Hello Relentless Students! Today we are day 11 of our 30-day Devo! As a reminder, with this Devo take 15-20 and just be outside, weather permitting.
Our scripture of the day is Romans 12:13, but highlighting this verse without the surrounding context doesn't do it justice. So, we are going to look at Romans 12:9-21 which says,
"Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good."
If you were to look at this passage in your Bible you would likely see "Christian Ethics" or "The Mark of a Christain" written above as a subject header. This list shows what someone living out the Christian lifestyle would look like. This isn't a command, it's what following God's commands is meant to bring about. Will we do all of this 100 % of the time? No. Should we still compare where we are to what this list shows? Yes. This list can help us see where we need to improve in our walk. So, why does this matter? Well, there are a few reasons.
First, in verse 12 we are told: "Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer." How many of us are there right now? Are you rejoicing in hope over the fact that Jesus is risen and has offered you salvation? Or are you so focused on the problems of today you don't see it? Are you patient in your current situation? Or are you just tired of all of this lockdown stuff? Are you persistent in your prayer or life? Or are have you stopped praying since "nothing is changing"? This verse reminds us that when we follow in God's commands and lean on Him, that even in challenging times, we can rejoice, be patient and be heard in our prayers.
Second, in verse 13 we see our verse of the day which says, "Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality." Other versions say, "contribute to the needs of the saints..." Regardless the idea is that we help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, providing for their needs in whatever way we can. How hard is that for you to do right now? To be honest, it's not easy for any of us to do anything right now, but there are always ways. We've even talked about some over the last few days so go back and read those challenges if you haven't.
Third, overall this passage gives hope and should convict us to look at ourselves. Hope that those who are walking accordingly are living this out and bringing blessings to those around them. Convict us to look at ourselves and ask, "Am I following God or living in fear, selfishness, anxiety, anger, etc.?" If you're not following God, ask yourself why not and be willing to make a change.
Today's challenge is to read the list and ask "does this reflect who I am?" If not ask "how can I change that?" and give it to God. Because without Him we can't change anything.
Our prayer for today,
God, we thank You for another day. Thank You for being who You are without fail. We pray to feel convicted over this passage; that You would show us where we are and how to move forward. God, give us guidance, give us peace, give us strength. Continue to look out for us and our family as we all navigate these strange waters. We love You and thank You for loving us. It's in your son's holy name we pray, Amen.