Romans 12:1-8

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I want to invite you to Romans. Chapter 12 is where we are today. Romans Chapter 12, in a beautiful section of scripture. This passage is really the transitional section of the book of Romans that takes us from a place of understanding really who we are in Christ and now how to live for Christ. Chapter 1 to 11 deals with your relationship to God. Chapter 12 to 16 now deals with your horizontal relationship with others. If you know the Lord and you live in the Lord, what should that look like as you live it out in your life? Chapter 1 to 11 is what God does. Chapter 12 to 16 is really about how we respond. God cares about what you believe and God cares about how you behave. And it’s in that order because what you truly believe determines how you’re going to live in your life, right? What you’re going to do with your life. And so these first 11 chapters, God dealt with our identity in Jesus, how we come to know God and and live in God and the identity we receive through, through Christ. And now chapter 12 and on he’s going to talk about how that should impact the world around you, starting with with just general relationship into marriage, family, government, all that. If you if you want to talk about government, just hold on to Romans chapter 13. That’s where we’re going to be when we get to Romans 13.

But beautiful section of scripture that describes all of this for us. This is for those that might come to the Lord and pray, pray a prayer like this, you might say to God, what you’re doing in me. I don’t want to just stay with me. I want it to be lived through me. And so, Lord, help me to honor you with my life, if that is your prayer. Romans Chapter 12 is the beginning basis for all of that. And one of the things I really love about these first few verses, Paul does a masterful job in the way he transitions from all he’s communicated about the Lord into our lives and how we live. But one of the things I really love is the simplicity of this. You think in this world there are many paths that you can follow. Many, many idols or false gods that are just screaming at you to live for this and find your importance and identity in in multiple things. But in Christianity, really, there’s just there’s one path. There is one path that God calls us on in him. And it’s it’s simple. For those that like to overcomplicate things, this passage should be very freeing to you and understanding what God desires for your life. And so the title of today is A Reasonable Response to God How God desires for you to to respond to all that He’s done for you.

Our relationship with God should impact our relationship with with others. Right? Because in Christ you’ve been redeemed, reconciled, restored, and God has renewed you in Him. And so we should mimic that in the way that we interact in this world, because the forgiveness and grace that’s been given to us, we should be the most forgiving people on the planet and encouraging people to understand where we were apart from Christ and now who we are because of Christ. And other people have access to that too, because not because of them, but because of Jesus. And so this is our reasonable response to that God, because of all that He has done for us. And point number one in your notes is this reasonable response is to completely surrender to him, completely surrender to him. And Paul starts it this way in Romans chapter 12, verse one. And I’m just going to take us these first three verses, just a section at a time, through these first three verses, and then we’re going to chunk out the rest here. But he says, I appeal to you, therefore, brothers by the mercies of God, Paul is making this this appeal to us. Some translations say he is beseeching or or begging or imploring. And the idea of the Apostle Paul begging us in these moments signifies how, how important and crucial this is for our lives, that that Paul would come to this place with such urgency, to help our hearts recognize then how we’re to respond in light of all of this.

Now, Paul doesn’t go through this whole, whole book begging you, but we come to this place and this is this is his appeal in this moment for you to understand the significance of what he’s about to communicate and what Paul is going to ask of us. I’ve already I’ve already revealed it and giving all of you. But what he’s about to ask of us, I think it’s important to know Paul’s not going to ask of us more than Jesus was willing to give for you. As Jesus has given all his life for you. Jesus now calls you to give your life and response back to Him. And he says it’s by the mercies of God that he that he’s doing this. And and so Paul is helping you understand that this this is a privileged position that you get to be in. It is not because of what you’ve done. This is because of what God has done. And the beauty of this is it’s not just you get one shot at this and if you blow it, it’s over. But rather what he’s reminding us of this is God’s mercies for you every day. God made you for this. And just because you mess up, he’s a god of second chances and third chances and fourth chances. And on and on it goes.

But. But this is the call of every Christian for the rest of your life that actually this is the call of everyone to surrender who you are to the Lord and to know him and to be made known through him. And so he goes on and says, To present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to him. And so he’s saying to you, Look, God, God doesn’t just want a piece of you, but rather God desires all of you and God. He he wants nothing less. God first wants you before God cares about what you do. Religion has the tendency of getting this backwards, like religion is all about. Let me fix myself up first so that then God would accept me. Christianity is the complete opposite of that. That your your heart, your life does not change until God really has you. And when God has you, when God has your heart, God will transform. Your life doesn’t start with you fixing yourself. It starts with you coming to him and allowing God to change your life from the inside out. And so he begs us here to to present all of our bodies. And this is the the the the path of Christianity to know Christ. And to be known by him. In fact, in our church, we have five values that we we live by in order to create a healthy culture within our community. And value number one is to know Christ.

