Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 12

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 12

Questions for Reflection:
1. What do you think Paul means by saying we should give ourselves as “a living sacrifice”?  
2. Scripture tells us that we all have unique gifts that are given to us by the Holy Spirit.  Have you ever explored your spiritual gifts?  Do you know what they are and if so, where are you using them?  If you’ve never identified your Spiritual Gifts, take some time to take the following assessment.  www.giftstest.com
What do you think of the results?
3. Paul picks up on Jesus’ teaching about how God’s love changes the way in which we interact with one another.  Read verses 9-21 again, how are you applying this teaching to your life?  Are there places that you have to work on more specifically?  How will you confront places where sin, rather than love, is dictating your actions?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that God would reveal to and help you understand your gifts and where He wants you to use them to further His Kingdom.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be a place where people can use their gifts and be equipped and empowered to follow God and serve Him in the ways He has gifted them.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that through the use of our God-given, Spiritual gifts, the Kingdom would advance here and people would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

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