During this study we’ll use Romans 12:1-2 to study how to make decisions and understand God’s will based on what the Bible says:
August 26 ~ Romans 12:1-2
September 2 ~ Who Needs the Will of God?
September 16 ~ The Will of God is the Word of God
September 23 ~ To Dot or Not to Dot
September 30 ~ Dealing with Specifics
October 7 ~ Layers and Freedom
October 14 ~ Welcome to the Gray Area
October 21 ~ Decision Making (part I)
October 28 ~ Decision Making (part II)
If we could just identify what God’s will was for our life, the rest of it would be easy, wouldn’t it? How do you know if your life matches what God’s will is for your life? How do you make decisions? What does your decision-making process look like? Do you have a process? Is there a guide?
Over the next few weeks we’ll embark on a study called ‘What Do I Do?’
This is a collection of talks designed to help us make everyday decisions and understand God’s will through the lens of what the Bible says. Our study begins in the New Testament letter written to the Romans written by the Apostle Paul. What we are going to do today is set the table for this collection of talks.
But to get there, we need to start here. We need to set the table. We need to see the genesis of how we make decisions and we need to see the genesis of pursuing God’s will for our life.
Typically, ‘therefore’ signifies that an action doesn’t come out of the blue.
It’s built on something. When you act following a ‘therefore’, it’s rooted in something. We cannot emphasize strongly enough that the ‘therefore’ means that everything that Paul is about to mention in Romans chapter 12 is built on something, and we need very much to know what that is. The Apostle Paul is moving in Romans 12. Paul is moving from doctrine to practice. He’s moving from theology to ethics. He’s moving from foundation to application.
Christian living grows out of something.
There is objective worldview behind the words we just read in Romans 12.
The universe exists to display God. To display the way He is, His attributes, His character. We exist to say this to the world and live in such a way that God looks like He really is that way. There is a lifestyle that calls attention to the way that God is. We exist to show something: God.
Our lives are meant to call attention to who God is.
God calls us to make a choice about the way that we live for Him.
With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give Him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to Him and acceptable by Him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the Plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. ~ J.B. Phillips
Why would Paul choose the phrase “the mercies of God” as the summary? (three possible reasons:)
1. The purpose of God’s mission is to glorify God.
2. Mercy in your life towards the undeserving is the best way of life for God to look mercifully great.
3. God’s mercy toward us is the way to live a lifestyle of mercy.
Prayer Focus for the Week:
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for looking across creation and choosing to create me. I believe that Your will is good, pleasing and perfect. I believe in You and Your love and grace for me. By faith, give me the courage to set aside the guilt, the resentment and anger, the fear and the need for approval. Instead, give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word and as I embrace the power and truth contained in the Bible help me discover the freedom of living out Your will for my life.
In Jesus Name…Amen.
Taking Today’s Talk Home:
*Read Romans 12.
**Think about some of the principles we’ve reviewed together:
Christian living grows out of something.
Our lives are designed to call attention to who God is.
God calls us to make a choice about the way that we life for Him.
Knowing and understanding God’s will for our lives was never meant to be a mystery. Knowing and understanding God’s will for our lives is the result of living a life that’s been offered to God willingly.
***Pray that God’s will for you will be clear as you embrace His Word. Pray that you will embrace the truths given in Romans 12, starting with offering your bodies as a living sacrifice.
Preparing for next Sunday:
Next week you are invited to join us for our annual Church in the Park event (see the bulletin for details). On September 16th we’ll continue our study by identifying absolutes for God’s will for your life. To prepare, read Isaiah 45:21-22; 55:1; Matthew 11:28; Acts 17:30; 1st Timothy 2:3-4 & Revelation 22:17.