The season of giving and thankfulness is upon us – My favorite time of the year!
9bCling to what is good. 10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; ~ Romans 12:9b-10 NKJV
Is that even possible in our society today?
Of course it is. And no better time than now. Tis the season to invite friends over for food, drink, and conversation by the fire. Give cheerfully – not expensively. Bake cookies. Be kind. Mend fences.
Some folks suffer from depression during the holidays and my heart goes out to them. It isn’t easy to be cheerful when your heart is heavy or the budget does not allow for much gift giving. Toss the materialism and enjoy giving the most valuable gifts: Time, love, laughter and hope. God does not want any to suffer pain or fear.
Be of the same mind to one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. ~ Romans 12:16 NKJV
Continue to pray for God’s strength while clinging to good. He is faithful and your example will bless others.
Do I have enough faith to serve God? Absolutely! Am I being conceited to make such a statement? NO! – For God gave each believer just the right amount of faith.
3For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. ~ Romans 12:3 NKJV
No believer is greater or lesser than another brother or sister in Christ. To think so WOULD BE conceited. Our Father in Heaven has given each of us a calling, or gift of the Spirit, or any one of a myriad of special assignments in order to serve Him during our life here on earth. What is important is that we serve humbly and that we bear fruit – and not compare spiritual fruits within the Church.
There have been many times that I felt intimidated instead of encouraged by the exemplary service of other believers. The Holy Spirit is quick to remind me that’s stinkin’ thinkin‘!
The reality is that Jesus has done it all and simply allowed His followers to participate in His victory. He supplies redemption, transformation, divine purpose, and a customized, perfectly individualized measure of faith to each one of us. For without faith, there is no hope; prayer isn’t answered; and we are still disconnected in our relationship to Him. So faith has very little to do with us and everything to do with Him. Mostly, it seems that we just need to be willing to show up for duty and be ready to do our part.
4For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. ~ Romans 12:4-5 NKJV
Hey, I have no idea how much faith exists in the universe. But I don’t need to know. All that matters is that God knows, and that in love and grace He measured out just the right amount of faith to get me through – and you, too.
This year is my 60th birthday in Christ Jesus! I wish I could testify that my life was powerfully transformed the moment I accepted Yeshua as my personal Savior and that I lived according to His perfect will this past 60 years.
Truthfully, I have been more conformed than transformed.
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
Most of my life was not spent serving God, but in serving myself. As a new believer, I was eager to learn God’s ways, but my enthusiasm waned as I progressed through childhood and on into adult life. I became primarily focused on personal achievement, starting a family, and “the cares of this life” took over. Focusing on the cares of life became such a priority that I slowly conformed to cultural “norms” of this world. My body was not a living sacrifice to God. I sporadically walked out my faith by thinking I was keeping the Ten Commandments, but for the most part I was “missing in action”.
Encouraged by the Apostle Paul, my focus now is to finish my faith race much stronger than I began. To know the heart of God, read Romans 12. The whole chapter spells out in plain language how to live a life that is pleasing to Our Holy Father God. He states what our reasonable service should look like:
We should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we do that? – By reading His Holy Word, the Bible. We are to live, serve, and forgive fervently by the power of His love and Spirit. So praying the sinner’s prayer puts our names in The Book of Life, but real transformation requires more from us. We must draw close to Him and learn His ways. That, dear friend, is accomplished through the daily reading of His “Good Book”. There is no short cut to learning how to behave like a Christian. Don’t waste valuable time missing the mark like I did. Jump into Romans 12 with me and next time we will continue studying what God says about finding His perfect will in our lives.
Until then, HAPPY 60th BORN-AGAIN BIRTHDAY TO ME! and thank you for following