God’s Gifts to the Church

So if God give you power fo be one talka fo him, an you trus him plenny, go talk plenny of him (Romans 12:6b Da Jesus Book). [Preach the Word.]

Romans 12:3-8 by Frank Ball
Romans 12:3-8 Da Jesus Book
Romans 12:3-8 In Your Bible

Christ’s renewal of the believer’s mind and desire to do God’s will, call us to be a living church.

The Living Body of Christ

Paul compares the church to the human body. Members of the human body neither argue with each other nor envy each other about their relative importance. Each part of the body carries out its own function.*

Grace Gifts

The body of Christ – alive – will use God’s freely given gifts. Paul illuminates the grace gifts God gives his people in the church to use for the benefit of all believers – making it a living body. He emphasizes too . . . the different parts [people] have been given abilities according to what they have been called to do (Romans 12:6 by Frank Ball).

All of the following gifts build up the body of Christ and lead others to the knowledge of Jesus.

  • Preaching – be faithful in delivering God’s Word
  • Serving – be humble in helping
  • Teaching – be understandable and strive for excellence
  • Encouragement – be genuine, honest, real
  • Giving – be generous
  • Leadership – be responsible and considerate of your followers
  • Kindness – be cheerful, even to the undeserving
  • Diligent – be attentive and hard working, seek to please God
  • Hospitality – be welcoming to others in your home

Patience and Prayer

The believer should . . .Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful (Romans 12:12 NLT). In the body of Christ believers need to keep God’s perspective and his plans for us in mind – especially in difficult times. God wants the best for those who trust and follow him.

Prayer: Father, thank you for empowering the church, the body of Christ, to work together for your good purpose. Keep me aware of where I fit into your plan.

Questions: What grace gifts has God given you? How are you using them?

*The Daily Bible Study Series, The Letter to the Romans, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Second Edition, 1957, pp. 171,172.

Give Your Best For God

For everything comes from him; exists by his power and by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen (Romans 11:36 NLT).

Romans 12:1,2 by Frank Ball
Romans 12:2 Da Jesus Book
Romans 11:36 New Living Translation
Romans 12:1,2 In Your Bible

After Paul’s wonderful prayer in Chapter 11:36, he’s ready to prepare the believer for action in the first part of Chapter 12. In some versions, Paul appeals, begs, and urges believers to take to heart what he teaches. It is important and heady stuff.

God is amazing, full of secrets, blessings and surprises. And yes, he also judges us for not obeying. Because we are steeped in our to-day interaction with the world, we merely see glimpses of his greatness. Nevertheless these glimpses should change believers.

Selflessness

Paul pleads for believers to give their best . . . all who have said they want to follow the Lord, make a total commitment to please him in all things, sacrificing everything you want so you may receive something better. Your reasonable service is giving 100 per cent of yourself, more than just a tithe, a few songs, and verbal expressions of your love (Romans 12:1 by Frank Ball).

Believers should not follow what society does, but live modestly, be humble and seek what God wants. Help others, because that’s the action and kindness we see in the Lord. The believers’ goal should be to live a life to please God. Quite a contrast with the goal society shows us.

Ability by God’s Grace

Paul assures you as a believer, God has given you the ability, grace and faith to do the things God wants you to do. Yes, God’s and his Word will transform your mind.

Eh! No make lik hos da peopo nowdays telling you how fo do! Mo betta, you guys let God make you guys tink differ insid, so you can tink new way bout everything. Den you can go figga how God like you do. An da ting God like you do, stay good and make God stay good insid, and everytime stay perfeck (Romans 12:2 Da Jesus Book).

Take time meditate on these first two verses of Romans Chapter 12 of and enjoy God’s message for all believers. Next we’ll focus our devotion on gifts of the church and love, using Romans 12:3-21

Prayer: Father, thank you for your grace, power, and mercy to enable me to seek your will and follow it.

Question: How do these three verses (Romans 11:36 to 12:2) prepare you to follow what Paul urges us to do?

Kindness and Grace Extended

If the wild olive branches were grafted in, which is contrary to nature, it’s even more likely that the cultivated branches would be grafted in to their own olive tree (Romans 11:24 by Frank Ball).

Romans 11 by Frank Ball
In your Bible Romans 11

Paul wanted the Jews to be jealous of his evangelism and hear the Good News. He warns that few Israelites have received Christ Jesus. Sadly that remains the same today.

