Today you have choices to make. Some will be fairly mundane, like which shoes you picked out; others will carry a little more weight. In other words, some choices are solely preferential others are motivated by what we know to be right and wrong. I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that I will exceed the posted speed limit today. There’s a possibility that that decision could lead to consequences. From a very early age we are taught what is right and wrong. This is enhanced by the gift of conscience God bestows on us all. So while we may be taught that something like theft is wrong, we innately know it to be so. That “still small voice” thing is God’s love steering us away from ruin. We live in a world full of man made rules and laws and we are subject to abide by them. Know and be comforted by the fact that there is no authority or byproduct there of, that God has not set in place for our good. Romans 13:5 – Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
I love God’s perfect timing. Like many people, the end of the year brings a time of reflection for me. In the same breath we look to what we’d like to accomplish in the coming year. I’m not much for Resolutions but last year one of my goals was to learn the Spanish language. In my ignorance I looked at it like someone saying I want to learn to drive. I have since found that learning to speak Spanish isn’t that cut and dried. I’ve made a lot of progress but I still can’t hold much of a conversation.
So what’s in store for 2017? I’ll definitely be continuing my journey into the Spanish language but what about the bigger picture? What are some things I could do that would work to shape my entire life? In God’s perfect timing I opened up Romans 12 this morning. In this chapter, Paul has laid out everything I need to do to be the best I can be in 2017 and beyond.
Romans 12:9-21 – Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
What are your goals for the coming year? No doubt you have things that you’d like to accomplish and that’s a good thing. As believers in God’s word we should hold fast to what Paul has given us to consider. In doing so remembering and rejoicing in what God has promised, And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. ~ Deuteronomy 28:2
Note: I began reading Romans in Sept. Like everyone my schedule ebs and flows and I have learned not to force my Bible study. God always has a plan and aligning this chapter for this time period is a wonderful example of such.
Growing up most boys have sports heroes. They see themselves as that superstar winning the Super Bowl or hitting a bottom of the 9th home run. They idolized these people for their athletic prowess. As adults we do the same thing with other areas of interest. We have our favorite music performers, actors, scientists, artists, dancers, the list goes on. These people display their talents for all to see and we give them their due respect and praise. How often do we do this with God, the one who is responsible for such talent. Romans 12:6a (ESV) Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. How often do we praise God for a beautiful sunrise, the grace of a bird in flight or the majesty of an old tree? God is responsible for it all, not only the things he obliviously created but the wonderful ideas and talents that comes from those whom he created. Take some time to admire Gods handy work today, not just in his natural creations but those that come through his ultimate creation, us! Psalms 95:5-6 (ESV) The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!