behave like a christian
By Danielle Nason
July 29, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28
Does anyone else read through Romans and experience tiny mind explosions caused by all the wisdom, or is it just me? (if it’s just me, I’ll schedule a doctor’s appointment stat). How amazing is the Holy, correctly-dividing, sharper-than-any-two-edged-sword Word of God, that it can, and continues to be, so relevant for today’s time and culture? I have to admit I was overcome with giddiness when I learned Romans 12 was included in the reading to study and devotional-ize today, because it’s dripping with instruction and knowledge for today’s Christian. It’s almost impossible to read this excerpt without a prompting from the Spirit on some passage(s), but, based on the volume of chapter that is highlighted in my bible, the Spirit seems to be generous in His teaching for me personally. Did you know there are entire churches that use Romans 12 as the foundational scripture for their ministry??
I feel the Lord pressing us to behave like Christians- now more than ever. It’s challenging to narrow today’s reading and channel into a primary takeaway, but let me attempt to share what the Spirit drew me to, as a main consideration, from verse 12:
9“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, 11not lagging in diligence, 12fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…”
I think we could all agree, the earth groans from tribulation right now. In this world currently, we find ourselves constantly in the midst of disagreement, disdain and demeaning behavior from enemies and friends alike. But, what should we be finding ourselves surrounded by? According to Romans 12: hope and patience in the very tribulation we endure. Some may discount that revelation and blame circumstances. Their thoughts may sound something like “I can’t do anything about riots, pandemic viruses, economic decline, unemployment skyrocket. I have no control to be in a better situation than what is around me.” Well...I hate to burst their bubble, but God, speaking through Paul, disagrees.
In Romans 12 we see a clear outline of actions assigned to every Christian that will keep them in a state of service to the Lord. He commands we rejoice in hope and demonstrate patience in this time. The beautiful consequence of this command is that walking out one behavior leaves little room for you to find yourself in another. The actions create an environment different than what this world offers. Americans, especially, have difficulty in executing this idea. The Greek word for “patience” simply means to remain, to endure and to persevere.
Our worldly culture presses for immediate results, but if we are to have hope to fuel our patience in the outcome of this madness, we must see things first through God’s kingdom lens, and not through the world’s. It's funny God doesn't assign a timeline to the outcomes of tribulation like we try to, but instead advises we embrace the process. We must constantly ask Him to test our anxieties and make sure the world’s noise is not detracting from the level of our faith in a God who is much bigger and much more just. We must intentionally decide to create an environment of praise, hope and love- especially when it is not provided to us. Not in an attempt to fabricate a delusional world of naivety, but rather, to create a space for the Lord to exist and move among us- to show His power and might. May we rest in Him and endure this time well together.
But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
— Psalm 22:19
Prayer to start with: Father, our hope is in you. I'm surrounded by your love and it's all I desire. My prayer today is that you make us stronger through these trying times. Amen.