Call Still Offered

Isaiah prophesied about the time when Jesus would come to Jerusalem . . . And then I will keep my covenant with them and take away their sins (Romans 11:27 New Living Translation).

God hasn’t withdrawn his call for them [Jews seeking God] to believe and receive his gift of salvation . . . God has allowed everyone to live in disobedience so they could see the error of their ways and receive his mercy (Romans 11:29,32 by Frank Ball).

Remain in Christ

Believers are warned that there is a cost to pay for straying. Those in Christ must stay close, listen to his voice, obey his teachings and do as he told us to do.vine

Pay attention to both the kindness and the judgment of God. Remain in his kindness to avoid being cut off. If those discarded branches were to turn from their unbelief, God is able to graft them back onto the tree (Romans 11:22,23 by Frank Ball).Paul ends with a statement for meditation:

… Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we do is because of him. He gets all the credit forever. We can’t praise him enough or do enough to equal what he has done for us, that is for sure(Romans 11:36 by Frank Ball).

Prayer: Father, I know your love and salvation through Jesus. Thank you for allowing me to be grafted in to the true vine.

Questions: How do you reconcile the Salvation God provides with the judgment in store for those not receiving Jesus his Son? What do you think when you realize for centuries many Jews have missed knowing Jesus?

God Reaches Out

NOTE: See Concept Page for more detailed background. Most of the Scriptures used in this newest blog are from Frank Ball’s rendering of the biblical book of Romans. (The Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Living in the Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Frank Ball allowed me to shorten the title to Romans by Frank Ball for convenience). Other reference sources will be documented, i.e. Da Jesus Book, New Living Translation, New American Standard (NASB), Amplified Bible, etc.

People who believe God will never be sorry (Romans 10:11 by Frank Ball).

Romans 10 by Frank Ball
Romans 10 in your Bible

Paul knows the Roman believers have a passion for God and a desire to please him by doing good. He pleads for them to understand. When we have complete trust in Jesus Christ . . . our desires change to always wanting to please God. This ends the law’s need to force our good behavior (Romans 10:4 by Frank Ball).

Come to God

God makes no distinctions between different groups of people. He is a generous giver, wanting to share his riches with all who place their trust in him. Paul boldly states part of Isaiah 28:16, People who believe in God will never be sorry. This makes his point, Everyone who comes under the Lord’s direction and authority will be saved (Romans 10:11-13 by Frank Ball).

God makes the same offer today – fellowship with him – that he made long ago. Yet too many have ignored his invitation. Salvation is available today through Jesus Christ.

God said, I am always reaching out, but the people of Israel go their own way, disobedient and rebellious, doing what is right in their own eyes (Romans 10:21 by Frank Ball). Sadly, people of all nations still miss God!

Prayer: Father, thank you for your steadfast love for me. I fail in my own effort. Help me. I praise you because I have fellowship with you.

Questions: God desires to fellowship with you. Does anything keep you from that joy today?

No Separation From God

So den, God no punish da peopo dat stay tight wit Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1 Da Jesus Book).

Da Jesus Book: Romans 8
Romans 8 by Frank Ball
In Your Bible: Romans 8

Paul has strong words in Romans 8 concerning man’s sin nature and living a sinful life. Then he affirms the believer with God’s unconditional, steadfast love and his promise to help renew our minds through the Holy Spirit (see Romans 12:2).

God’s Children

Truly we are bonded with the Father through Jesus. By grace we receive confidence of His love, care and concern. God’s Spirit confirms in our human spirit that we are his children (Romans 8:16 by Frank Ball).

The profound words from Da Jesus Book demand we ponder and meditate:

So den, wat we goin say bout all dat? God stay fo us to da max. Cuz God lidat, who going agains us? No mo nobody! God neva even hold back hos own Boy. He wen make um one sacrifice fo help all us guys. God wen give his own Boy fo mahke fo us. You know, dat mean God no hold back notting. He give us every good ting to da max (Romans 8:31,32 Da Jesus Book).

Romans Chapter 8 starts with encouragement and ends with encouragement…to da max.

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing believers are your children. Always in your care, concern and love. Amazing love.

Questions: God claim all who believe in Jesus Christ as His children. How does this change your understanding or thinking? What does it mean to you when you read… we cannot lose as long as we maintain our desire to please him (Romans 8:31b by Frank Ball)?