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Romans 12:1-21

My first two years as a Christian, I used to read verses like Romans 9-21, and the exhortations of James and John, and get really discouraged. I want to live like that, but I can't.

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Are you kidding me, and that is just the first few verses. I fail repeatedly. What is wrong with me, etc.

It was very discouraging, and it would affect my prayer life, my bible studies, and my Christian walk would not even feel like a crawl, but that I was stuck in some thicket.

Then as I prayed about it the first few verses of Romans 12 hit me like a thunderbolt.
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12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer 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."

Paul has spent 11 chapters discussing God's anger and judgment on non-believers, the righteousness of faith of believers, and the history and future status of Israel.

Now, He is instructing us on how we are to live for Christ. And in the first few verses is the key.

Your rightful service once saved with a renewed spirit and endwelled by the Holy Spirit, is to follow up on your commitment to Jesus as YUOR Lord and not just your Savior.

A servant of the king is loyal to the king body and soul (spirit). You have a new spirit, now offer up your body as a living perpetual sacrifice. This is a one-time (Aorist active indicative in the Greek) completed or in the process of being completed offering.

Lord do with it as you will - You are in charge. Let it be for your glory. When you perform this offering, then on a daily basis you can resist the pattern of this world. That is not a list of "DON'TS" it is not living in the mindset of pride, it is not doing what is best for you to advance in this world. It is not about you.

How does this happen? Because you daily (by submission and humility) are being transformed by the renewing of your mind. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. It will not happen overnight, but I can attest through myself and other Christians I know, that you will see progress from year to year. When you fail, you just get up and trust God will continue to work with you and teach your mind. It is like learning to walk - there will be stumbling.

Summary: Now that you are a believer, you are able to make a right spiritual decision to offer to serve the Lord with your Body. Humbly submit to God, and let Him do the work in you that He ordained before time began. Trust in, rely on, and depend on God as it is all for His Glory, and He is big enough to do the job.


VISIT WITH MY PASTOR

Three years ago, when I realized what Paul was saying I rushed to one of my pastors. I asked why this was not being taught, why were we told we must do all these things (not in a legalist way), but that we need to act like Christians. Why were we not taught to give ourselves over to God on a continual basis in a humble, submissive, reverant, and trusting (Characteristics of the heart of David) and let God work in us through the power of the Holy Spirit?

I wish I could say the conversation went well, but It was not all I had hoped for upon entering the office. This concept of relying on God had been confirmed to me over and over before my appointment. But no more so than what happened a month later.

Our head pastor returned from an overseas sabbatical, and gave his first sermon on - you guessed it - Romans 12:1-3. I thought that the associate pastor had said something to my pastor, but he denied it, and said he had been working on that sermon for awhile on his own and had not shared it with him until his return.

Look this will not be easy in the early stages. I know. Satan hates it when Christians figure this out, and wants us to keep trying to go back to "self".

I have never been more sure about anything in the Bible, than we need to just let God be God. When we come to him, it should be in the spirit, and in the body as servants, and trust in Him to run our lives.

Does this mean we just sit back in a chair and say - go ahead God get on with it. Nope, it means we should have a daily attidude of submission and humility towards the Father, and then get up and walk about our day. Trusting in Him to renew our minds and provide us with opportunities to share.

Think I am wrong? Who is our perfect model? It is Jesus, and it is pretty clear from the Gospels that being humble and submissive to the Father while here on earth was what Jesus was all about. Jesus depended on God for every word, every step, and every action He took on earth. Are we any better as children of God????????? Jesus did it perfectly, we ought to at least be attempting to follow His model of submission to the Father so we can grow in Christain maturity.

WOW!

2 Chronicles 24-25:28
II CHRONICLES 24

VERSES 1-3

"1. Jehoiada, who was the high priest, was truly the power behind the throne. He brought a godly influence back into the land and was influencing young Joash in the things he should do. He was a good role model for this child king. And the people of Judah were blessed by the actions of this man. It is as Solomon said in Proverbs 29:2, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."

VERSE 9

1. What collection did Moses impose on the children of Israel in the wilderness? In Exodus chapter 30 we see that a half-shekel was to be given by every male, 20 years old and up, each year. This money was then used for the upkeep of the tabernacle, and now it was to be used in the upkeep of the temple. Now they could give more for this project if they wanted to, but this was the least they could do.

VERSE 15

1. Jehoiada did not die because of some illness, but because he was full of days. He completed the work he was called to do and God was gracious in allowing him to live for 130 years, for he was a positive influence in the life of Joash and because of that the nation was blessed by God.

VERSE 16

1. Now his burial is in sharp contrast to that of Jehoram. When Jehoram died no one cared and they had such a lack of respect for this king, that they did not even bury him in the tombs of the kings, there was no great burning of incense for him. Because of his evil influence, the people were glad he was dead. But Jehoiada, the high priest and not a king, was buried with the kings because the people loved him for bringing spiritual reform to the nation, by putting God back on the throne. It was a sad day when this man died.

VERSES 17-18

1. Isn't it amazing how quickly Joash changed after the death of Jehoiada. He loved the honor of men and was molded by their influence. In a sense Joash was like a spiritual chameleon, changing his behavior to fit those that were around him. This just tells me that Joash never really had a heart for the Lord, he was just influenced by those around him, and in the end his true colors came out, and as we will see, they are not pretty."

http://www.ccmanitowoc.org/Library/Guglielmo-Joe/Studies/TH/14-2CH/TH1064.HTM

2 Chronicles 24-25:28
[Continued]

II CHRONICLES 25

VERSES 1-2

"1. This verse sheds some light on a works theology. You can do good things, help all kinds of people, and yet if your heart is not right before God, it is meaningless. You can even serve God but if your heart is far from Him, if you don't have a relationship with Him, then all the work you do is meaningless. Amaziah did good things but his heart was far from the Lord. Yes it was far better for Amaziah to do good rather than evil, the people benefited from that. But he was still lost, his heart was far from the Lord. And that my friends is a sobering thought!

VERSE 9

1. Notice the concern of Amaziah, the money he is going to lose if he lets these men go. Amaziah wants God's help but he also wants the money. Jesus spoke on this issue of serving two masters in Luke 16:13 when He said "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." God is telling Amaziah not to worry about the money, God is not broke.

VERSE 10

1. Now why in the world were they so angry. Yes they were dismissed from the battle but they should have rejoiced, they still got paid for doing nothing. The reason is this. If you were victorious in battle you would take home with you much spoil from the victory as you plundered the troops and the cities. Thus, they had lost lots of money by being dismissed and they were not happy about it, and they will try to get even with Amaziah as we shall see in a few verses here.

VERSE 14

1. I find this truly amazing. God has just given him the victory over the Edomites with 100,000 less troops, and in this victory Amaziah gathers the gods of the people he has just defeated, and brings them home with him. In doing this, he is now worshipping these gods. And you think "Why in the world would he do something as stupid as that?" It is really quite simple for we see it done all the time today. When your backs are up against the wall, and you have no other place to turn, you turn to the true and living God for help. But after the trouble is over you turn back to the gods of this world, the gods of the flesh. They appeal to you, even though you know they can't help you, but they can satisfy your flesh. Amaziah does just that, he went to the gods of this world, the gods of the Edomites, for he no longer needed the true and living God. Well, he may have thought that way, but the reality is, he needed God more than ever in his life, and so do we!"
http://www.ccmanitowoc.org/Library/Guglielmo-Joe/Studies/TH/14-2CH/TH1064.HTM

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