From Handbook to Scripture, Day 271
READING: ROMANS 12
In chapters 1–8, Paul unfolds God’s sovereign plan of salvation, and in chapters 9–11, he deals with the question of God’s relationship to Israel now that the Gentiles have the same access as the Jews to Israel’s Messiah. The third section, chapters 12–16, focuses on the application of life in Christ to various practical aspects of daily experience.
The apostle recognizes that behavior must be built upon belief, and this is why the practical exhortations of this epistle appear after his teaching on the believer’s position in Christ. Personal consecration (12:1–2) should lead to corporate transformation (12:3–21); the dynamic of our faith in Christ must be expressed in others-centered relationships in the body of Christ.
Prayer: Lord, because of all You have done for me, I present my body to You as a living sacrifice. I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, affirming that Your will for me is good and acceptable and perfect.
Meditation passage: verses 1–5, 9–18
From Simple Prayers, Day 271
I DRAW NEAR TO YOU, GOD
Lord, You have invited me to pray for the needs of others, and since You desire what is best for them, I take this opportunity to bring these requests to You.
We should offer petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all men, for kings and all those who are in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and reverence. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1–4)
Take a moment to lift up the needs of your family and friends, and to offer up any other burdens for others that the Lord brings to mind.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
Jesus did all things well. He made the deaf hear and the mute speak. (Mark 7:37)
I LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS OF TRUTH
I will draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled to cleanse me from an evil conscience and my body washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)
MY RESPONSE TO YOU, LORD
I do not want to lay up treasure for myself without being rich toward God. (Luke 12:21)
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done. (Proverbs 19:17)
Lord, I thank You that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus who did all things well. I thank You that I can draw near to You in full assurance of faith, and I ask that I would be rich toward You and generous to those who are in need.
Adapted from: Handbook to Spiritual Growth
A PERSPECTIVE ON PROBLEMS
Have you ever seen another person grow in character and depth in times of apparent success? It would be so much simpler if having things go “our way” was also beneficial to us in the long run, but because of self-centeredness and shortsightedness, this is rarely the case. Until the Lord returns, we will continue to learn and grow more through setbacks and failures than through success as the world defines it. Listen to the observations of a man who had enjoyed an eminently successful career in the eyes of his peers:
“Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained.” —Malcolm Muggeridge