That value takes precedent over and above everything that God made you for relationship in him, and that from that, then all healthy things would spur forth. If the pursuit of your life would be to know Jesus. That’s what Paul says in Philippians chapter three. He forsook everything and counted it as rubbish, he says, in order that he may know Christ. Philippians three eight. If Paul is willing to make his life about that one pursuit. How important it is for your life. To be about the same. God doesn’t want a piece of you. But rather God wants all of you. Could you imagine in a marital relationship where two people come together and covenant in that relationship and they want to share their vows this morning? Let’s just say we’re having that kind of a ceremony. And and one of the spouse looks at the other and says, and, honey, I commit to you 75% of me. Right. Does that sound right? Who wants to sign up for that? If you hold yourself back to any degree, you know it’s going to mess up the intimacy for which that relationship is intended to flourish. In order for a marriage to be healthy, it’s not about what you get. It’s about what you give. You give all of yourself for the benefit of another, and they do the same. And through that there is blessing. And the same is true with your relationship with Christ, that if you want to know the Lord, it’s not about holding back a part of you or hiding from him or lying to him or pretending to be something that you’re not.

It’s about laying it all down before the Lord. And and the reason that we tend not to do that because as people the reason that we hold back from God, honestly, the enemy is pride. And pride is the greatest obstacle to intimacy. But Paul in this passage is calling us to present all of ourselves to him. And he describes it like this as a living sacrifice, which is interesting because typically we think about a sacrifice. Once you give it, it’s done right. A sacrifice dies. It’s got a purpose, but that’s it. But here in this passage, he’s saying that we, the way we present ourselves to God, that we we go on living right. We we die to ourselves, certainly. But we we go on living. And so what Paul is encouraging us to think about is that in this Christian life, you’re going to die a thousand deaths because you’re going to find tons, millions of idols presented to you in life. But there’s only one God through which you should give your life towards. And so you continually, every day, offer yourself to the Lord each and every day. Some people say it like this It is easy to to die for God, but it’s much harder to live for God.

Because every day you’ve got to be willing to surrender yourself, not to you as Lord, but but to him. And to trust that what he has for you is better than anything else that this life has to offer. And he describes it as this. It’s your it is your spiritual worship. Some some passages say it’s your reasonable act of worship. And in terms of worship, I think it’s important for us to know that worship is not just something that’s exclusive to Sunday. We sometimes think that way. Oh, it’s Sunday. We better worship so that I can have the rest of my week. Right. But but to God, there is no separation between the sacred and the secular. It all belongs to him. Every. Every day. And everything belongs to the Lord. Every day you worship because you are a worship being. The question is what do you honor with your life? Worship means all of your relationships, all of your responsibilities get reoriented to the idea that Jesus is king of your life and not you. We worship and making God the priority of my life. It doesn’t mean this. It doesn’t mean I come to my wife and I say, Look, honey, I wanted to have time for you today. But this God, he’s so demanding. Like, I got to just cut out. I’m sorry. I’ve got to push you aside. And it’s.

It’s all about the Lord right now because he’s first and yours second. Right. Don’t don’t have that conversation with your wife because that is not healthy. That’s not what the Lord is saying. He’s saying rather, what he wants you to do is reorient all of your life to understand what it is that God desires to do in you through your relationships. He takes priority. And so because of that, you don’t put your your wife in second and your your kids in third, but rather you reorient all of those relationships to make Jesus King in order to bless others. Your marriage should be better because of your love for Jesus, because it helps you better love your spouse. Your family should be better because of your love for Jesus, because it helps you understand how to best love your children. Right? This is this is not about putting putting people in a back seat. This is about helping them become who God has called them to be because you understand who you are in relationship to the Lord, because you’ve connected to him in worship. And God wants us to do that with all of our being. And so when you combine these thoughts, what he’s saying is to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, as a means of worship. And what he’s saying to you is that God cares about what you do with your body because what you do physically is a demonstration of what you believe internally, and it demonstrates who is lord of your life.

