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Thursday, 6 June 2019

Romans 12 : 9-21

“…not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;” -Romans 12:11

Our reading today begins and ends with similar instruction -to refrain from evil and to pursue good- and the verses sandwiched between give us an understanding of how to serve the Lord by being a fruit- bearing Christian. It takes diligence to rise to that level and it is impossible without God.  Having understood this, He sent us a Helper, capable of causing us to walk in the truth:  We are a temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in us. (1Cor.3:16)

There are numerous promises of God for us, energized through the indwelling and working of the Holy Spirit in us, causing us to become transformed in our thinking, walking and doing so that live pleasing to Him.  Ephesians 4:23-24 “…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Only the Spirit in us can help to lead a life of truth. He is the power of God in us and He cannot fail. If we live by the Spirit, truly heeding the voice of the Spirit we will receive power, boldness, peace and life to reflect a godly life.  Romans 8:13: “for if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” What is the result? It causes us to have the following character: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Let us see how the instructions from Paul lead to manifesting the fruit of the Spirit:

  • Rom 12:10 – Love.  Love birthed in us through the Holy Spirt is to be shown to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Love here is not an emotion--it is a doing word, to be manifested through our actions of love. 

  • Rom 12:11  - Self-control.  It takes a lot of self-control not to be lazy when hard work is needed, to serve the Lord with spiritual fervor.

  • Rom 12:12 & Rom 12:15 – Joy.  Rejoicing for us is in the hope to which He has called us (Eph. 1:18). Since our abode is in heaven we are to take joy in the things of the Lord.

  • Rom 12:12 – Patience. A virtue to be manifested especially while facing trials. (James 1:3-4). Trials can be in the shape of another person’s unacceptable behavior. 

  • Rom 12:13 – Kindness.  We are called to share what we have with God’s people, and practice hospitality. (Matthew 25:35).  Something that is a pleasure for you may be a need for another brother.  For eg. leisure time that you have could be spent in helping a brother who needs an extra hand.

  • Rom 12:16 – Gentleness. We have to be sensitive to each other’s needs and interests. (Phil 2:4)

  • Rom 12:14 & Rom 12:17 – Goodness - The goodness of God in us should overshadow our self in such a manner that we do not repay evil for evil, but, on the contrary, with blessing, for it is to this we have been called to receive a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)

  • Rom 12:18 – Peace. Since we have the peace that surpasses all understanding, we should whenever possible, and to the extent that we can, live at peace with all people. 

  • Faithfulness – Manifestation of all the above and more declares your faithfulness to hearing and doing the Word of God.

It also declares the faithfulness of God in making you into the image and likeness of His Son.

To Bear Fruit:  

“…and every branch that bears fruit,

He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”  

-John 15:2

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