An ordinary life, living ordinary ways, watching God work in extraordinary ways.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Have I conquered this? Not at all. "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12 Each one of those is something that requires action. Those actions are difficult to take when we are challenged by conflict. Romans 12:9-19
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, 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.
Do any of these sound easy? I can tell you, for me- not at all! I don't always have confidence, my praying knees get lazy and when I am faced with conflict, I crumble sometimes. It is especially difficult when the challenge comes from a fellow believer. I don't want to bless the ones who persecute me.
Family, we have NO excuses.
When we stand before God and account for our lives, we will not be asked what someone did to us, but what we did to others. What do we want our record to reflect?
I like what Warren Weirsbe says about this section of scripture:
Loving participation (vv. 9-16). Here the emphasis is on the attitudes of those who exercise the spiritual gifts. It is possible to use a spiritual gift in an unspiritual way. Paul makes this same point in 1 Corinthians 13, the great “love chapter” of the New Testament. Love is the circulatory system of the spiritual body, which enables all the members to function in a healthy, harmonious way. This must be an honest love, not a hypocritical love (Rom. 12:9), and it must be humble, not proud (Rom. 12:10). “Preferring one another” means treating others as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:1-4).
Serving Christ usually means satanic opposition and days of discouragement. Paul admonished his readers to maintain their spiritual zeal because they were serving the Lord and not men. When life becomes difficult, the Christian cannot permit his zeal to grow cold. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:12niv).
Finally, Paul reminded them that they must enter into the feelings of others. Christian fellowship is much more than a pat on the back and a handshake. It means sharing the burdens and the blessings of others so that we all grow together and glorify the Lord. If Christians cannot get along with one another, how can they ever face their enemies? A humble attitude and a willingness to share are the marks of a Christian who truly ministers to the body. Our Lord ministered to the common people, and they heard Him gladly (Mark 12:37). When a local church decides it wants only a certain “high class” of people, it departs from the Christian ideal for ministry.
I don't know what this is working out to be, but it is definitely something to chew on...