It communicates who is God of your world and and who you want to strive for and what you want to live for. God cares about what you see with your eyes. God cares about what you do in your home or what you do in your bed, or what you do with your sexuality or your hands or your heart or your mind or your thoughts. In this passage, he identifies all of those things. What is Lord of Your Life? Where do you spend your time? Your resources, your energy, your praise, your talents. It points to your God. And we all worship. We all worship something. And we can even replace. God things with just good things. But we all worship something. And so he reminds us in this next verse. Do not be conformed to this world. But be transformed. The idea of being conformed means that you are shaped into a mold, that there’s something that wants to press you into a particular form. And in our culture today, this this, this happens through media or even social media or, or government or education or culture trying to get you to conform to another God other than the one true God. To compare yourself to those things in order to see if you emulate them, it’s constantly pressing you in this mold. And in American culture, our God is easy to identify.

The focus of life is all about self. We think self is God, the way that we elevate our self or evaluate our self, I should say, is is really by people pleasing want to please people. So they praise us and elevate us. And if we can’t please them, then we want to use them in order to to serve us. Because after all, at the end of the day, what’s most important is me. And so in our culture, we’ll say, sleep with who you want, identify with who you want, do what you want. Because loving yourself is the most important thing. After all, you’re a good person. It’s your body. It’s your right. So, so, so do what you want. Because we think we define what truth is. And so you you live your truth. Unless your truth denies my truth, in which case you’re intolerant. And then we shame you. But it’s okay. It’s not your fault. Just blame someone else because you’re the victim. But then there’s a different identity other than conforming. And it’s the thought of transforming. And rather than live in the identity of victim and I’m not saying you don’t go through hard things in life, but in Jesus rather you are now a victor. And you have a position and a purpose in Christ because you were designed by him. And rather than press you into the mold from from the outside in, God wants to make you flourish from the inside out.

God’s desire is to renew your heart to him as your life is given over to the Lord. But what He’s acknowledging in this passage is there a there’s a battle taking place. There is a conflict between God and the world. And the question is, what do you honor? Because you can’t do both. There’s a passage we’re going to see in just the days ahead in Romans 1218 that says live at peace with all men as long as it’s possible. Right. But the point of it is, at the end of the day, you can only please one Lord. And so you’ve got to choose. Do you do you want to honor the world and dishonor God or do you want to live for God and upset the world? Because you can’t have it both ways. Friendship with God is enmity against the world. And vice versa. And so this this passage becomes a place to recognize that God has given you the gift of your life to determine what it’s going to be about and where you’re going to surrender it and how you’re going to find your value. And in Christ, really, there’s there’s one way it’s Jesus alone, all of me to all of you, because you have given all of yourself for me. And so it’s to come to a place like this and make the decision. I will give my body in worship to the Lord.

I will live my life not for selfishness, but for selflessness. And through that, I want to honor my my wife, my my family, my church, my community. I’m going to read God’s word. I’m going to live for his glory in this world. Which is what he says in the next passage. Right. By the renewal of your mind. Don’t be conformed to this world. They want to press you. Way to turn your mind off and just think what they tell you. Don’t do that. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. God cares about what you think. Get this Sometimes when I talk to people as it relates to belief systems, I don’t know where they come from, but a lot of people treat belief systems as something that’s just driven by feeling. Yet your creator gave you a brain and he wants you to use that brain to love him with all of your mind. And I know that’s none of you, okay? It’s nobody here today. And and you are renewed in that because what we understand is we walk in this world. The world wants us to think like it, but we don’t want to embrace that, but rather we want our mind renewed daily and the truth of God and the way that we find that renewal is through the Word of God. God communicates His truth through his word so that our minds could be renewed.

And He says this, that you will prove the will of God, meaning your life will demonstrate the will of God. Sometimes I talk to people about what is God’s will for their life, and typically when they ask that question, they want to find a specific thing they’re supposed to do. What is God’s will for me? What is it I’m supposed to do? But can I tell you you’ll never discover what you’re supposed to do without first discovering who you’re called to be. And you’ll never discover who you’re called to be without discovering the one who created you for the purpose for which he’s designed you. And you’ll never find that person until you’re willing to surrender to him fully. But it’s when you surrender your life to God that you begin to know about God and and learn the character of God. And in learning about God and the character of God, you discover the reason that God has created you and the kind of person He is called you to be, so that when you live in this world, you start to do the things that God has called you to do. We obsess with the will of God as if there’s this particular dot that we’re supposed to find and live and do for the rest of our lives. But a lot of what God has called you to do is to be a certain kind of person in this world.

