You asked for it; and Paul delivers!  

A bunch of us are listening our way through the Book of Romans on a daily basis, and we  have stumbled across the answers to these nagging and persistent questions that go  something like this: Look Pastor Bob, I get it about the church going and the Bible reading and  all that other stuff; but I just can’t make it work with my schedule – but, instead, can we just  grab a cup of coffee and you can tell me exactly how Jesus wants us to live?  

 Actually, I love those kinds of questions. So, keep them coming! But way before my  time, the Apostle Paul, who was also in the preaching business, developed a perfect answer to  these kinds of questions. It’s called Chapter 12 of his Letter to the Romans. It’s Paul’s own  sermon about placing your life before God; what that consists of and what that looks like. 

Even better is the “The Message” version of Paul’s letters. Eugene Peterson was a  master at the craft of turning the language of the Bible into language that we could hear any  day in our life today. So, with all that going for it, let’s get to Paul’s sermon, with the answers 

we’ve all been looking for! This is like finding GOLD, people! Treat it well, and it will treat you  back.  

Pause; Take a little “me” time; and absorb these words into your own heart; and that’s  where God will meet you. Enjoy!  

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We are like the various parts of a human body. The body we’re talking about is  Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his  body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we?  So, since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously  functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be,  without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be  something we aren’t.  

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else;  

if you help, just help, don’t take over;  

if you teach, stick to your teaching;  

if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy;  if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate;  

if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be  quick to respond;  

if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with  them or depressed by them.  

Keep a smile on your face.  

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  1. Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on  for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.  II. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master,  cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy  Christians; be inventive in hospitality.  

III. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when  they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be  stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.  

  1. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with  everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,”  says God. “I’ll take care of it.” 
  2. Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if  he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let  evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.  

I hope you enjoyed these words from an ancient follower of Jesus Christ and a master at  teaching “The Way” and how to live it. Have a blessed week, and hope to see you on Sunday – either in-person or online. <><  

Peace, Pastor Bob