21.5 Romans – Go where?

In the first 2 sentences of Romans 12, we find ourselves fully connected and fueled up.  The next step, logically, is to GO!  To do!  To put into action!  But what is our path, our direction, our mission?

Not to sound like a line from the Blues Brothers movie, but we, each and every day, are truly called to “be on a mission from God.”  We are not an accident, we were created on purpose and for a purpose as part of God’s plan.  In the same way there is no co-incidence, there are truly only God-incidents, since He is in control of all things and works all things for the good of those who love Him.  And, as part of that plan and that work, God has a calling for us each and every day and every moment of that day.

So, what is your mission?  With all this mercy and power and connectivity and communion and fuel, what are you, yes, you, called to do today?  Here is what we know:

  1. It will be for something good
  2. It will be for something pleasing to God
  3. It will be for something that is part of His perfect will
  4. It will involve loving the Lord, your God, with all your heart and soul and strength
  5. It will involve loving your neighbor as yourself
  6. It will be in absolute conformity with the scripture
  7. It may be painful and involve hardship
  8. It may be something you don’t want to do
  9. It may take you to places and people you don’t want to love
  10. It will require you to rely on God and not yourself
  11. It will be done best when done fully with God
  12. It will be done best with praise and glory to Him

As for the specifics of what that means for you for today, you have to ask God yourself.  For most of us who feel lost and off-mission, it isn’t because God won’t tell us, it is because we do not truly invest the quiet time in reading His word, meditating on it, fasting, and praying to ask Him.  If you don’t show up prepared for the mission briefing, it is really hard to get the message and understand the mission!

There is one other note that Paul makes in this sentence.  It says we won’t only be able to test God’s will (something Paul explains to Timothy in his letter to him about how we can use the scriptures, but he also notes that we approve God’s will.  When we pause and think about it, who are we to “approve” God’s will.  That is like approving the decisions of your boss’s boss.  But, I think, that term is less meant to convey that we sign-off on God’s will as we sign-on with God’s will.  God’s Will will be accomplished with or without us.  But we are given the grace and opportunity to sign-on with it to be part of the mission.  We are not drafted, we are called and we are given the ability to respond.  We also are given the opportunity to thoroughly examine each mission and after testing to affix our name, our stamp, our seal to it as well.  To test and attest.

My Answers:

renewing of your mind to test and approve what is God’s will; comes from the Lord who is the Spirit; for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose

Reading scriptures, meditation, fasting, prayer, worship, being trained, sharing with others in Godly fellowship.
Through teaching, preaching, prayer and worship

good, pleasing and perfect

J14: If you love me, keep my commandments
2C10: take captive every thought to make us obedient and demolish every pretense that is against
1T4: Be sanctified; avoid lust and temptation
J5:Confess and turn to God in all afflictions, physical and spiritual. The prayer of a righteous is powerful
1P2: by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people
1P3: it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil
1P4: Live for God in all things – do not live like the rest, be alert and of sober mind; PRAY


21.4 Romans – Fueled up

I remember one fateful vacation when I was growing up.  We had driven down to the very southern parts of Texas to visit family and had a great time, playing on the beach, eating and just enjoying being together for a few short days.  We took off to drive back home and started our trip back by filling up the gas tank of my dad’s car.  I remember the tanker was at the station and had just begun filling the underground tanks and I watched the big hoses being put into place.  As we drove through downtown Fort Worth, our car all of a sudden began to make horrible jolting motions and sputtering noises.  These continued for a short period of time and then the engine just stopped.  My dad was successful at pulling the car to the side of the road, but it would not start again.  After some time, stranded on the side of the road, we received help and had it towed to a service center and learned that we had gotten sediment in the fuel line that clogged the fuel filter and so the car wouldn’t run.  Unfortunately, the part wasn’t available and we spent a long weekend with an unplanned stay.

The ways of the world are like that sediment.  It is everywhere.  It is dirt and grime and dust that are the physical equivalents of lust and greed and sin that permeates life on this fallen world.  And just as the tanker stilled up the sediment in the tanks of the service station, the world and satan love to stir up lust and sin all around us.

Paul calls on us to not conform but instead be transformed.  Our fuel comes from God, but the world wants to corrupt that fuel.  Paul says, don’t allow that to happen.

But how can we do that?  We start with the source of our fuel.  Are we in the word?  Are we meditating and fasting?  Are we disciplined in prayer?  Then we apply filters. Are our thoughts on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy?  Are we applying filters to what we allow to enter our eyes and ears?  Do we limit and filter our websites and the shows we watch and the things we listen to, both music and pundits?  Do we limit contact with the negative influences of gossiping and negative friends, neighbors and co-workers?  Do we avoid places and events that promote temptation?

