Watch or listen…
Church for a lot of people is “backwards”
Church is the place where we give ourselves away to someone else. People need what you have, and God calls us to give ourselves away as a sacrifice to others. He plants us in a body (a church or ministry) because of what other people need. Sometimes we think of church based from what we can get. This way of thinking is selfish and self-centered. It can be easy to fall into this trap and we can make choices based from how the church serves you. Unfortunately, this mentality is selfish based off “ME” sitting on the throne of my own heart. We have a choice, who sits on that throne – what will your choice be?
Key Passage: Romans 12:1-21 NLT
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 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.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d]says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Breakdown of Romans 12:1-21
- Brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
- Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
- Each member belongs to all the others.
- Love must be sincere. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
- Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
- Bless those — Rejoice with those — Mourn with those — Live with those — Associate with those in a low position.
This entire chapter is telling the believers, the church, to give yourself away to others – you are here because people need what you have! Paul was writing to the church in Rome, the heart of their captivity. Paul is saying to the Church to serve one another even if they are Roman, even when you feel you need to be filled, and even when you are aggravated with what is happening in life.
It is important to remember that there are people waiting, needing, and hoping for your obedience because you are the answer to their prayers.
Q: Think about your own attitudes and actions when it comes to attending church. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on where you fall in serving others. If your number is mid to low, use the space below to write out ways you could serve more.
Don’t forget to take action on the things you have listed above. If they feel too big, pray to have your faith align with your vision. Then share how you want to serve with your Pastor.