Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
God’s Choice Shaping Tools
Read | Romans 12:1-5
God’s kindness to us is demonstrated by the fact that He doesn’t leave us in the condition we were in before coming to faith. How tragic it would be if we still thought, felt, and acted the same way we did before receiving Christ as our Savior. Throughout our lives, the Lord uses His choice tools to shape us into the image of His Son.
Prayer. By talking to the Lord in open dialogue, we develop a relationship with Him. He becomes not just our Savior, but our friend, and as the intimacy grows, so will our passion to be with Him. Setting aside time for prayer each day will become a delight, not a duty.
God’s Word. You can’t grow in your Christian life if you keep the Bible closed all week long. No one lives on one meal a week, yet many Christians try to get by with just a Sunday dinner of the Word served up by their pastor. How can we expect God’s truth to do its transforming work if we never let it into our minds and hearts?
The Church. Christ uses His body of believers as a place for transformation. That’s where we rub against each other and have the rough edges of our character smoothed. It is a place of instruction, accountability, and encouragement.
Are you letting the Lord use His character-shaping tools in your life? Our culture has no shortage of worldly voices and pressures that fill minds and influence behavior. Only when we intentionally schedule time for God, His Word, and His people can Christ do His transforming work in our lives.
Romans 12 (NKJV)
Living Sacrifices to God
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.