Scripture: Romans 12
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
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 faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For 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, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in 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 the Lord’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 everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear 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.
Observation: This chapter is really a call to arms, isn’t it? And everything really goes against our human, worldly nature. We are called to be different in the world, to stand out by our lifestyle and actions. It is all nicely summarized with the last four words “overcome evil with good”
Application: If we truly want to make a difference in the world, it’s not about some elaborate evangelising plan or missionary journey. Its not about more programs or better sermons. No, it all starts with me and you becoming that living sacrifice for God. Being that example, going the extra mile, doing good to someone even if they don’t deserve it. Being transformed by the renewing of our minds. This can only be accomplished by being in the Word of God, prayer and putting action to our faith.
Prayer: Thank you for your word today. Lord, you have called us to be different. Help us to do that in a world that is full of influences and distractions that take our attention. Help us to see others with your eyes. Fill our hearts with your love and compassion. Show us how to renew our minds to focus on things that are good and that are holy. May our actions today reflect you to everyone around us. thank you, in Jesus name, amen.