God provides us with the purest and highest octane fuel.  As we look at our own lives and the times we’ve been broken down along the side of the road, we can often see the ways we let the “ways of the world” clog up our lives with impurities.

My Answers:


If anyone loves the world they do not love the Father. The lusts of the world do not come from the Father. The patterns of this world are the scars and burn marks of sin

greed, the temptation of gain through lack of honesty, laziness and indulging in food and drink

21.3 Romans – Fully Connected to God

When we contemplate the attributes of God, his might and power and creator and glory, it is amazing that we can even think about having a personal relationship with Him.  The people of the old testament took these attributes far more to heart than we do, today.  They knew reverence for God and while they desired to see Him directly, they also shook in fear when they heard the rumbling of His mountaintop presence and fell to their knees and face.

God did not decrease in His attributes.  He is immutable, He doesn’t change.  But the death and resurrection of Jesus tore down the curtain of separation and allows us, in Christ, to be in communion with our creator and Father and friend.  It is an unimaginable relationship and it is one that is impossible save for the mercy of God.

In the first sentence of Romans 12, Paul addresses this fact.  He urges, he directs, he encourages, he implores the believers in Rome (and us via proxy) to participate in “true and proper worship” with God.

How are we to do this?  Paul, knowing His audience, calls on what they know – the sacrifices of the law – as the example, but with a new twist to reflect the new state.  When we think of the sacrifices of the law, they were things, the best things, that were fully and completely given over to God.  When a Jew brought a bull or a lamb or a bird to be sacrificed, it was all in, fully given and fully consumed.  They were not leaving with a t-bone or lambchops.  This was fully and completely given over to God.  In the same way, Paul explains that communion with God is based on fully and completely giving over our lives to Him.  The payment of death is has been fulfilled.  Christ paid the price.  But, we still have a hunger to see and know and commune directly with God through worship.  We want that connection through Jesus.

We do that by fully connecting with God.  Jesus is our port, our outlet, our connector, that has, through mercy, given us the ability to connect in a way that was not available to the patriarchs of the old testament.  We don’t connect through death, we connect through life in Christ.

Unlike salvation, this connecting is a day by day, moment by moment thing.  When we accept the gift of Jesus, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, but God gives us the free will every minute to commune with Him or to pull the plug and go off on our own.  He doesn’t hold us hostage, but accepts us as His children.  To make it easier to stay connected to Him each day, He shows us His mercy each day.  Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  You may remember the old Hymn, “morning by morning, new mercies I see” based on these verses.  Every morning God shows us new mercy so that every day we can choose to stay connected with Him, for Him, through Christ.

My Answers:

9:15 I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and compassion on whom I have compassion
9:23 riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory
2: because of His love, God rich in mercy made us alive w/Christ, by grace you have been saved
1:3 In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the rez of Jesus Christ

Innumerable – the time and location of life, the blessings of family and church and work, the gift of education and knowledge and Godly mentors and friends

Sacrifice is to give something fully and completely for the glory of God. The old testament was a sacrifice of death. The one Paul discusses is a living sacrifice.
Lev: day of atonement
Heb: Christ’s Sacrifice once for all
Rom: We participate in Christ: baptized into His death, buried and raised from the dead through glory

tithing of time, service to others, teaching and preaching. Some serve in dangerous lands or put themselves in harms way for the spreading of the gospel or to serve others

21.2 Romans – Call to Action

Therefore… The close of Romans 11 is the close of Paul’s doxology of praise to the Lord.  It is an acclamation and affirmation that God is engaged in everything.  Everything is from Him.  Everything flows through Him and, everything is for Him.  To him be all glory.

So?  What do we do with that?  Do we sit and ponder it?  Do we wilt away in insignificance?  Do we shy away in awe?

While there is great benefit in meditating on the word of God and the attributes of God, there is also a time for acting on that word and those attributes.  As Paul opens Romans 12, he begins with the “so what”, the “therefore”, the call to action.

What a blessing that this week we focus only on the first three sentences of this chapter.  To me they cover 3 key things that we’ll discuss in our lessons this week:

  1. Being fully connected to God
  2. Being fueled up by God
  3. Being on a mission for God and with God

My Answers:

His doxology and the verses before when he was discussing God’s provision for gentiles and Jews

Commit themselves to God, praise and worship Him. Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God

God’s mercy, our worship of Him, the renewing of our mind, the ability to test and approve God’s will – My wife and her commitment to prayer