READ: Romans 12
RE-READ: Read through this version of Romans 12:1-3 from The Message two times:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.” – Romans 12:1-3
THINK: Choose a theme that speaks to you – perhaps the idea that God is the real source of goodness in your life or perhaps the contrast Paul makes between what you culture draws out in you and what God draws out in you. What does this passage say about that issue?
PRAY: Pick one phrase from the passage that pinpoints the theme that impacts you. Repeat that phrase you yourself slowly several times. Each time you say it, notice your internal response. What thoughts, memories, or feelings goes it stir up?
Now bring these thoughts back to the passage, line by line, in a conversation with God: He speaks to you through the words in the passage, then you respond to what he said. (For example, if you feel the power of your culture is “dragging you down” you bring that feeling to each line of the passage and see how God replies.) when you’re finished, repeat the phrase to yourself one last times, checking your heart’s reaction. Is it different? Don’t worry if this process leaves unanswered questions. Just be open to what God is showing you through your thoughts.
LIVE: Consider on of the four “everyday, ordinary” parts of your life suggested in the passage: sleeping, eating, going to work, walking around. What would placing this activity before God as an offering look like? Howa would you think about this activity differently? Would the frequency, method, or other details of your activity change? Try it today!
From: Eugene Peterson, Solo