Day 164 | Sunday, 30 August 2020
The assigned scripture readings for this the 13th Sunday after Pentecost are: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c; Romans 12:9-21 and Matthew 16:21-28.
I am giving you the Romans passage from both the Message and The Contemporary English Translation. Chapter 12 is a favorite for many followers of Christ. There are many good directions in this section for those who are practicing Christians. One could look at this passage as suggestions meaning we might pick only the ones that suit us. On the other hand, we can view this passage as giving us a number of spiritual disciplines to practice as we continually commit ourselves to God and God’s love in Jesus Christ. You might want to read this passage a few times to pick out the spiritual disciplines that help you grow in your faith.
Romans 12:9-21 The Message
9 Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11 Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master,
12 cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
15 Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down.
16 Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.
17 Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
18 If you've got it in you, get along with everybody.
19 Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."
20 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.
21 Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Romans 12:9-21 CEB
9 Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. 11 Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! 12 Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. 14 Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16 Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. 17 Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good. 18 If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people. 19 Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. It is written, Revenge belongs to me; I will pay it back, says the Lord. 20 Instead, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. By doing this, you will pile burning coals of fire upon his head. 21 Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.
Holy God guide us as we practice spiritual disciplines to grow in our faith. Like the Afro-American Spiritual says: “Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart. Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart. Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart. Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.” Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
Today: What spiritual disciplines need a boost in your life?