Scripture

 

Vs 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice …

 

Vs 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

 

Vs 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them …

 

Vs 9 Let love be genuine.

 

Vs 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Vs 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Vs 19 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.”

 

Vs 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Observation

 

Paul is telling the Christians how they are to now live out their faith.

He first emphasizes repeatedly that there is no room for ego in this living out …

Because everything they are to live out was first from God!

 

“mercies of God” … “grace given to me” … “God has assigned” … “grace given to us” …

 

So, there is no room for ego, but there is also no room for idleness!

I do not just sit back and rest on these gifts from God.

 

What do I do with the gifts?

Paul says to “use them” … and “let love be genuine” … and “overcome evil with good”!

 

Application

 

I never stop being amazed that it’s Paul writing some of these words.

Paul … the guy so proud of his life achievements and resume, now says. “Don’t think of himself more highly than he ought”.

Paul … the guy who went around persecuting others, now says, “Bless those who persecute you”!

Paul … the guy who sought to kill people who did not think the way he thinks, now says, “Live peaceably with all.”

 

This is a changed person from the inside out. … This is Gospel driven life change!

Is my life changed in the same manner, by the same Gospel power?

 

Sure, I can do “good” things …

But is it because I want to be seen as good, or because I can’t help it because of the good that God has done in me?!

 

And, more importantly, is the “good” I do that “overcomes evil” actually … “good”??

It seems in today’s world that getting angry at the right people is seen as “good”.

I see “outrage” at certain groups or cultures seen as a virtue for much of today’s Christian culture,

 

I’ve had plenty of conversations with “good Christian believers” who actually get mad at me if I’m not sufficiently angry about whatever they’re angry about in culture.

 

But I need to live out the command of Paul … who lived out the example of Jesus … to bless those who persecute.

While “cancel culture” may be the hot button issue … I must “live peaceably with all”.

 

And this is not about ignoring the need for justice.

This is a recognition that “vengeance is the Lord’s”.

 

So … if I recognize that every good thing in me is a gift and grace from God … not my own doing …

And if I allow evil to be ultimately dealt with by God, …

It is then that I am finally free to … “Let me love be genuine”!

 

Prayer

 

Thank You, God, for your Word

Help me see any gift I have as from you

Help me see others, even those I see as evil,

As people I should bless

Holy Spirit give me the willingness and ability to do this

In Jesus name

Amen