How many books have been written over the years about relationships? I wouldn’t even begin to try to count them. Obviously, we humans need help in this arena. Romans 12 is all about relationships, first and foremost about how we relate to God. Once we are in this relationship, it will transform our ways of interacting with others.
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.Romans 12:3-23, NIV
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[e] and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.
20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
My information chart this week will focus on how we connect with others:
- God + Me. How can I open myself up to the Holy Spirit?
- How I Relate With Others as “God + Me.” My relationship with others flows directly out of my relationship (or non-relationship) with God.
What is the Holy Spirit highlighting in Romans 12 for you? Is there one particular verse that jumps off the page? Or perhaps you close the Bible and think of a particular person or group? Don’t dismiss that as a random thought, but ask the Holy Spirit how that relates to what you just read. What does God have for you in Romans 12 today?
And don’t forget your picture. I looked on the photo gallery on my phone and noticed how many selfies I have taken. That made me start wondering if that’s how I process life–with myself front and center. Hmmm…..
Until tomorrow. Make sure to comment or send me an email with questions or feedback. I’m enjoying being archaeologists digging into Romans with you.