To live his character and goodness. Wherever you go. That way, the grace of God could be made known in your life. And so he goes on in verse three, and he says this. For by the grace given to me, I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. This approach of verse three brings us to this place of humility, which is a countercultural way of living life. A worldly, conforming culture tells you to get yours, to use people as as tools and even abuse because, well, you’re the most important thing in this world and what you want matters. But in a biblical transforming, countercultural life. It’s not about you, but about him. To the benefit of others. It’s really a life of meekness. But but meekness. We’ve talked about as a church is not weakness. It’s someone that truly understands their identity in the Lord. And because of who they are in Christ, they live for the score. They’ve discovered that the value they have in Jesus is far better than any other value this world can place on them. But truth be told, the only way you live a life of humility. Is to be content with who you are in Christ. To know that what you have in Jesus matters beyond anything else, because nothing else in this world can offer what Christ gives you through Him.

You can serve because you’ve been served. Reality is what makes Christianity so hard is that you’ve got to surrender the greatest of idols. Which is you. In order to live for the purpose for which he has created you. So so let me just ask this morning. What are you holding back from? God? What piece of you is not fully surrendered to him? What is it that you need to let go of? When I consider the the battle that’s taking place in this passage between conforming and transforming. For the life of the believer. I think it’s important for us to say, look. If your faith in Jesus really hasn’t cost you, is it really faith in Jesus? You can’t please the world. And please God. You’ve got to choose. What does your what’s your life going to be about? What are you really going to live for? At the end of your life, what kind of person are people going to say you were? Point number two then. The result of that life surrendered to Christ will end up this way. It will bless others. It will bless others in verse four and five. He describes for us what that looks like. He starts off this way, and this is the next point of your notes. We all have a part to play. All of us have a part to play and God has created you for community.

You think about the way that God has designed us as human beings from the very beginning, He said, It’s not good for man to be alone. He identifies community the way the spirit of God works and the people of God. It’s for community. God has created you to be a communal being that glorifies him and the way that you live your life. And in verse four, he reminds us of that for as if as in one body, we have many members and the members do not all have the same function. So we though many are one body in Christ and individual members one of another. That’s important. We’re not trying to be like each other. God has made you uniquely for the purpose He desires for you to accomplish in this world. That’s important to not try to duplicate what you see every other Christian do. There are certain characteristics we certainly want to model in the life of Jesus, but God has gifted us all differently, and that’s that’s important. There are some positions in Christ that are prominent and other positions that may not be as prominent but are but are important. I heard a pastor once describe it like this. He said, sometimes my position can be seen as prominent. Right? Sort of like if you’ve got big ears like I do. Right. So that kind of sticks out from the side of your head, sort of large.

I kind of worry about this as I get older. I’m told your ears never stop growing. It’s prominent. That’s prominent, but it doesn’t mean necessarily important. And there are some things on your body that you overlook until you realize how important they are. Like if you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and you stub your pinky toe, you reminded how important your pinky toe is, right? There is things that are prominent and there are things that are important and and God doesn’t make mistakes. And he’s made us all uniquely for the purpose he desires for us to glorify him in this valley. What God wants you to accomplish in this world. He knows where you’re at and he knows what you need. And so the the last point then, on your notes is this We all have gifts to give. We all have gifts to give. And the Bible we talk about spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts mean that you give them away. That’s the point of gifts you have them to give away. When you read about spiritual gifts in the Bible, there are four chapters that talk about spiritual gifts First Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Galatians four, Ephesians four, all sections that talk about spiritual gifts. But what’s important to know, those gifts are not exhaustive. None of those gifts are exhaustive. And I don’t think anyone just has one spiritual gift.

