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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #41 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 13

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 12 each day this week.I count 24 injunctions or commands or imperatives for the believer here in Romans 12. I’m aware that the expression “critical imperative” is redundant, but I think it’s useful for what we see here in this great chapter. Let’s continue our multipart study by looking at verse 13.

We’ve seen that the believer is to offer his body as a living sacrifice, not to conform to the pattern of this world, to be transformed by the renewing of his mind, to think of himself with sober judgment, to use his gifts to build up the body of Christ, to hate as God hates, to be devoted to the body in love, to honor one another beyond yourselves, to keep one’s spiritual fervor, to be joyful in hope, to be patient in affliction, and to be faithful in prayer! Ouch!

The thirteenth critical imperative is —13. Believers are to SHARE WITH THE LORD’S PEOPLE WHO ARE IN NEED (v. 13)!

The first-century Christians shared their material goods with each other, as we see in Acts 2. They recognized the poor among them — and did something about it. Part of the challenge today is that we are seldom honest about our needs. We want others to think we are self-sufficient, self-sustaining, and self-dependent.

This critical imperative — sharing with those who are needy among the people of God — hits us where we live. It challenges our greed, our possessiveness, our captivity to things.

In our Western culture where most of us are incredibly wealthy compared to the rest of the world, there are means other than financial which we can share with the people of God. What do you have that you could share with another believer if you (1) knew their need and (2) chose to do something to meet that need?

Today’s Challenge: Open your eyes this week and notice a need that another brother or sister has — that you can meet. And meet that need! Feel free to leave a comment below.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2021 in Romans 12

 

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The Church as a Rusted-Out Bus? Some Thoughts on This Metaphor

Several days ago we posted the following picture of a rusted-out old bus and asked, What aspects or challenges of the local church  might be depicted in this picture?  Please be assured — I’m not picking on the local church or trying to be hyper-critical.  I thank God for the local church!  But there are always ways that we can improve our service for the Lord, especially in the local church.  Here are a few of my observations:


Windows are dirty & broken — Sometimes it’s hard for the church to see the needs of the hurting world around it.

No clear destination — Notice that there is nothing in the destination window (the small space above the front windshield) about where the church is going.

Of course there is no driver! This bus is lying dead in a lot. But who ought to be driving this bus?

There are, of course, some serious rust issues! Sometimes we get pretty settled in our ways, don’t we?

This bus is parked — it isn’t going anywhere! The leaders in the local church need to set a vision for the believers. They need to ponder where they have been — and where they are going, by God’s grace!

Of course, there are no passengers. Sometimes we minimize lower attendance numbers. And certainly God cares about the few. But He also cares about the MANY! We should not settle for a few souls, but go out into the highways and byways and compel the masses to come in!

By the way, did you notice that the door is still open? But very few would want to step foot inside this bus. There might be snakes in there! Much work needs to be done to attract others inside.

Your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2018 in church health

 

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Is the Church Meeting MY Needs? (Time for a great cartoon)


Take a few minutes today to read through each of the signs of the congregation! This cartoon represents the state of many churches — and the challenges facing those of us who preach!

Pray for your pastor or preacher today.  Pray that God would anoint him with power, perception, and joy as he proclaims the Word of God!

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2018 in preaching

 

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The Church as a Dilapidated Old House — A Metaphor?


We saw this house on a trip from Augusta, Georgia. IF we think of the church, what aspects of this house remind us of the great amount of work we need to do (with the Lord’s help) in building local churches that glorify Him? Of course, He is building His universal church. But our local churches often suffer from a variety of challenges.

Suggestion:  Print copies of this picture and ask your Bible study or small group to draw arrows to places or problem areas that remind them of some of the needs of the local church.  I’m make some of my suggestions in a later post.

Last chance, friends: I just did a 40 minute webinar with my son Brian on “Seven Mistakes Writers Make.” You can see it below!

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2018 in church

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 16

ע Ayin

121 I have done what is righteous and just;screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-6-34-20-am
    do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Ensure your servant’s well-being;
    do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
    looking for your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your love
    and teach me your decrees.
125 I am your servant; give me discernment
    that I may understand your statutes.
126 It is time for you to act, Lord;
    your law is being broken.
127 Because I love your commands
    more than gold, more than pure gold,
128 and because I consider all your precepts right,
    I hate every wrong path.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in prayer

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 30)

Psalm 30[a]
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.

1 I will exalt you, Lord,Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.27.49 AM
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.

4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Psalm 30

 

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