God's Perfect Settings

TNIV Scripture for Thursday, September 11, 2008 [Romans 15:1-7]

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. We should all please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: 'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.' For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

These few verses in Romans chapter 15 provide a wonderful description of what God's grace looks like when a person is filled and overflowing with it. However, all 14 chapters that precede 15 provide the context and lay the foundation for the Christian to understand that this grace is not automatically available. In other words, you can't bear with the failings of the weak in your own strength, nor can you please your neighbor (and not yourselves) and be like Christ in a consistent way. You simply do not have it in you whether you love the Lord or not. As hard as you try, this high standard is beyond your reach unless you are a believer and daily and throughout your day, you run to God in prayer and exchange your inability for His ability.

You wake up in default or flesh mode every single morning just like your computer when you turn it on. And just like with your computer, you have to make the decision and the effort to reset the different settings to make it look and do what you want. If you want your life to look like Jesus, ask God to give you the strength and ability to reset your mind on Him through the word, prayer and community each and every morning. This is what Paul explained back in Romans 12:1-2 when he said, "
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." This is an on-going presenting, sacrifice, transformation and renewing of your mind according to Paul. May you grow by God's grace through the encouragement of the Scriptures and through His endurance and encouragement as you present yourselves to Him for your daily resetting. And may you learn to run to Him throughout your days as the default flesh mode returns and requires a resetting.

Beth Warlick, 9/11/2008