In As Much As It Is Up To Me!
God gave me this title last week as I was studying for last week’s Sunday’s Monday and then “He” spent most of this week filling in the blanks. I love it when He does that because of the methods He chooses and the connections He causes. The blanks this week were filled from our church bible studies, our Band of Brothers meeting, our Brother night meeting and a host of unknowing contributors. God desires and exhorts us to be and become connected with others in relationships for strength, wellbeing, and a legitimate concern for each other.
I think Romans 12 does an excellent job of explaining how we are to do this, and I feel that it was written for such a time as this. Just as I feel you have no need for me to explain if Jesus has opened your eyes to see, ears to hear and a mind to think. We see evil on every corner, we are experiencing a worldwide collapse such as we have never witnessed before. But Romans 12 equips and empowers each of us, to become part of the solution and not add to the de-escalation of our land. God took me to Romans 12:18 (NLT), Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Then He immediately started showing me (not in others, but in my own life) where I was and am missing His mark. God does not throw this stuff around lightly, He had Romans 12 penned for us to avoid exactly where we are at! I used to say the church better wake up (speaking of a group) but I have since learned better, as I and you are God’s church (if you believe.)
Those blanks which I spoke of earlier came from Romans 12:3-8 (NLT), 3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Key words for me is privilege, authority, special, encouraging, generously, responsibility, kindness, and warning! It stirs my heart to know that I have the privilege of serving an awesome God who chose me to serve He and His people in His encouraging ways. It in turn breaks my heart when I do not take every opportunity to obey Him in that. I, being so blessed to have the means to be generous with time, money, talents, health and compassion (maybe not all at the same time but all God requires at the time it’s required.) The bottom line here is I am empowered by God All Mighty with “each and every gift” needed to perform HIS WILL! Hallelujah!!
Back to my paraphrased title taken from Romans 12:18 which implies I in as much as it is up to me (my words). Because I believe it to be all inclusive! It is all up to me; it is ultimately my choice to allow or deny God to work in and through my life. I even have the choice as to how much He can participate in efforts to improve my thinking process. I have always been like the old plow mule that needed the 2X4 between the eyes to open my mind for new understanding and God has consistently been faithful and available to supply that motivation. God inspired Paul to write Romans 12:17-18 (NLT), 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. God made no mention of skin color, culture, creed, or belief; as a matter of fact, the scripture speaks of persecutors, enemy and evil doers. We are instructed to do what it takes to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:2 (NLT), Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. It may “not” fix the whole world, but your little world will certainly be improved! May your understanding, understand God’s will!
My prayer for us this week comes from Romans 12:9-13 (NLT), 9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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