this evening, as i was riding in a red truck to the mall, i saw the moat canals were brimming with water. it reminded of God’s faithfulness and provision. 2 months ago, all of us in chiang-mai were complaining about how dry it was and how late the rain came this year. but for these past 2-3 weeks, we have been blessed by the refreshing rain almost every day. and now, admittedly, a bit afraid that the city might be flooded soon from the look of the river level right now.
sometimes we feel like He seems so late at making things happen. but no, His hand is evident in every occurrence on earth…just like this year’s rain…or like me waiting on different things in life to happen.
the Lord has taught me another great lesson today through romans 12 – how to be a living sacrifice to Him. often, we view things through our eyes and see problems, long waiting line and hopeless circumstances. but we have to keep this in mind – our time to serve God is so short and quickly passing…30-40 years from now on at the max. for some, it may be less.
so what can we do to live life to the fullest and let ourselves be the pleasing aroma to God? how can we step across the fear, pain and struggle we are facing right now?
paul’s letter is very practical and clear in instructing on how to do that:
1. do not be conformed to this world BUT be transformed by the renewal of our mind (2)
2. do not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to, but think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned (3)
3. use our spiritual gifts to glorify the Lord and edify the members of His body (4-8)
4. let love be genuine. hate evil, love good. (9)
5. love and honor one another (10)
6. be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord (11)
7. rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be faithful in prayer (12)
8. show hospitality (13)
9. bless and do not curse (14) – lesson of forgiveness
10. rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. in another word, share the moments sincerely with those around you. be there for them. (15)
11. live in harmony (16)
12. give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. be an example to the fallen world. (17)
13. live peaceably with all, if possible. (sidenote from my esv bible says: “paul recognizes it is not possible to be at peace with everyone, even when one makes the effort.”) (18)
14. never avenge for ourselves. the revenge is God’s, “for it is written, ‘vengeance is Mine, i will repay, says the Lord.'” (19)
15. love our enemies. overcome evil with good. (20-21)
although christianity is about grace, we must do our parts and contribute ourselves to the cause. we need to start with submitting, surrendering and accepting that Christ reigns within us. trying to do all these on our own, we will achieve nothing and begin to feel exhausted.
let our focus be fixed upon Jesus.
then, slowly, we will begin to hear Him speaking softly to our ear – “child, draw near to Me…for in Me, there is abundance. in Me, you will find your heart’s desire. in Me, you can be a perfect living sacrifice…come.”