You can have a cluster of gifts. Right? But but the point is to understand that God has gifted us all uniquely and God wants to live us to live for his glory. The question is, what are you gifted in? And the way I think we can discover those gifts. Sometimes in our life we learn as we grow in Christ, right? I think the gifts that you have today may develop and grow through through time. And sometimes you might find a cluster of gifts you didn’t realize that you had in the beginning as you follow Jesus. But we all have spiritual gifts to live for, for the Lord and and for His glory. And the way that you discover those is one. What are you passionate about? Two What are you good at? And three, what are people blessed by? Sometimes I’ll meet Christians that they’ll read certain gifts and they’re like, I want that one. And they’ll start telling people they have that one. And people are like, They don’t. They don’t have this one, right? This is this is not. So sometimes listen to other believers affirming those gifts around you. You may have certain things you want to do, but that may not be what blesses other people. And so it’s important to discover what those gifts are. And Paul lists some of those gifts in this passage of scripture. And again, not exhaustive, but he starts to describe there’s different ways that we can live for the Lord in this world, He says.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. If prophecy in proportion to faith, if service in our serving to those who teach. And in his teaching, the one who exhorts in his exhortation, the one who contributes in generosity, the one who leads with zeal, the one who does acts of mercy with cheerfulness. He’s listing for us several gifts. Let me let me just walk through these very quickly and just give you an idea. I think what the Apostle Paul is helping us to think about in terms of prophecy. I would say he really starts off heavy here in the beginning. This is probably one of the most abused ones in all of scripture. I’m going to tell you where I stand in this. If you disagree with me, that’s okay. We can still be friends. All right. But but I am one that does not believe in the New Testament, in the in the position, and be very careful here in the position of apostle and prophet. I don’t I don’t hold to that anymore unless we’re talking about Jesus. I think the Bible very clearly tells us in Hebrews one chapter, one verse one and two, that God in former times spoke through the prophets. But today he speaks to us in Jesus that Jesus is the final prophet and the final revelation of truth to us.

He is God in the flesh. He is everything that you need, right? So in terms of title and I’ve written blogs on this, why I don’t believe in the position of Apostle today, though you might find people that are apostolic write the word apostle means sent forth. We use the word missionary today, but that’s really what we’re doing. We’re sending out in the world to proclaim Jesus so you can have a certain gift set that might make you good to go to the ends of the earth and proclaim Christ. But the title of Apostle, the title of Prophet. I don’t hold to today another passage. Ephesians 220. He gave apostles and prophets to lay the foundation for the equipping of the saints and building a building. When you build a building, you only lay a foundation once. Which is why when you read the rest of the New Testament, you don’t see a prescription of Here’s how you appoint apostles and prophets, right? What you have is here’s how you appoint elders and deacons. That’s what God intended to, to lead the church. And so he gives us a prescription for appointing elders and deacons, because that was God’s prescription for how he wanted the church to move forward. That’s what I hold to. However, I will say you’ve still got to deal with the gift of prophecy, right? Because while while I don’t believe in the title or position for today, the Scripture certainly uses the gift of prophecy.

And what do you do with that? Some people look at this and obsess with prophecies is just simply all about predicting the future. I don’t think that’s the predominant way the word prophecy is used in the New Testament. I think the word prophecy is used for not foretelling, but for telling someone that proclaims truth in a way that impacts the heart. There are certain people that just have the spiritual gift to refer to scripture in a way that’s like a surgeon with a scalpel. They’ll come to you and they’ll say things and it speaks into your heart in a way that feels like it pierces you. And you’re like, Oh, that hurt. But it felt so good at the same time, right? That’s some people have the ability to proclaim the truth of God’s word in that way, and it impacts our lives. It makes us think about the Lord. It spurs us on. And I think that’s what He’s saying in this passage, right? Otherwise, if he’s not, then he’s given no credence to the proclamation of God’s word. And so he says in this passage, the prophecy, the proclaiming, the fourth telling of God’s word in proportion to our faith, to make sure that when people speak on behalf of God, let’s just say that is a dangerous thing to think that you represent God.

And if you’re going to say things about the Lord, you better make sure that what you say is truthful because you can really mislead people. And there is judgment for that. And so in terms of of this prophecy, he’s saying do it in proportion to the faith, understand what truth is and represent that, that if you desire to to see people living for God and you want to compel them in that way, do that. In fact, when it describes prophecy in Scripture, I think it mentions it in that accord. It says, on the other hand, the one who prophesies look at this, speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. It’s using the truth of God to proclaim to people what God desires for them to do and living their life for the Lord. In fact, in first Thessalonians five, it gives a warning Do not despise prophecy, but test everything. Hold fast that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Meaning There are some people that might say things that are contrary to what Jesus wants you to know, say, and do. And it’s important that whatever someone says, that you come back to the scriptures to make sure it aligns with it. In fact, in First John, chapter four, John says in verse one, Believe not every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God. Because many false prophets have gone into the world, they’re representing Jesus in a way that Jesus doesn’t want himself represented because they’re teaching a different Jesus than the Jesus proclaimed in the Bible.

