From Pr. Stout (21 verses, 2:23 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Christianity certainly provides us with something to believe. We are called to have faith in God’s promises, namely that we justified for Christ’s sake through faith. Christianity, however, also gives us something to do. Our life is to be ordered by faith and good works. Our bodies are to be a living sacrifice. We are not to be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewal of our mind. We are to be Christians because, by the mercies of God, we are Christ’s ones.
MARK & LEARN
- How many commandments and exhortations do you hear in this chapter? I count 28 with many of them being expounded. These should order our conversation and thinking. They are connected with the big “therefore” at the beginning of the reading. Because of God’s mercy and love, because we are chosen by grace, because of the assurance that we are in fact holy and acceptable to God through the blood of Jesus, we are therefore called to order our bodies and minds around that which this good God has said is good for us to do.
- When examining your life in accordance with this, it is easy to have this conclusion: “3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment.” How can I think highly of myself when I see what I am called to be and confess that I do not always even desire to be like this and when I do desire to be like this, I still fail to be completely like this? It is good to not think highly of ourself and this reading helps us!
- Lord Jesus, you desire that, in so far as it is in me, I live peaceably with others. You know that it is not in my sinful heart to even desire this, but You also dwell in my heart to create and strengthen this desire. Help me by preaching to me that You are at peace with me. You do not have vengeance for me. You have mercy for me. You did not overcome my evil with evil, but overcome my evil by Your good death on that Good Friday. Your love is genuine and I ask You to help me be transformed by the renewal of my mind. Amen.
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Pastor Christopher Stout