1So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
3 Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you. 4 We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. 5 In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. 6 We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us.
Freshman year, first semester, at least when I was in college, wasn’t all that exciting as you couldn’t take any courses in your major. For that reason I had high expectations for Journalism 101, especially when I learned that the professor was a well-respected writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. The very first day he said if you remember, and apply, six key words you will have the ability to write accurate and informative stories. The words – who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Pastor Joe’s message this past Sunday spoke to having balance, needing values, and learning from the values Jesus showed. He also spoke about prioritizing the right thing, serving others, and judging ourselves first.
Sometimes all of this can seem a bit hard to wrap your head around doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Let’s make believe Paul gave our scripture in a speech, you were there with Paul, and you are reporting on what you heard and saw in a short story. Like any responsible reporter we want to add some pertinent research if applicable.
The Apostle Paul spoke today, a beautiful spring day here in the city of Corinth, and just after the end of Passover too. He was inspired to pass on wisdom and guidance to us because of the mercy that he feels God has shown him. I could tell by the people’s faces standing nearby that they felt good knowing that God actually has expectations for us all, and that God wants our lives to be good and pleasing. Paul said each of us was created to have unique and special gifts. Paul closed by reminding the people that we can only experience the fullness of God’s mercies and gifts when we are humble and live in community with each other.
by Clarence Beverage
For Pondering & Prayer
Many see the epistle to the Romans as the most commanding exposition of the gospel of salvation by grace to be written.
What are your thoughts on God’s Grace?
Is the story below, from 2 Corinthians, chapter 12, an encouraging way to appreciate God’s Grace in your life?
Paul asked the Lord to remove a “thorn” three times. The Lord answered that power is made perfect in weakness and the Lord also said that grace that is given will always be sufficient. Paul’s response, “I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness so that the power of Jesus may dwell in me.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, we are grateful for the grace that reigns in our lives through Jesus Christ. Thank you for conquering sin and offering us eternal life. Help us to rely on your righteousness and to overcome the struggles we face. Lord, we surrender to your grace and ask for strength to make choices that reflect your love and bring glory to your name. May our lives be a testament to the power of your grace. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.