“The Wednesday Word” Devotional & Podcast
We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!
Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.
You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.
Pastor David’s Devotional for April 6, 2022
2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think,
In Romans chapters 12-15, Saint Paul wrote about the Christian life. More specifically, he talked about what a Kingdom of God kind of life looks like (as well as what it is not). In my sermon last Sunday, we looked at some of Paul’s “Do’s and Don’ts” when it comes to living a Christian life. Today’s scripture includes this week’s memory verse, and it is how Paul starts his list of “Do’s and Don’ts.” “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Paul wrote. At the top of the list of Paul’s concerns about the church in Rome was spiritual arrogance—Christians thought of themselves as better than others. How have you seen spiritual arrogance lived out in the church? Have you experienced it firsthand?
Paul included on his list of “Don’ts” to not think too highly of yourself. If we are going to be transformed for Kingdom of God living, it is important to deal with spiritual arrogance. Having said that, in my ministry I know there have are many, many people who have been “victims” of others arrogance. The impact of being a victim of others spiritual arrogance can run deep and be lasting. I know many people who struggle with self esteem due to being treated as “less than.” And I know many people who left other churches because they were made to feel “less than.” As a result, I preach often trying to help victims of arrogance fill their minds with a different message: “You are a beloved child of God, beautiful to behold.”
Paul tells us that renewing our mind transforms our lives. Filling our minds with the things of God changes how we think about ourselves and others, as well as how we act. For some, filling their minds with convicting words is needed. Paul wrote to people who needed to be convicted in their hearts that they were causing harm to others. So, he said “don’t think too highly of yourself.” For others, filling their minds with affirming words in needed to bring change. So, I include in my preaching people who have been harmed by saying “you are a beloved child of God, beautiful to behold, of immeasurable worth and welcome and needed in God’s Kingdom. As you think about your life, and the lives of the people you know, I am guessing it is not hard to think of someone who needs to hear how important and loved they are! You may also be able to think of people who need to hear “don’t think too highly of yourself.” And for many (maybe most) people, they (we) need to hear both messages—after all, people who have been beaten down are not immune to beating others down. Which message do you most often need to hear?
There are many ways the church helps people experience that they are beloved children of God, beautiful to behold. But we can always do more. Can you think of people who need to hear such a message, people we have not figured out how to reach? Can you think of ways we can serve them and build them up as children of God?
Paul had more on his list of “Do’s and Don’ts.” He included on his list of “Do’s” “let love be genuine.” How do you understand “Genuine love?” How does it show itself?
One-way genuine love shows itself is in caring for the needs of others. Paul includes this on his list of how Christians are supposed to live. What are some ways the church cares for others? Can you think of new or additional ways the church can reach out to meet the needs of others? What is needed for such a ministry to be successful? Do you have spiritual gifts that equip you to help in this way?
When it comes to living a Christian life, Paul includes “rejoice in hope.” I love these words! They remind me that though we see much that is wrong in our world, and though we see great need all around us, God is at work. God has already inspired and equipped us to do much good in this world. And God is not finished yet. God will continue to inspire and equip us for ministry that expresses genuine love. I can hardly wait to see where God leads us next! God bless you, and I will see you in church.
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
“Kingdom Living Dos and Don’ts” Sermon Video