I am trying something new today. And it begins with this blog post. As I was sitting down to read scripture and spend time with the God as I do every morning, I realized something. I was in Romans chapter 12 this morning and with every verse I read thoughts came flooding through my mind like a tidal wave. I found myself getting lost in thought thinking about how each single verse can be applied to so many people, situations, and areas of our lives in so many incredible ways. It actually distracted me from getting very far, in fact I never left chapter 12 in the 2 hours I ended up spending during this time. Then I felt compelled to just start writing. Typically I don’t write things down unless I know the specific reason for writing them. ie: To use to remind me later of something, to use in a teaching at Haven someday, or I feel it will be good to refer back to when someone comes to me for advice on a specific topic. But today didn’t know why I felt compelled to write down my thoughts or who in particular it might be for. So I said, “Okay God. You’ve been stretching me lately to stop putting you in a box and expecting you to always speak to me in the exact same way every day, and thus far you have amazed me in that. Intimate time with You has been especially amazing since I started dedicating my mornings to You so I’ll roll with this.” So I did. I read each verse individually and jotted down all my thoughts then moved onto the next. What I found is that my elbow and wrist hurt from all the thoughts that came flooding into my mind. God speaks to us all in our own unique language. The Holy Spirit helps us apply what we read in the Bible and so, these are my applications. My thoughts, coarse and rugged as they may be, about these scriptures is what I jotted down and to my amazement they already ministered to me personally when I reread what I wrote. Sometimes we just need to hear what we already know. So this “something new” I’m doing is sharing this with you. Love it, hate it, share it, it really doesn’t matter. Even if this is only for me to look back on later and needed to be recorded in such a way that I would be able to find it easily someday, then it carries with it an inherent purpose in my life alone. However if it helps any of you in some way small or great then awesome. To God be the glory.
After each thought you’ll see “vs” and a number in parenthesis. This is referencing the verse I was reading.
November 7, 2013
1. Quit putting God in a box. Let him transform you by changing the way you think. (vs 2)
2. Stop making things about YOU. Stop thinking so highly of yourself! (vs 2)
3. It’s all about what GOD has given you, not what you have accomplished on your own. Remember that. (vs 3)
4. We all have different gifts and talents. We cannot assume that we encompass every single one of them and that others’ gifts are useless to us. We are all of ONE body- different moving parts. We are a team. The WHOLE body of Christ. God is the blood that coarses through the body depositing what He sees fit in the places he feels needs it! Don’t cut off circulation from the rest of the body or you will turn black, fall off and die. (vs 5)
5. Recognize your uniqueness! Don’t try and follow after others’ unique talents, attempting to emulate them and become “better” than them in that area. Do what YOU do amazingly. (vs 6-8)
6. Do you hate it when others are fake to you? Stop “pretending” to love others because it sounds good and gains you favor from man. Be genuine and get your joy from helping other people. Whether it’s paying for someone’s meal at dinner or calling them on the phone to talk because you know they’re going through something. Do that even when you don’t “feel” like it. (vs 9-10)
7. Stop being lazy. Keep your word to someone because we are to do everything as though for the Lord, not man. Would you light heartedly break a commitment with God? That coffee date you made is just as important. Consider it a date with God. Because that person may need God that day and you might be the only one to show Him to them. (vs 11)
8. Be joyful knowing God is planning awesome things for you. If you’re pursuing something, be at rest, not anxiety, that God’s working it out right now. (vs 12)
9. When things pop up you weren’t expecting, be calm. Steady. This is a preparation time God could be using to prepare you for later. He could be preparing you for something so big that you wouldn’t be able to handle it unless you had these small setbacks first to grow your knowledge and strength. (vs 12)
10. If prayer isn’t the first thing on your mind in decision making, stop. Reboot, and make a conscious new commitment and decision to seek God’s will in prayer from now on. (vs 12)
11. Get along with people. Don’t be “touchy” or easily offended. (vs 16)
12. It’s NOT ABOUT YOU! Stop acting like you’re more knowledgeable or more faithful or more in tune with God than everyone else. If you can’t hang around other ordinary people without exalting yourself somehow then you need to check yourself at the door. Be an example but encourage, don’t exalt yourself. This ain’t about you. (vs 14-16)
13. Stop trying to make people “pay” for what they did to you. Who do you think you are? That’s God’s job and his job ONLY. You should always strive for RECONSILIATION. The Bible says “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.” Crave PEACE. (vs 18-19)
14. Gues what? You’re offended by someone? BLESS them. Go out of your way to be kind to them. Help them when they’re in need. Chances are they’ll feel drawn to reconcile with you. Wow. Showing Jesus to people actually works! Learn it. (vs 20)
15. Want to stay mad at someone who offended you? Get over it. Guarantee you’ve offended someone else in the world. Do you really want those awkward “chance” meetings around town with that person whereby you desperately attempt to ignore them all the while trying to seem like you’re going about your life naturally? Then stumble on your words when they approach you? Do you want to hide out in your house all day every day? Because if you hold onto every offense that’s what’ll happen. Satan will find every way to make sure you get offended by EVERYONE. Do YOURSELF a favor…let it go. Seriously. (vs 21)
16. When you’re hurt or mad at someone, go do something good for someone else. Don’t let that anger take root in you. Good overcomes evil. IF it didn’t you wouldn’t get so darn irritated when movies end bad. (vs 21)
That’s all folks. Here’s Romans 12 to read for yourself. There’s only one interpretation of the Bible but there are countless applications. Maybe yours are different and if so, maybe someone else in the world needs to hear them. God bless!
A Living Sacrifice to God
12 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
3 Because of the privilege and authority[c] 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.[d] 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.
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.[f] 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,”[g]
says the Lord.
“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.”[h]
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.