Romans 12:1-2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Because of what Jesus Christ did for us in dying on a cross for our sins, so that we can be delivered from our slavery to sin, and so we can walk in his righteousness, we should honor him with our lives.
And, this is not about doing things here and there for the Lord, or getting involved in church ministry, per se. But, this is about giving him our whole lives as living sacrifices to him, to be used of Him for his purposes and for his glory. This is about total surrender, holding nothing back from God. For, this is our acceptable worship of him, which is pleasing in his sight.
This means that we are no longer the boss of our lives. He is! We are no longer the ones calling all the shots. He is! He is the one determining our steps, not us. So, we surrender every day to his will, and we inquire of him as to what he wants of us in thought, word and deed. And, then we do it.
But, in order to be totally surrendered to our Lord, we must first of all die with him to sin. We must no longer walk in the ways of the world and of the flesh, but we must now walk according to the Spirit of God, in holiness, purity, honesty and in righteousness.
Therefore, we should be set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Christ. No longer should we do what our flesh dictates or what the world does, nor should we think like the world and have the same attitudes and philosophies and values as they do.
Our lives should be mirror images of Christ. We should now have his mind about things, and have his love for others. We should no longer be given over to the flesh, but now to the Spirit of God. Our lives should no longer reflect the world, but Christ.
For, this is why Jesus died, not just to save us from our sins, but to transform us in heart and mind away from sin to living for him and for his righteousness.
Romans 12:9-13 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
This love spoken of here is the kind that prefers what God prefers, which is what is pure, moral, holy, righteous, honest and trustworthy. So, if we love with this kind of love, we will do no harm to others. We will not sin against them by lying to them, cheating on them, and gossiping about them, etc.
This kind of love abhors (hates) what is evil, and it holds fast to what is good. So, if we hate evil, truly, what should that look like in our lives? It means, not only should we not participate in evil, but we should also not allow ourselves to be entertained by the evil of others, either. For, how can we hate evil and yet find pleasure in watching others’ evil acts?
And, if we hold fast to what is good, what should that look like? It means that we should embrace the good and make it what our lives are about in place of the evil that was in our lives before. Our lives should be given over to and focused on what God considers good and holy and righteous. Thus, our actions, day in and day out, should reflect that this is the case.
When this is true of our lives, and we truly live like we hate evil and that we are holding on to the good, then the rest of this should naturally follow suit. We should be people of God who love God by doing what he says and who love others by doing what is pleasing to God, too.
No one should have to pressure us into ministering to the needs of others or sharing with others the gospel of our salvation. For, we should be fervent in spirit in our desire to serve our Lord in all that we do, think and are.
We, too, should be those who go through tribulation holding on to hope, believing in God’s sovereignty, trusting in his grace, resting in his love, and rejoicing in his salvation. And, we should always have open communication with our Lord to where we can hear him speak any time, and to where we can communicate with him, too, no matter where we are or what time of day it is, because we walk with him daily, moment by moment, in his love.
Romans 12:14-21 ESV
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 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.
When we follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his will for our lives, and we live holy lives, separate from the world, and set apart unto God, we will be hated, rejected, abandoned, and persecuted for our walks of faith and for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ and his gospel.
But, when we are persecuted, we are to return hate with love, not with retaliation. We are not to trade tit for tat. We are not to get even. We are not to treat others as they treat us, unless, of course, they are treating us with kindness and genuine love, which is how we are to treat even our enemies.
Since we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, we must make certain that this, too, is in accord with God and his Word. For, he would not have us rejoice with what is evil or be sorrowful over Christians living victorious lives in Christ. For, there are many who do this, who rejoice with what is evil, but who are sad when people dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ and they no longer walk in the ways of the flesh.
The same is true regarding living in harmony with one another. We are not to live in harmony with those who do not live according to the ways of the Lord. We can, though, to a certain extent, live in harmony, even with the ungodly, if in doing so we are not living out of fellowship with our Lord, and if we are not compromising with the world of sin.
Bottom line here, in all of this, is that, just as Jesus Christ overcame evil when he died on that cross, and when he was resurrected from the dead, so should we be those who live our lives by overcoming evil with good – with what is righteous, holy, just, pure and trustworthy.
We, too, are able to overcome because he overcame. And, because of his power, grace and strength he gives to us to overcome, we are now able to live victorious lives free from the control of sin, now yielded to Christ and to his righteousness. Amen!
Thank You, Lord
An Original Work / May 19, 2011
Thank You, Lord, for saving me;
From my sins set free.
Crucified and risen Lord,
They hung on a tree.
They thought they had finished You.
You came back to life;
Triumphed over hell and sin;
You gave eternal life.
Thank You, Lord, for victory
Over all my sin,
So that I might live with You;
You cleansed me within;
Filled me with your love and pow’r;
Give me strength each day,
So that I might live for You,
To love You and obey.
Thank You, Lord, for your return.
Soon You will arrive
To receive Your bride to You;
Meet You in the sky.
You’ll wipe away all our tears;
Free us from our fears;
Crown our heads in victory.
We’ll praise You with our cheers!
Sunday, August 26, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, that because You overcame evil with Your righteousness, we can now also live in victory over sin and walk in Your light, in Your truth, and in Your holiness and righteousness.