Romans 12:1-2, 9-21
- Vs. 1 “…in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.” (What should we do in response to God’s gracious love and mercy towards us? We should be a “living” sacrifice, willing to give our lives in service to God. We are to have an active fellowship with him. We should live a morally holy life keeping ourselves separate from worldly defilement.)
- Vs. 2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (In order to know God and discern his will, we must work hard to move our thoughts away from this world. Like destroying a bad habit by replacing it with a good one, we must put the values and teachings of the bible in the place of our old, worldly thinking.)
One of the most efficient ways to transform our lives, molding us into true disciples of Christ, is to learn how to love the way he loved. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, endeavors to explain how we can begin to love, not only our friends, but also our enemies.
- Vs. 10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (We should have an affectionate love, one that is genuine and unrestrained. It is also a respectful love, humbly placing other’s needs before our own.)
- Vs. 13 “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Because of the political nature of this world, it has gained much disrespect within Christian circles, but God calls us to have a “liberal” love. We cannot simply offer others verbal expressions of our love for them. That is simply mocking. We must always be ready and willing to physically take care of the needs of those in want. We must seek out opportunities to love others in this fashion.)
- Vs. 15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (A love modeled after Jesus is a sympathizing love. We should seek to make the joys and sorrows of others our own. We cannot and should not live compartmentalized lives, unaware of the lives around us.)
- Vs. 16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Our love should show a sense of unity. There are many divisions today in the body of Christ that God never intended. We should always endeavor to be one. In order to do so, we will lower ourselves, serving each other for the good of everyone.)
- Vs. 18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (The world has enough bitterness and strife. It’s not necessary for Christians to follow suit. Here, we can look drastically different from the world by showing a peaceful love.)
- Vs. 17 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.” (Christ died for us while we were still enemies. Shouldn’t we attempt to extend the same grace to those who wrong us?)
As these verses in the Bible show, we can begin our transformation by showing love. It simply starts by daily remembering the love our God shows for us. In doing so, we should be motivated and encouraged to thank God by passing on that love to those around us.
Let the transformation begin!