Today's Reading: Romans 15
Date: September 17
By: Melody Keena
In verse 16 Paul prays that the Gentiles, that’s all of us non-Jews, might become an offering acceptable to God and be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. We see glimpses of what he is talking about through the rest of the chapter and in his other writings. So, what are the acceptable offerings we give God? First, we need to accept one another with all our weaknesses, differences, and strengths. Not acting out of selfish desires or living for ourselves alone. Others spiritual well-being becomes more important than what we want. We know we are maturing when our convictions don’t become excuses to treat someone else the wrong way.
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:-22 niv)
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
Second, not just our actions but our motives need to be pure and cleansed by the Holy Spirit. Love needs to be the motivation for all we do. Not what we can gain, to get even, to look good in others eyes, to earn God’s favor, etc.
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV
Third, we need to serve God with our whole heart; be obedient. Paul says we are competent to instruct and minister to one another. We are to preach the gospel where Christ is not known. To boldly go into the place where you know you will be persecuted, even as Paul headed to Jerusalem. Our objective is to bring glory to God and be his hands and feet to bring the Kingdom into the part of His world where He has placed us. We just need to share what Christ has done in us with others; the good news in human flesh.
1 I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 (AMP)
Fourth, we need to relinquish our expectations and leave all the results in God’s hands. God builds His Kingdom. The Holy Spirit draws people to Christ, not us. God has a plan for our lives and we do not need to know every detail. He just asks us to leave the control in His hands and trust Him.
24 The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. Isaiah 14:24 NIV 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
Finally, we need to praise and adore Him. It has been said that God inhabits the praise of His people. When we offer God praise it reminds us of His faithfulness and helps us see ourselves rightly.
21 But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: 22 It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23 (AMP)