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.”
One of the most important things we can do as Christ-followers is to have a sober (sane) self-estimate of ourselves. We’ve got to be humble if there is going to be any transformation happen in our lives. One of the keys to transformation into “Christlikeness” is for us not to think “more highly (of ourselves) than we ought to.” In other words, avoid being “high-minded” about yourself (Keller).
This can be a tough thing for us to do. The world around us calls for us to look for ways to stand out from everyone else, with most of those ways driving us to a self-centered view of our lives. We’re prone to exaggerate our own wisdom, competence, sincerity and power. Everything has got to be about “me.” How can I make sure my boss notices all the good things I’m doing? How can I make myself look good? When a person lives like this, they find themselves striving to make sure they are always seen in the best light. Many times it’s at the expense of someone else. It’s really a vicious cycle that leaves us empty and all alone in the end. As a Christian, we must avoid this kind of mindset.
So what are we to do? We’re not to think too highly of ourselves and we’re not to think too lowly either. There is nothing in the Gospel that would ever encourage us to have a superiority complex. When compared to the Cross of Jesus, all of us fall short!
To think with sober judgment means to think accurately about who you are—about all your strengths and weaknesses, your talents and abilities—but to think of them in line with the gospel. We need to remember that as a believer, we have a renewed mind that has delivered us from the old self-centered one. Because of Jesus, we’re now able to look at ourselves objectively and realistically. You and I have been given gifts and talents from God to use in the service of the Church, not so we can become conceited. We’re to use them for the good of all. This is what Paul wanted us to think soberly about.
Take some time and think about where you’re at right now. Ask God to help you think about yourself rightly, not too high and not too low. Ask Him to help you think accurately about yourself. As you think about that, remember this: Your identity is in Christ! Apart from Him, you can do nothing. In Him, you are valuable and capable of worthy service to the King!
*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.