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.”
Remember that this passage is about living in community—about giving our lives away. Notice that there are a couple of keys that we should always keep in mind when it comes to living in community: humility and service.
We’ve already talked about the first one—we are to have a right view of ourselves, of who we are in Christ along with a right assessment of our abilities. We’re not to think too highly or lowly of ourselves. Essentially, Paul was calling us to live in humility, to take the focus off of ourselves—to move away from self-centeredness—and look to others. If we can have a realistic view of ourselves, then we’ll be in a place where we can serve others.
That brings us to the second key: service. If you think about the gifts that Paul described here, they’re all centered on things done for others. In other words, it’s not about us! It’s about serving the body—the Church. God gave us gifts that we use to love others. Our gifts are for our neighbor’s good and God’s glory!
1 Peter 4:10-11
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
As followers of Christ, you and I are called to serve—to use the abilities God has given us for the good of others. We are to humbly live in community, serve others, and then let our light shine before people, that they may see our good deeds and praise God in Heaven (Matt 5:16).
Living in community is a vital part of our walk with Christ. In God’s great wisdom and understanding, He chooses to use people to bring change to us—God’s influence flows from us to others and from others to us.
Who is it that you are living in community with? How is life in community changing you?
Maybe you’re not in community with others. Why? I’d ask you to consider plugging in with a small group.
*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.