Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
Last week, we looked at general commands which Paul wrote: offering ourselves as a “living sacrifice”, transforming our minds, and developing the mind of Christ. In this passage, he moves into the corporate life of the Church. There is a really important reason he does this—it’s because all of these take place in the context of community. It’s important to understand that as followers of Christ, we don’t belong to ourselves. The reality for a Christ follower is that “each member belongs to all the others (v. 5).”
This can be hard for a person to grasp because so much of our culture communicates the value of an individualistic mentality. This runs counter to the life of the believer because our lives are meant to be lived in community. In this passage, Paul pushed back on this idea. In fact, Paul said that you can’t fully “renew your mind” without the active help of other believers.
Think about it for a moment…if we’re going to understand the scriptures, then we need folks to help us understand—folks we can enter into a conversation about the parts we don’t quite get, folks that can challenge us, folks that can speak into our lives. The simple fact is that we can’t live the life of a disciple of Christ apart from a nurturing community of believers who can pray with us, encourage us, and set an example for us to follow. We need friends to come alongside who are willing to point out blind spots in our obedience.
The funny thing about blind spots…they’re blind to us! We can’t see them on our own, yet we seem to convince ourselves that we still have a good handle on everything. It goes to show just how prideful we can be. How can we ever think we’ll see them if we can’t see them now on our own? We need folks to help us and to care enough to help us grow in our walk with Christ. This comes as we live in community with one another.
The question we’ll start with is this: Do you have people (other Christ-followers) in your life that you are living in community with? If the answer is yes, then take some time to thank God for the relationships that He has given to you. Thank Him for the investments they’ve made in your life. You might even send them a text or give them a call and express your gratitude for them.
However, if your answer to the question is no, then why is that? Maybe the thing you need to do today is think about joining a small group. Take some time and talk to God about it.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest. Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding, for leading (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.