In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul exhorts us not to copy the behavior and customs of the world, but to let God transform our minds so that we might discern what is the good, perfect, and pleasing will of God. We need the Spirit to renew our minds so that we might act appropriately with who God is, what he has done, and who we are now in light of this.
Paul goes on to remind us that we are “members of one body” and that we have been given gifts to be exercised for the good of the body. After listing off several examples in verses 6-8, Paul goes on to give a lengthy list of things that should describe the people of God. So as we begin a new year, take some time to reflect on how these are being lived out in your community. As you read through the list below, try to think of a specific way your community has done each of these. Be sure to celebrate where Jesus is evident in your family. Challenge your MC to grow over the next year in any areas that you feel weak. Spend some time praying together asking the Spirit to strengthen you.
- Don’t pretend to love others but genuinely love one another. Hate what is evil and cling to what is good.
- Love one another with genuine affection. Take delight in honoring one another.
- Never be lazy but work hard to serve the Lord enthusiastically.
- Rejoice in our confident hope.
- Be patient in trouble and keep on praying.
- When God’s people are in need be ready to help them.
- Always be eager to practice hospitality.
- Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them but pray that God would bless them.
- Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep.
- Live in harmony with one another. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. Don’t think that you know it all.
- Never pay back evil with more evil.
- Do things in a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
- Do all you can to live at peace with everyone.
- Never take revenge but leave that to God.
- Defeat your enemies by doing good to them.