I like the movie Unbreakable. You know, Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson, by M. Night Shyamalan (yeah, I looked up the spelling, so what?). Anyway, in this movie, Elijah, Samuel’s character, who is weak, sickly, and his body and bones are very frail seeks out someone who is on the other end of that spectrum. If he is to the extreme this way, there has to be someone who the extreme the other way. This is where David, Bruce’s character, steps in, who has never been sick, never had a broken bone, never really been hurt, and is unbeknownst to him at first, is very strong. The movie follows both of their triumphs and struggles to discover themselves and their plan for being this way. There are emotions and egos getting in the way. One turns to helping people, while the other turns of the worse. Now this is a fictional story for entertainment purposes, but nonetheless, a good example for our next TRIAL. (Read Trial 1 from the Romans 12 Experiment)
As we continue to walk in faith as developing followers of Christ, we must maintain a standard within ourselves, but more importantly a standard with God. He looks at our lives and within us to see what He has created us to be, but it’s us that messes that plan up sometimes. Our confidences or insecurities tend to get in the way. If we could only see through the eyes of God, we would see both imperfection and purpose. That we have a God-kind of righteousness that has been given through Jesus Christ. As we start to use and put to action this ‘renewal of our minds’ from Trial 1, Paul follows it up with an exercise of thought and self-examination. We see it here in the verse:
Romans 12:3-5 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
In verse 3 here, Paul asks us to look at the way we ‘think’, the way we think about ourselves. To use sober judgement and not think too highly or lowly of ourselves. But do it ‘in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you’. Wait a sec….God distributed faith to me? To each of us? This statement refers to serving faith which God distributes to every Christian. For just as God gives the unbeliever saving faith to believe, He also gives believers serving faith to put trust in Him to work through their life in order to be a blessing to others. So we are all given faith, to be used in what we do as Christians, as ministers, as mothers and fathers, and as friends It is up to us how we use it.
As we look into verses 4 & 5, we run down another very familiar teaching in the church, which is about the comparison of the physical body to the body of Christ used for His service (or Church). There is not much to read into this other than what it says. The body, in all it’s intricacies, has many parts that play a different role, that have a different function, but come together to make the functionality of the whole possible. The parts can’t work outside the body, nor some with other parts missing. Most parts are vital to the body and how it’s performance stands up. Needles to say, you are important! The role and part you play in the body of Christ is to help and allow it to function the way God has intended it to. What are you doing as your part in the body of Christ, for His Kingdom? And, are you letting your pride, confidence or insecurities hinder you from the faith that God has given you? Use that faith! Know that it is given from Him! Again, I challenge you to read these verses daily or weekly, memorize them and let them speak to you.
Let’s see what can happen in our lives, all of us!
Next month: Trial 3 (Romans 12:6-8)
Thanks, Pastor Zack