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.
“9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Let’s start by reviewing what we’ve already looked at in Romans 12. We started by remembering—and looking back—at the mercies of God. As we think about His mercies, all that He has done for us, and remember how He has rescued us and given us life despite our brokenness, we can’t help but be moved to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice—this is what true and proper worship looks like.
Naturally, that leads to the question, “How do we sacrifice our bodies?” Paul explains that it is by humble service to others in the Body of Christ, the Church. He explains how we all have a role to play; we have giftings that are tailor- made for the community of believers that we’re a part of. As such, we’re to use those gifts God has given us to serve others and bring glory to God. We play the role God has given us to play within the community He has placed us.
The next question that comes to mind is, “What does that look like?” In our passage for this week, Paul describes for us in real, practical ways what our actions and attitudes should be like toward one another. All of these actions may seem like a random set of instructions, but I assure you they’re not. They’re all held together by two key thoughts: that we should love others and that we should seek to do the good that is God’s will. Some scholars think that Paul was employing material which was used from the early days in the church for the instruction of new Christians pertaining to the way they should behave. Notice that Paul begins with love; love is the foundation for everything we do.
Look back over our passage—read it slowly and think about how love undergirds each one of Paul’s instructions. Paul is giving us a description of the life that is pleasing to God—a life that loves others well.
*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.