Highlights In Today's Reading:
The mercy of God on Israel (11:1-24). The mercy of God for everyone (11:25-32). A living sacrifice — just think, our hands, our feet, our mouth used for the Lord (12:1-2). Do things the way God says. It's always best (12:19-21). Respect authority, obey laws of the land, pay taxes, pay debts; love fulfills all requirements of God (chap. 13).
As Christians, in the midst of many voices calling for our attention, we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our decision-making. It is only reasonable that we should live our everyday lives manifesting the resurrection life, free from sin's control. Although it is reasonable that Christians should not sin, in reality, we sometimes do. Knowing man's fallen nature, the Apostle Paul was inspired to write: I beseech (appeal to) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (12:1-2).
To be a Christian is to have a new life — Christ living in and through us. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him . . . that henceforth we should not serve sin (6:5-6). The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian enabling us to live for Christ instead of yielding to our old sin nature.
As we prayerfully read the Bible daily, with a desire to do the will of God, His Word becomes our spiritual food. The indwelling Holy Spirit strengthens our spiritual lives through the Word of God. Our former way of thinking is changed. It is imperative that we read all the Word of God, so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to our remembrance when we are tempted to do less than present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God (12:1).
Doing is believing, not saying; but acting is faith. So all through the New Testament "obeying" is synonymous with "believing," and only by doing the will of God, as far as we know, can we come to increased knowledge of God. God wants us real — not sham; no saying Lord! Lord! and not having the loyal obedience deep in the heart. We must mean Lord, and that carries the whole nature and life with it. He will never ask for less than all, and our eternal happiness demands that we should give Him all.
Why call ye Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).
Thought for Today:
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up (James 4:10).
11:14 emulation =jealousy; 12:9 dissimulation =hypocrisy; 13:13 rioting and drunkeness . . . chambering and wantonness =unbridled lust, immorality and indecency.
For Rom. 11:3: See I Kin. 19:10,14. Rom. 11:4: See I Kin. 19:18. Rom. 11:8: See Is. 29:10. Rom. 11:9-10: See Ps. 69:22-23. Rom. 11:26-27: See Is. 59:20-21; Jer. 31:33. Rom. 11:34: See Is. 40:13. Rom. 11:35: See Job 41:11. Rom. 12:19: See Deut. 32:35. Rom. 12:20: See Prov. 25:21-22. Rom. 13:9: See Ex. 20:13-17; Lev. 19:18.
Pray for Government Official: Gov. Bill Owens (CO) • Country: Malaysia (22.7 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Malay and English • All Christian witness to Muslims is illegal • 58% Muslim; 23% Buddhist/Taoist/Chinese; 8% Christian; 6% Hindu; 5% Sikh/Animist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for boldness in telling others about the Lord (Ps. 119:46).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:27