It is that time of year where we take a few weeks and look at a specific passage of scripture and dig in. For our Winter Bible Study this year we will be looking at Romans 12; Dedicated Service, Living for God. I encourage you to grab your Bible and join us. If you need one let us know and we’ll get you one. We will explore the adjustments it will take for each of us to serve our Lord in a way that honors Him. Who have we been serving lately? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
With the new year upon us we have an opportunity to make adjustments. We call them resolutions; we resolve to do things differently. Usually they involve personal improvement, this year I’m going to eat right, I’m going to exercise, I’m going to read my Bible everyday and pray, and the list goes on. The motive behind these resolutions is to improve; ourselves, our lives and our environment.
Same thing happens with the things we get involved in, racing for one. As we approach the new season we have a list of things we are going to improve at. Some are simple; be more organized, prep the car before heading to the track, keep the shop, trailer and toolbox cleaner, the list covers many things but sometimes overcoming our old habits is hard and we revert back to the comfort zone of past habits.
When we look at the word resolution we can extract the word resolve. Looking at resolve we find two words; re, to do it again, and solve, figure something out. We try to re solve the things that eat at us, the things that bother us, the things we wish we did differently. We try to re solve the things we think are problems.
Think of it when you are trying to improve your racecar’s handling. You have exhausted your abilities so you find someone who knows more about it and you follow their advice. You would be considered foolish if you asked for help and then ignored the directions only to complain that things didn’t get better. Trying new things is difficult and requires us to put trust and faith in someone else.
The reality is change is challenging. Many times, true change is fleeting. We are good for a few weeks and then we get busy or distracted, life starts moving faster and we forget all the things we were going to do. The next thing we know, we are back where we started, resolving to do things differently.
The clue to the difficulty is re, meaning to do it again. If we are doing things again and again they must be pretty difficult to accomplish. They are, so let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Change isn’t easy and attempting it isn’t for the fainthearted. We need help, outside help. A friend, a spouse, a coach, help can come from different sources. That help holds us accountable to the resolution we are trying to attain. It doesn’t guarantee success but it improves the chances.
Don’t be discouraged, every step we take moves us closer to understanding our true motivation and desire. Maybe being able to run a marathon isn’t something everyone could do, but we can learn empathy and be an encouragement to others. We learn what our capabilities are and refine our expectations. One of the things we can accomplish is to reflect the character of God. I know that because He is our creator and he put those things inside of us. We just need to learn how to engage them.
As we look ahead to a new year, let us resolve to serve God better. To engage that process, we have to engage God. We need to talk with Him, read His instructions, follow His directions, and spend time with others who can help us by holding us accountable to that endeavor. The passage that will help us is Romans 12. The writer used the first eleven chapters to lay the foundation for what he expected us to do in chapter 12.
Romans 12:1-2; NLT; And so, dear brothers and sisters, 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. 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.
“And so I plead with you”, “Therefore, I appeal to you”, “I beseech you” to give your lives to God. The writer tells us as a response to what he has laid out prior, as a response to what God has done for us, we should resolve to serve Him. To serve Him in such a way that those who observe our lives would know we are different, changed, renewed.
He used the words to describe the life we should live; holy and sacrifice. Live a life that is set apart, different. A life that puts the consideration of others above your own, sacrifice. He reminds us that we are accountable to God. This life he talks about must be acceptable to God.
A couple things to think of; he expects us to live, not hide away in seclusion or insulated from the world around us. We are to be in the world but not of the world. That means our motives are not to be that of the world but to be acceptable to God. Motive is an interesting word, what motivates us?
Many times, we are motivated for what we get. The world we live in is performance based, we are rewarded for performing a certain way. Many times we only accept people that perform up to our expectations. We only value the lives of others that have something to offer us. Those that do not meet our standard are not valued.
We carry this over into the church, we call it religion. We set up rules of behavior and performance and as long as you do these things and act this way it is said you are in God’s will. That isn’t true, God’s love for us isn’t performance based.
The writer is clear what should motivate us to live a holy and sacrificial life; “give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you”. We should do it because of what God has already done for us! Our motive is gratitude and thanks to God for the grace He has shown us. He invited us through Christ to have a relationship with Him.
Romans 5:6-9; NLT; When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.