is prayer, Bible, and a desire to honor God in all we do.
When we are successful it usually means we were prepared with a good plan, God’s plan, handled whatever came our way and performed well. Planning and preparation always give us a better chance at succeeding then winging it. When we think things through and prepare how we are going to react to certain situations we have a better chance of handling them well. We also understand that things are going to come up against us and we are prepared to deal with that also.
Romans 12:1-2; NIV; Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The writer of Romans helps us realize that we need to respond to the grace and mercy God offers by changing the way we live. We need to think differently. We need to see the world around us differently. Because of what Christ has done we need to set our lives apart from those of the world and live in a way that honors God.
We need to be proactive, training and practicing how to respond in a way that honors God, then there is a chance we will. We need to prepare ourselves for the challenges that will come. Why? Because of what Christ has done for us.
If we claim to follow Christ, we need to reflect the character and qualities of God. Those are not things that we are capable of without effort, practice, and preparation. Chances are if we react we will do so in a way that doesn’t reflect our relationship with God. Think about our reaction when something we don’t expect happens?
God desires we reflect His character so much he adds a little more to it. He provides the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help us. He is referred to as a counselor, teacher, guide, and helper. But he will also convict us when we don’t handle things in a way that honors God. He becomes our conscience.
We have explored His role before and we will examine it further at a later date; for this endeavor I’d like to get back to our response to God for His great mercy. I think even examining the entire chapter of Romans 12 would be a good exercise so we have found the topic for our next Winter Bible Study.
The term Living Sacrifice seems like an oxymoron, but it alludes to a change in lifestyle that many of us will have to work at. It has its root in the concept of giving vs getting. It’s not about getting what we want, it is about giving what others need, grace.
The lie of the enemy is that we are here to satisfy ourselves, pursue the worship of me, myself and I. The world we live in has followed along in that pursuit. We can get so consumed looking out for ourselves that we trample under our feet those who have needs. How many of us are really satisfied? How many of us are at peace?
This passage alludes to the fact that we need to change the way we think. We need to be different; true satisfaction and fulfilment doesn’t come from getting what we want, there will always be something else to get. True satisfaction comes by extending grace to others, extending mercy. Sacrificing self for the benefit of others.
Jesus said; Matthew 6:19-21, NLT; “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
We will experience more satisfaction and fulfillment when we give, rather than when we receive. That is contrary to the worldview. Watch the news, it will show us conflict, it will show that we cannot live in harmony, we want what the other person has, we want control. Whether the Middle East, Ukraine, or our own congress we are fighting to get what we want, not what is beneficial for others.
The reality is this world will pass away; God reveals that in his Word. We are on the road to death and destruction. God offers us a different road, one that leads to victory over death. In the end all that will remain are those who chose to accept His offer, his gift. When we do, we are transformed into a new creation. We are born again.
John 3:3, NLT; Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
Let me encourage you to be transformed into one who stands with God, one who knows the forgiveness of Jesus and one who has the Holy Spirit in your soul.
Romans 10:9-10, NLT; If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.