Recently, as a church, we’ve entered into a new teaching series called “27: The Letters That Define Us.” It’s a relatively shallow dive (by comparison to recent North Coast teaching series) into the 27 books of the New Testament and we’ve begun with Romans. This past weekend, we camped for a bit in the 12th Chapter and it got me thinking.
What does it look like to love and serve one another as Christians who are in the unmarried stage of life? Then, I recalled one of our members of the Singles’ community coming up to me and telling me about a situation he found himself in with one of his single friends and how he thought it would be a good topic to write or speak about when I had the chance. So, I’ve decided to do both.
Here, I will share a unique way to consider what Paul talks about in the 12th Chapter of the book of Romans; an opportunity to view it as sort of a checklist of 30 Things We Can Do in Genuine Love and Service to One Another as Representatives of Christ Jesus. Then, at this Saturday’s Singles’ Gathering, I’ll expand upon these thoughts as we consider love and service through the Single Adult’s lens. We’ll also provide the opportunity to get into small group discussions about what it really means to love one another – the way that Jesus commands us to. What that looks like, what we’re doing well and how we can improve in our representation of him.
You can also turn this checklist into a 30-day Devotional if you’d like.
Simply take a look at each of the points that have been bulleted out; one per day and focus your research, study and prayer on its principle(s). You may be surprised at the companion verses, commentaries, and other resources you can uncover when you learn to study in this way.
Find additional creative ways to use this list and most of all, commit yourself to some genuine personal change as you do. I pray it is a blessing to you and look forward, as always to your feedback.
Right here with you,
Paul’s Checklist for Our Being a Living Sacrifice (Romans 12)
30 Things We Can Do in Genuine Love & Service to One Another as Representatives of Christ Jesus
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to:
- offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
- 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
- Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
- but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
- If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a]faith;
- 7 if it is serving, then serve;
- if it is teaching, then teach;
- 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;
- if it is giving, then give generously;
- if it is to lead,[b]do it diligently;
- if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere.
- Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
- 10 Be devoted to one another in love.
- Honor one another above yourselves.
- 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
- 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
- 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.
- Practice hospitality.
- 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
- 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
- 16 Live in harmony with one another.
- Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.
- [c]Do not be conceited.
- 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
- Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
- 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
- 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d]says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
- “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
- if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
- 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.