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 will get you one. We are exploring the adjustments we need to make to serve our Lord in a way that honors Him. What is going on inside that expresses itself outside? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


We have covered many topics in this Winter Bible Study; the need to live differently, to live a life that is set apart, different. A life that puts the consideration of others above our own, sacrifice. We then learned we need to think differently. God is the only one who can transform the way we think. We don’t see or understand all things. Only God has a complete picture and if we allow him to, He will guide us, He will transform us. He will provide the faith and knowledge we need to walk the path He has prepared for us. Don’t buy into the lie that we know it all.


We added the concept of teamwork to our understanding. In the same way as knowledge and the fact that we don’t know everything helps us learn to let God guide us; the reality that we cannot do everything ourselves prompts us to let others join us on the journey. When we do what God has called us to do and equipped us to do then and only then do we feel like we fit. God prepared each of us to have a certain spot on His team. He equips us to accomplish the task He prepared for us. He offers us the satisfaction and fulfilment that comes from being in His will. The blessing of God is realized when we are in the place that God wants us, not the place we think we want to be.


Attitude matters; we don’t always understand that we choose our attitude. While the circumstances that surround us can sway us one way or the other we decide how we face the day. Will we look at the things that have been provided for us and be grateful? That is the external attitude. As you might expect the bar is raised significantly as we dig deeper. Our attitude is dictated by our motive, what are we really thinking. 



Romans 12:14-18; NLT; 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.



Are we motivated to be a blessing to others? Let’s face it, the process in our mind determines who we think deserves to be treated well and who we really don’t care for. That process dictates how we treat others. I, for one, have trouble with the thought of blessing those who persecute me, let alone pray that God blesses them also. 


We just don’t think that way. Sure, God, go ahead and bless the folks I like and even the nice ones, but don’t bless the others, I want them to suffer the consequences of their actions, I want revenge. I don’t get mad, I get even. That’s how we think. Someone uses us up on the track and our instinct is to repay the favor. God says, let me, just smile and wave and if they win, go shake their hand. Wow, that is a different way to think!


We don’t have the understanding to make that judgement, only God does. Remember we discussed earlier that we don’t know it all. Well, the Scripture says;



Romans 12:19; NLT; Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,


“I will take revenge;

    I will pay them back,”

    says the Lord.


Deuteronomy 32:35; NLT; I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’



God has it and the judgment of others need not be on our heart and mind, let God handle it. Reread the verses; Bless others, don’t curse them, be with them in their success and disappointments, live in harmony. Don’t be full of pride and think we know it all. Don’t repay evil with evil, be honorable and live at peace.


There is a lot in there that will calm our mind and give us peace. Think about not holding grudges. Think about not having to keep a record of wrongs. Think about not having to think of ways to get even. That certainly will clear a lot of space up in our minds. It will free us up to think of ways to honor God. 


The problem we have is that our trust level in God isn’t always what it needs to be. We want justice right now and we want it our way. That is not the way it works, it is God’s responsibility to handle that, He instructs us not to be bothered with it. Instead, focus on reflecting God’s character; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


We can only do that if we put our trust and faith in God to handle the wrongs that are done to us. We need to let go and let God. Easier to say then do. Pride and jealousy get in the way. If we cling to things like that we have no hope of seeing the kingdom of God. 


Next week we will finish up the Winter Bible Study and then the work starts. How will we apply what we have learned? How will we live differently? How will we put our trust and faith in God and let Him sit in the judgment seat?



Romans 12:14-18; NLT; 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!