I study and I study. I read a passage and read again…and through the years… and then…DUH.
Everyone else probably gets this, but I just have these moments and Romans 12 provided it tonight. I have been immersed in Romans for a few weeks and thoroughly enjoying it. I have a picture of Karl Barth on my office door for inspiration, thinking of his study so many years ago that exploded his spiritual life and the church world.
As I ended the chapter, vv. 17-21 reminded me of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus puts the challenge to us: Love your enemies. Go do something this world just can’t do. Everyone else is hating. You choose to bless.
Paul is hitting the same note. Everyone can repay evil for evil. YOU… be different! Let the Lord take care of it! Then v. 21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
There is NO WAY this is humanly possible. Not even CLOSE unless the grace of God pours it in. This, of course, is Paul’s way of emphasizing the need for a transformed mind (12:1,2). Without a transformed mind, this isn’t going to happen.
But WITH a transformed mind… this revolutionizes the world.
No gimmick. No new technology. No new product to sell. The power of grace in a transformed life choosing to overcome evil with good.
This sinks into me and I think, “How do I keep missing this?”
It’s so simple. Impossible to live. But so simple. This calls me back to the need for a transformed mind. Too much of the time I am conformed to this world’s thinking. My mind needs renewing. I want to be part of the revolution!
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Dan, I agree. So hard to practice. I think it is all the harder in our current political/economical culture. Do my friends, family and coworkers see me praying for those who would exploit the poor, consumer, and/or consituent?
— that would be a NO!
As I was continuing my study in Romans 13 this morning I was hit again with how much I’ve allowed the culture to influence my thinking and my lack of prayer. Pray for leaders I didn’t vote for? Oh, PLEASE!
But when we will CHOOSE to pray for our leaders, whether or not they got our vote, we rise above this world. THAT is revolutionary. THAT is only done by grace. This is the point where my mind truly needs transformation.
This is good Dan. All we need to do to realize how much we need God’s help in loving others is to think about how we feel about politicians or political commentators we disagree with on TV! When I think of them, I KNOW I need the Holy Spirit! Good word, Dan!