Anglican Church, be transformed, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Bishop Kenneth Kinner, Bishop of the missionary jurisdiction of the american Indian people, Blog, Casper, Casper Wyoming, Chapter 12, Christ, Christianity, Christmas Challenge, Church of the Holy Family, Deacon Alfred Sturges Christmas Challenge, do not be overcome by evil, do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good, do not conform, do not pay evil with evil, Episcopal Vicar, Faith, God, HCCAR, Holly Michael, Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, love one another, Paul's letter to the Romans, Romans Chapter 12, spiritual gifts, spiritual gold mine, Spirituality, transformed, www.writingstraight.com
Thanks Deacon Alfred, for this challenge. What a blessing to read Romans! Wow! Gold mine! There’s so much rich wisdom in this chapter! Read, enjoy, and come away spiritually richer! And at the end of this post, enjoy an inspirational true story from Bishop Kenneth Kinner.
New International Version (NIV)
A Living Sacrifice
12 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.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
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.
Love in Action
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,” 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.
Amazing! If I could say one verse was my favorite, hmmm….maybe: 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.
If everyone lived only by this verse, imagine how beautiful this world would be.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
It’s sad that evil and hate exists and not everyone wants to live in peace with one another. The key words are, “as far as it depends upon you.”
On a personal note, this is something I’ve struggled with. I can’t control others or force them to live in peace with me, though God knows I’ve tried, even doing the heaping coals thing. Blood isn’t always thicker than water. The blood of Christ is what binds us to each other. If people don’t love God and if they hate and wish harm upon me or upon my dearest loved ones, I will not repay evil with evil. But I will keep my distance, pray for them, and do my best to live joyfully in Christ, maintaining my spiritual fervor, and continuing to use the gifts the Lord has given to me, as this chapter teaches. Father, we are all your children, please handle us all according to your perfect will. Amen.
Regarding Romans 12:2, please enjoy this inspirational true story, written by Bishop Kenneth Kinner, Episcopal Vicar of Church of the Holy Family, Casper, Wyoming, (Holy Catholic Church, Anglican Rite):
Phil came to Casper seeking a new start in life. He had been in a California prison for seventeen years. He still faced a form of imprisonment; Phil was addicted to alcohol. As a felon and as an addict it was very difficult to find employment.
Finally he landed a job cleaning up a local bar every night after closing time. The overwhelming temptation always in front of him.
Phil was ashamed, hurting , feeling worthless. Then in his most basic of needs he learned to pray to the Lord for help. This world, as he knew it, was a path to self destruction. On a certain morning he was walking back to his ‘home’ in a seedy hotel about a mile away. Dawn was about to signal a new day; Phil was asking the Lord to help him.
What happened next changed Phil’s life forever. The Lord Jesus appeared to him on Center Street in Casper, Wyoming. I’m not sure what the conversation was but clearly the loving power of God was released. Phil never had another drink as long as he lived.
Then what do you do about employment now? The postmaster in another town, learning of Phil’s experience, gave him a job as caretaker of the post office property. A convicted felon in a post office ! Against all the rules. But, for over ten years Phil cared for the property; he never once failed his charge.
In the fullness of years God called Phil, a sober Christian man, to his eternal home.
I was asked to offer the Burial Office for him. Yes, they called it a ‘memorial’. A friend of Phil’s handed me Phil’s Bible. My attention was on a marker in Paul’s letter to the Romans. The following was underlined: “Do not be conformed to his world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” Romans 12:2