Lenten Devotional: Reflections on Romans Chapter 12–A Primer on Christian Living by Lori Brizee

Over this Lenten season, the Spiritual Formation team at First Presbyterian Church in Bend put a call out to all to submit writings for a Lenten Devotional. I will do my best to post those here daily. You can also go to our website and access all of the devotions on a pdf file.

Here is the next submission:

Lenten Devotional

Reflection on Romans Chapter 12—a primer on Christian Living.

This passage starts out by Paul encouraging (not “demanding”) us to give ourselves as living sacrifices to God. It goes on to give us clear guidelines on living as a part of the “body of Christ.” Paul reminds us that we are each a part of the whole—none of us has to “do it all.” In addition to our specific “job” in the body of Christ, we are all encouraged to love and support each other. No one should be conceited or put him/herself above another. Lastly, Paul instructs us to treat our enemies with love—if revenge is necessary, leave it to God.

Take a few minutes to center your mind and spirit in God. Meditate on peace; allow God to fill you, and allow the worries of your world to be put on hold.

Read through Romans Chapter 12 two or three times.

Prayerfully ask yourselves these questions:
Vs 1-2—How can I offer my body as a living sacrifice to God? How can my mind be transformed and NOT be conformed to the patterns of this world?

Vs 3-8—Pray for the wisdom to think of myself with “sober judgement.” With what gifts, talents and strengths has God endowed me? How can I use those gifts, talents and strengths to strengthen our community (“the body of Christ”)? How can I be okay with NOT having all the gifts, talents or strengths that I want or think that I should have? (I cannot fully use what God has given me if I am focusing on the things I have not been given)!

Vs 9-13—Pray for God’s love to flow through me. How can I best serve my brothers and sisters in my community? How can I keep my faith and serve God with zeal in good times and bad? How can I help brothers and sisters in need?

Vs 14-16—Pray for patience and humility. How can I best deal with conflict? How do I deal with all the different personalities and issues of the individuals around me?

Vs 17-21—Pray for the ability to truly love those who would hurt me. How can I overcome evil with good? (It is very difficult to NOT seek revenge when we or our loved ones have been wronged)!

Think about committing this passage to memory—write it out on a piece of paper and carry it with you. Read it and say it to yourself as you are out walking, when you are stopped in traffic, or when you are doing house or yard work. Having a passage such as this imprinted on your mind can be very helpful in times of stress (i.e., when you are in a tense meeting, when you, or a family member or friend is having a tough time, when you have been wronged……)

–Lori Brizee


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