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Four Things Forgiveness Isn't | Reconciliation (May 20)
Romans 12 (NIV)
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 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, 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.
Paul expects persecution for Christians.
Here's an example of what he teaches:
2 Tim 3:12…everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…
back to Romans 12
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.
Remember Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world..."
What is the pattern of this world? To repay evil with evil.
"Revenge keeps evil in circulation." (NT Wright)
back to Romans 12
17 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,” 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.
Question: Why live like this?
Answer: The Gospel.
Romans 5 (The Message)
6-8 …Christ didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Other translations of Romans 5:8 read more like, "But God demonstrated his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us."
Romans 5 (The Message)
9-11 Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!
Monday, May 21 - Romans 12:1-13
How do you see "the pattern of this world" in your life or the people around you?
How has God been transforming your mind?
What is an area in your life you need to be transformed because you mirror the pattern of the world too much?
Tuesday, May 22 - Romans 12:14-21
How do you think Paul and the early Christians were able to have the strength to bless those who persecute them?
Who is someone in your life you have been at odds with?
With that person in mind, what does it mean for as long as it depends on you to be at peace with them?
Wednesday, May 23 - Romans 5:6-11
How does the gospel shape how you practice forgiveness?
How have you experienced God's great mercy?
Thursday, May 24 - Ephesians 4:32
Is there someone in your life you need to forgive as God forgave you?
Ask God for his help in working towards forgiveness.
Friday, May 25 - Psalm 133
Read these verses a few times. What stands out to you? Why?
Saturday, May 26 - Ephesians 1:1-2
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