Living Sacrifice

by Rev. Vince Finnegan on September 27, 2015
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1:14 and 16 - The Romans lived in a world with the prevailing habit of judging.

We have nothing to be prideful about.

We must believe and claim who we are and what we have in Christ.

1 Peter 5:5-9
Young people are even more vulnerable to pride.

Romans 12:5
- No one else can do that which you can do because you are unique. 1 Corinthians 12:12-25 and Ephesians 4:11-16 God says that the function we render in the body is unparalleled and absolutely needed. We may not feel important or needed, but feelings are not the criteria for truth, God is.

- God has given each of us the spiritual ability to serve in the body by His grace.

1 John 2:9-11; 3:14-18; 4:10-12, 19-21
We cannot separate loving God from loving our brother. We do not want to forfeit our relationship with our Father because we refuse to love our brother.

- The Greek word for “hypocrisy” was used to describe an actor on stage, someone who impersonates, someone who’s playing a part. We are often tempted to go through the motions of Christian service without having our hearts into it. Rather than being Christlike, we act Christlike.

“Abhor” and “cling” are two words with contrasting commands. “Abhor” is to shrink away from with horror and “cling” means to hold fast, to be glued together.

- Christians are not to live for themselves but for our Father and His family.
“Give preference to one another” implies a reaching out to help others. We live in an age where self-absorbed estrangement is very common. Yet, we are told by God not to conform to this age but instead to be transformed. Philippians 2:3–5

- Serving the Lord has everything to do with loving others.

- When serving others, we may be vulnerable to disappointments and setbacks. At times, the very people we serve may turn on us and attack; hence, we experience tribulation. Some think that if they remain isolated and uninvolved, they will be less vulnerable, but castle living is not God’s will. The antidote to tribulation is to focus on the hope. 2 Corinthians 4:17 and 18

- Involvement with others is not optional, rather according to God mandatory.

– Compassion and empathy are the way of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:25 and 26

– We are to love and leave the responsibility for justice and vengeance to the only righteous judge, God. “Heap burning coals on his head” is an eastern idiom. One person in the village would rise first and start the fire for the village. A boy then would take burning coals in a piece of pottery, balanced on the top of his head, to all the households. Not only was it a kind gesture to others, it was a pleasant task for the boy because, in cold morning air, the coals warmed him.

Your spiritual service of worship

Not conformed to this age Rejoice and hope
Be transformed by renewing Persevering in tribulation
Not to think more highly Devoted in prayer
Think soberly as God has dealt Contributing to the needs of the saints
Love and serve one another Practicing hospitality
Get busy serving Bless those who persecute, not curse
Love without hypocrisy Be compassionate to others
Abhor evil Not prideful rather humble
Cling to good Never pay back evil with evil
Be devoted to one another in love Live peaceably
Prefer one another Avenge not yourselves
Do not be lazy Feed your enemy
Be diligent and fervent Overcome evil with good

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