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. — Romans 12:1
Hey, friends! Here we are in week five of the Romans OBS and it is so good! There is more grace than we imagined, more grace than we’re even comfortable with sometimes, right? The agape love that is only possible with God is an overwhelming grace in our lives.
We have the enormous privilege of calling out to our Father in Heaven at any time no matter what is happening, no matter what the reason, no matter the need. He’s there for us like a loving dad should be except He’s perfect!
Sometimes when we’re in a pickle we may resist turning to God because we think we can or should fix problems ourselves. Or maybe we’re so used to spinning our wheels trying to be in control of our own circumstances, or trying to earn His favor, or trying to hide our shame. But, God doesn’t want that for us. He wants us to come to Him in humility. Any time!
Our Heavenly Father is just a call away when we need help. ~ Max
He gives us everything we need not only for this life but also for the life to come for grace is eternal. ~ Max
We have to go against the grain of the world and even ourselves to follow Christ. It’s the upside-down Kingdom. Humility instead of pride, peace instead of brawling, generosity instead of selfishness, forgiveness instead of hatred. It’s the path of grace He leads us down and it’s a narrow road… not one most people will follow. It takes extreme obedience, doesn’t it?
We will only accomplish this kind of love when we have, as Paul describes, sober judgment, about who we are and what we’ve been given. We will only exhibit this kind of grace toward others when we truly comprehend the oceans of grace that we ourselves have received from God. ~ Max
We don’t have agape love naturally. We don’t have that kind of love without God the Holy Spirit. It’s His grace that leads us to love self-sacrificially and outside our comfort zone.
To tell you the truth, I’ve had trouble loving people who are intentionally mean. Sarcasm is hard for me. People who take pleasure in making fun of others, especially those with special needs, the elderly, or the disenfranchised, … ooooh… I don’t feel love naturally for those who mock others with unkindness. And, the Lord has gotten on my case about it.
We love because He first loved us. — 1 John 4:19
We’re loved and so we love.
We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t have that kind of love naturally and neither do you. Thank God that He endows us with His strength to do so!
Because “love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10) we have to love those who are hard to love and don’t do them harm in return. That’s what Jesus’ lane looks like — choosing love because He first loved us.
Memory verse: Romans 12:2
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.
This week in your study:
- Then, watch the video for session five of Romans: In the Grip of Grace on our study home page and take notes in your study guide on pages 71-78 and stick around to go through the questions afterward!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 79-87.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You! Thank You for setting the perfect example of love in the face of hurt, in the presence of hate, in the circumstances of harm and even evil. Help us to follow Your path and love because we are loved by You. Help us to receive Your love and operate out of Your love. Help us Holy Spirit to love where we feel no love and when we don’t feel like it. We want to be like You. We love You! Amen.