How Do We Find God’s Will For Our Lives? Part 2
* Context of the Romans 12 passage from yesterday:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
* That describes what I believe many of us desire to do, that is, to live in a way that is acceptable to God. How to do that (at least in my experience) is seldom simple. What to do to accomplish living an acceptable life to God is not always even a simple thing to figure out, let alone carry out! Like I said yesterday, some things I am confident that I should not do if my goal is to please God, i.e, I should definitely not bash elderly people over the head with a pan, for instance. But then there are many other things that fall somewhere else on the line of clarity of what pleases God, all the way to the “I have no idea what God thinks about this ” position on that line. The purpose of this study is to try to gain any insights whatsoever into the subject of determining what pleases God. Any thing gained from this, even if only one new insight, I believe is well worth the effort.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
* God does not want us to think more highly about ourselves than we ought to think. The world does not revolve around us.
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
* How we interact with each other in God’s church, should be different than the way people interact with each other outside God’s church. Sadly, it often is not.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. *Be devoted to one another in brotherly love*; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
* One thing that can possibly show that we are wise in our own estimation is how much help we think we need (and therefore get) in certain situations.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:1-21 NASB)