Monthly reflection – January 2013
Good evening all!
I hope this month’s reflection finds you all well.
A Living Sacrifice
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 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, 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. Honour one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, 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. 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,” 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.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
A New Year’s resolution
So a 2013 is now upon us and the predicted end of the world on 21st December came and went without incident (other than a sudden rush of people ordering Turkeys for Christmas). I was asked the other day by a member of my staff ‘Do Christians make New Year’s resolutions?’ ‘I replied ‘No more than anyone else I wouldn’t have thought!’ When I was thinking about this seemingly innocent question that I started to realise that I have over the years broken nearly every single New Year’s resolution I have made- they usually involve less chocolate and more time in the Gym to be honest; but there have been other around staying more closely in touch with family and friends and spending more time reading my Bible! Many people will see New Year’s Eve as an excuse for a huge party with all the associated trappings including the singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and the customary glass of bubbly and a kiss at midnight!
Whilst in the past I have attended New Year’s Eve parties that all seem to blur into one memory; my best memory of New Year’s Eve is celebrating the end of a millennium with my best friend but in the last few years I have come to see New Year’s Eve as something a bit different- an opportunity for me to take time to quietly reflect on the past year and look forward to what the next year may hold for me.
Towards the end of 2012 the piece of scripture above (Romans 12) has figured in daily readings, sermons I have heard and as part of a Bible study I recently completed.
I have been reflecting on this passage and to me it seems to offer some really simple and practical ideas about what I can do better as a Christian, a husband and father, a friend, a Police Officer, a boss and as a Christian leader in 2013-
Be a Living Sacrifice
God wants us as Christians to sacrifice ourselves for him; not necessarily always in the physical sense but more so in putting his will for us before our own desires or wants- serving God in his will is an overt act of worship.
Humbly serve God
Christians are called to imitate Jesus Christ–and one of Jesus’ most defining characteristics was his humility. He never failed to put the needs of others before his own needs, even going so far as to lay down his life for others. If Jesus didn’t hesitate to serve others at his own expense, why should Christians today do any differently?
Display Love in action
There are three quotes from Mother Teresa which clearly display what Love in action means:
‘Prayer in action is love, love in action is service.’
‘If you can’t feed a hundred people; then just feed one.’
‘We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.’
Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day- As Christians we should strive to respond to the needs we see before us every day; that is true Love in Action.
The simple sub headings from the above passage are as about straight forwards as can be in telling us what God wants from all of us in 2013; I believe that as Christians we don’t need to make resolutions or grand plans but just simply walk in Gods will and commit each year, month and day to his service in whatever we do. I will leave with a verse that was the daily reading for today-
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy-and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8 NIV
Yours in Christ
Branch Leader Hertfordshire C.P.A.