There are many kinds of churches:
- there’s the church the world wants (which affirms worldly thinking and doesn’t ask anyone to change or grow);
- there’s the church the world hates (either by way of active persecution or passive marginalization);
- there’s the church the world needs, which is the people Jesus rescued, who are becoming the people He wants them to be.
Promised People is about the call to be and do and become, even in a post-Christian culture that doesn’t really care about us and our viewpoints. Just as we personally do not exist for ourselves, we as the Church do not exist for our collective self either.
Stated positively: we can be the covenant people the world needs even if we are not the church they had in mind. This is “life on mission,” and being “a family of missionary servants” (Romans 12:3-21). Life on mission is where our brokenness and ongoing need for God’s help is exposed and redeemed, training for making disciples takes place, and the power of the Spirit is displayed. This is being God’s promised people.
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Scripture reading: Romans 12
A Living Sacrifice
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]Gifts of Grace
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, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.Footnotes:
- Romans 12:1 Or brothers and sisters
- Romans 12:1 Or your rational service
- Romans 12:2 Greek age
- Romans 12:2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God
- Romans 12:4 Greek parts; also verse 5
- Romans 12:8 Or gives aid
- Romans 12:11 Or fervent in the Spirit
- Romans 12:16 Or give yourselves to humble tasks
- Romans 12:19 Greek give place
This year we each of us are invited on an adventure to look up and love God first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.