Think like a Kid of the King
You would not expect street beggars to act like the sons and daughters of royalty, but in
Christ, we who were once street beggars, have been made children of the King of Kings. Now we need to learn what our new position entails. Our new position gives us authority, privilege, responsibility, comfort and confidence to live this life in order to do God’s work in helping others. As ex- street beggars, unless we learn how to act like kings kids, we will naturally gravitate back to the default actions of street beggars. Only when our minds are ingrained with the truths of our new position which comes from knowing God’s Word, can our thinking be reflective of this change in our reality and thus our actions should follow accordingly as we walk in the power of His Spirit having the divine nature placed inside of us positionally by Christ.
We ended last week by giving a synopsis of everything that God had done for us sinful human beings in the previous 11 chapters to make us like his Son in this life – Kings Kids. In Pauline fashion he built us up and established our foundation for living in Christ in the first half of this book. Now in this last portion, just as he has in the books of Galatians and Ephesians, he explains how to personalize it or own it for ourselves in our daily life. Unlike Paul, western preachers and religious teachers alike tend to expound profusely on personal responsibility of these last 5 chapters, without giving their followers the proper power ahead of time (chapters 1-11) from which to perform. Paul fills our mind with thoughts of how God views us before he says what we are to do with that new knowledge. This week let’s see how God wants us to respond to all the mercy which he has given to us. I like the way the NIV says it. “In view of God’s mercy” or in other words, (in view of everything that God has done on your behalf over the last 11 chapters… offer your bodies as living sacrifices and let his word transform your minds and subsequent actions). Forgive me, but my reading of how the KJV gives me the feeling like an irritated parent says; “For God’s sake, or Merciful God! Clean up your act.”(Which of course we know is not the case).
Rom 12:1-8 Use this link for the NIV or use your favorite Bible but highlight verses 1, 2, 3
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who wants to reveal my will to you, but only as your minds are transformed to my thinking. You may ask the question; “What is God’s will for my life.” However, I will not share my will for your life in order for you to pick and choose whether you want to comply with it or not for your convenience sake. Only as I have your mind and you have my mind controlling you, will you be able to recognize and approve of what I want you to do in your life for my sake regardless of how “hard it is”.
I AM the God who created my Church from people from around the globe. I AM the God who chooses to glorify myself through the church. Only as my people exercise the gifts in faith that I gave them, will my church function in a healthy and effective manner for the purpose which I created it as I mention in Ephesians 3:10. (See my post on: Ephesians-3:1-13 ) The exercising of the gifts is my working through you as I created you and intended for you.
I AM the God who hates pride. Only I AM worthy of glory and I will not share my glory with another. What do you have to be proud about? Remember that I chose you, and have given you my love and forgiveness. You have nothing that you have not received from my hand. I gave you your salvation, made you my child, empowered you and gifted you for my work and I will reward you for your service in faith one day. Do not allow your privilege to puff you up above one another. Take the low road, and walk like my Son did when he was on the earth. Be a servant to all. In your service, reflect my attitudes when you serve, teach, encourage, lead, give and show mercy to others. Because this is how people will see my attributes shining out through you.
Religions verses Christianity again
It may seem like there is not much external difference between religions that do good deeds and who sacrifice themselves for what they believe in, and that of Christianity. One difference can be noted in the phrase Paul starts out with in Ch 12, “In view of God’s mercy”. What is the underlying motivation to your service? What is your source of power for service? This will determine whether there will be any eternal rewards from your sacrifices of service or you will be the one saying “Lord Lord did we not do miracles in your name…” only to hear “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” The Christian’s “acceptable service of worship” is as a result of, or in response to all which God has done for us as indicated in Rom ch 1 through ch 11. The sacrifice of religion on the other hand is to try to earn his mercy or earn their way to heaven and/or avert his wrath. Religions which use the Bible as their authority, will use these subsequent chapters of Romans as a sort of “to do” list or set of laws to follow in an attempt to make God happy with them. However, true Christians see these same chapters as an avenue for the Holy Spirit living through them as an expression of their gratitude for the change which he alone makes in their lives. Expressions of gratitude are far different than compulsory acts of obedience. Christian service results FROM salvation, not as a means TO salvation. The difference is the source, and the result, eternal.
What do you want most?
Like the Genie in the movie Aladdin asked, “What is it that you want most?” Only when we are clean vessels can God use us for noble purposes for his glory. We can only distinguish his good and perfect will when our minds have been renewed. As 2 Tim 2:21 says, it requires “cleansing ourselves of ignoble things” to be vessels unto honorable use. The choice is ours. Like Adam in the Garden, what fruit do you want more? Only God can put that desire in us to want to be holy, but like Adam, we bear the responsibility for when we resist it. Jesus says in Jn 17:4 “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”, had Jesus neglected one thing, he would not have been an acceptable sacrifice to die for mankind and claim; “It is finished” on the cross in Jn 19:30. If you want to be an acceptable vessel for God’s use, determining what his good and perfect will is, and seeing actual reward later, then you need to choose what you want more in this life, your will or “Not my will but thy will be done”.
More to come,