Romans 12:6-21 – “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” NASU
Clearly, there is more here than could possibly be addressed in a short devotional but if we can hit some high-points it just might prove beneficial and become a catalyst into deeper study individually. Both would be wonderful accomplishments.
I want to take this in somewhat of step by step manner and begin at the first verse in our text, verse six. I believe that God is very orderly and organized in what He does. I also believe that He speaks not words that are not without meaning and purpose. I also believe that the way He organizes those words and the order in which they come forth are meaningful and important to consider.
GIFTS and THEIR EXERCISE.
This is a clear revelation that each of us has some gift or gifts and we need to discover what they are. A gift, talent or ability is useless if it is not utilized and therefore we must also learn to operate or exercise those gifts, talents, and abilities for them to fulfill their purpose and design. Some do not believe in prophecy today, but this is the New Testament and the Covenant under which we readily identify that we are to live. This was not spoken simply to the First Century Church but to all believers everywhere in any time.
Therefore, let those with the gift of prophecy utilize that gift including the preaching of the Word of God. Let those who are gifted with service to engage in and learn to be the best stewards of their gift and serve. Let those who have the ability and gift to teach seize upon every opportunity and use every means to teach. Let those who have the gift of exhortation and inspiration find that stump or soapbox and stand on it and proclaim their message. Let those with the Gift of Giving, and this is a real gift. Some have been blessed with this Gift and God has seen fit to put in their hands that which they are to give and often in abundance. A person that is stingy will not realize the magnificence of this gift and the open door it provides. I have known people with this gift and the more they gave the more they had to give, and the cycle continued to grow and grow. Their heart was to give.
There are people in positions of leadership that do not have the gift, inclination, training, talent, or ability to lead but they have somehow been pressed into that role. There are some who have the Gift of Leadership that find themselves overcome with timidity or the lack of self-confidence they tend to hide in the shadows or as with Saul, among the stuff. They are little in their own eyes and that is one of the needed characteristics of great leadership. Not timidity and indecisiveness but humility. Those who are gifted with Mercy and we should all be merciful are encouraged to demonstrate the heart of God in Mercy and do so with overflowing joy and cheer. That becomes infectious for those who observe this incredible and supernatural demonstration of God’s incredible Love and Mercy.
I cannot walk through the remainder of the passage but will pause here and hopefully pick this up again on the morrow and consider verses 9-21 or as much as we can cover in the next devotional.
God bless you richly as you embark on today’s journey in Living and Believing!