And so it’s important to align that. But there is this certainly the gifting. Let me let me go back to that. And and prophecy in proportion to faith if serving. There are people whose hearts are just like they look for a need and they just want to be there. Right. Let me let me find a position and do good in the way that I serve or one who teaches which is different than just simply proclaiming God’s word. It’s people that like to go back and study books. They study books of dead people. Right? They want to they want to know the theology of the Christian history, and they want to come back and just lay that out for you. Right. And and a concise way. And then there’s those who exhort. You have people that are encouraging. Encouragement is one that one that puts courage in someone else. They want to spur you on in the faith. And then there’s those that want to contribute in generosity. They don’t give because they think giving is a blessing or they don’t give in order to be blessed. They see giving as a blessing in and of itself. They just they see a need and they want to help out. God’s blessed them in certain ways and they provide it for other people.

They contribute in generosity by by the way, just throwing this out there. Our church, we’re looking to build a future building, right? I had a meeting with Lehigh City again this week over over a piece of property we’re looking at and trying to figure out what the cost and all that. I just want you to know as a church that a lot of what we’re going to be able to do is going to be based on our history of giving. And because we look at being able to afford something and talking to banks and things, they want to know the history of the generosity of our people. And so your generosity matters. And so when we think about the future of our church as your heart is given, I want to say thank you for a heart of generosity, but also acknowledge in this passage that the the Lord uses that to make a difference in this world. We would not even be able to dream about a future possibility if it weren’t for the generosity of God’s saints. The one who leads with with zeal that God puts leaders out there to to to guide people. Leadership is about influence. And so if you want to, we’re all influencing some way. But if you want to be a godly leader submitted to the Lord and and do it with zeal and then acts of mercy, you look for those that are down and out and you just want to you want to help them up.

God has gifted us all. Uniquely God has gifted us all differently. Sometimes. If we’re not careful, though, we’ll see our gift as the most important gift. Sometimes we even get critical of the church if we don’t see them doing what we think is important. Because God has burdened your heart for that. Our church doesn’t do this enough, right? But let me just encourage you, if you see a need within the body of Christ and you think, man, the church is not doing this enough, perhaps it’s not the fault of the church, but rather maybe God is provoking you to do more. Maybe it’s a burden. God’s laying on your heart to help lead and guide and help make a difference. What is reasonable? What is the reasonable call that God has on our life? Number one. That we would submit all of ourselves to him. And number two in that submission. We would bless others. When I consider this passage practically. It can get messy. And it can be hard. Because their sacrifice. There’s a laying of yourself down in the the world wants you to get your eyes on them. And fear them. So that it can can conform you. But the motivation of our lives should be driven by the greatness of God. And the grace that we receive in him. You can’t. Please.

Two masters. So what is your life going to be lived for? In the 16th century. People in the Netherlands face extreme persecution. Because of their pursuit for Christ. 1580 Protestant leader by the name of a man by the name of Claes. Was captured. Tried. Found guilty, condemned as a heretic, and burned at the stake because of his faith in Jesus. In fact, if you Google it, there’s lots of graphic pictures that were drawn of the persecution that happened to God’s people during this time. When Klaus was burned at the stake, his wife, now a widow, became concerned. She was concerned for her son and how he would respond to this. He she was worried that. Rather than live for Christ, he might run away from the Lord. And so after her husband was burned, she grabbed her son by the hand. And she walked up to the hill following the back streets. And she got to the place where her husband was burned and she grabbed a handful of ashes and she put it in a satchel and she tied a string around it and she hung it on her her son’s neck. And she pushed the satchel against his chest. And she said, this son. I placed these ashes on your heart and on the heart of every son of these Netherlands in all of eternity. Whenever and wherever in this world there is an injustice or wrong committed. These ashes will beat on your heart and you will speak out without fear, even at the fear of death.

Because when you think about the cost that the Lord is calling you to this morning. I don’t have ashes to place on your heart today to to say remind yourself of this and the goodness of God and let your life be lived for his glory. But but what we do have in this passage is just before Romans Chapter 12 begins, Paul ends Romans Chapter 11 with this this beautiful description, this doxology of the beauty of who God is. And he says in verse 33, Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways? For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor, who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid. For from him and through him and to him are all things to him be glory forever and ever. Amen. Do you believe God is in control? It’s important to consider the magnitude of who he is. Because in Christ we may go through hard things, but we are we are not defined as victims. We are victors. And so rather than throw pity parties and struggles, we get to throw praise parties because of what God has done. And it’s the privilege of his people to walk in the joy of knowing him, to live for the glory of God in this world. Because what we do matters beyond today. It matters for all of eternity.