Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
As discussed last month, when we become a new creature in Christ there should be some transformations in both our thought processes and actions. So much so that others around us will notice that, “There’s just something different about him/her…” Let’s do a quick review of the first five from last month:
1 Be Humble.
2 Be Submitted to one Another.
3 Be Loving and Sincere.
4 Be Diligent.
5 Be Consistent Through Adversity.
Let us continue…
1 Be a Giver. True transformation in you will create a giving spirit in you; this attitude goes beyond just being giving to your spiritual brothers and sisters in the Lord, but spills over to non-believers as well. Romans 12:13, “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Paul shares this idea of hospitality with the Hebrew church as well when he reminds them to, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2.
2 Be Prayerful for your enemies. Wow! Not only are we supposed to be hospitable to those around us…we are to pray for our enemies. Those who have perhaps mistreated us or have done us wrong somehow! That is some real “fine tuning” of our attitudes. Romans 12:14 says, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” This goes against our very nature and is truly an evidence of a transformed life. There are many scriptures in the Word about our attitude towards our enemies and we should learn to take heed to Paul’s teachings. Proverbs lets us know that when we rejoice in the downfall of our enemy, God turns His wrath from him (Proverbs 24:17-18). Job teaches us that to curse your enemy is sin (Job 31: 28-30). Obadiah also reveals in Obadiah 1:12-15 that your enemy’s downfall can be turned on you!
3 Be in Unity. Romans 12:15-16, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” We must learn to put others before us by setting our own victories/defeats aside and rejoicing/weeping with other members of the body.
4 Be Good to those who are Evil. We need to lean not only to “turn the other cheek”, but again, to bless those that curse you. Paul must have known that this act is so totally foreign to our human temperament that he felt he should address it twice! Romans 12:17-19, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.” Of course he knew this would be very difficult for some and put in that clause, “as much lieth in you…” In those cases where you can’t pull off being “peaceable”, learn to hold your tongue. As Bro. D.L. Welch used to say, “If I have nothing nice to say, the very least I can do is keep my mouth shut and not hurt them.”
5 Be a Blessing to Your Enemy. Paul quoted Solomon in Proverbs 25:21-22 when he finally tells us in Romans 12:20-21, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.“ Ouch! Don’t simply pray for your enemies, and don’t’ just speak a blessing over them… BE A BLESSING to them also!
You are loved and valued,
Pastor Brian Kinsey