Growing up in Christ begins with thinking of others instead of ourselves; being available to Him is key.
Proverbs 25:13 Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters.
Being available to God is easy to say, but hard to do because of our natural tendency to think of ourselves first. We are so tied to how we feel that we have a hard time getting past those feelings to what He has in store for us both in tasks and in rewards.
Dying to self is necessary for Christians to function correctly in the body of Christ and to be His extensions to this world. Consider Romans 12:
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
This verse sets up the rest of the chapter as verse 2 describes the process of being living sacrifices:
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer 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.
So, our first order of business each day is to crawl back up onto the altar. Our second order of business is to be transformed by renewing our minds with His Word (Eph. 5:26).
Verses 3-8 talk about each of us functioning differently in the Body of Christ. He will lead each of us in our own path and equip us to do His will according to what He has planned for each of us. Let’s not be telling each other how to serve God; He’s big enough to tell us Himself–in fact, it’s imperative that we hear from Him individually. Fellowship with Him is the whole point of salvation!
Verses 9-21 are great study verses:
- Be sincere;
- Cling to what is good;
- Be devoted to one another and honor one another above ourselves;
- Keep our zeal to serve Him;
- Be joyful in hope;
- Be patient in affliction;
- Be faithful in prayer;
- Share with each other;
- Practice hospitality;
- Bless those who persecute us (do NOT curse them);
- Rejoice with those rejoicing;
- Mourn with those who are mourning;
- Don’t be proud;
- Associate with all “classes;”
- Do not repay evil for evil;
- Make sure what we do honors Christ and people;
- Try to live at peace–not peace at all cost, though!
- Do not seek revenge;
- Leave room for God to work in our enemy’s life;
- Do not be overcome by evil;
- Overcome evil with good!
What a great start to serving Christ! Many of these action points gives an opportunity for us to explain why we are acting the way we are. In that opportunity, let’s give our testimony about what we were like before Christ, what Christ has done for us, and how we are now in Christ. Let them know that Jesus loves them!
Let’s be trustworthy messengers for Christ today!