This week we’re going to take a look at seven principles found in Romans 12 that describe the marks of a true Christian. The intent of studying this passage is not to condemn or lead you to comparison. Instead, let Paul’s teaching fill you with a deep, transformative longing to wholeheartedly pursue the life God intends for you. Ask God to help you see yourself as he sees you, to see the grace he’s placed upon your life by the blood of Jesus so that you might walk more fully in the power and anointing of the Spirit. Open your heart to God, and let him do a mighty work in you. He is near to you, ready to mold and shape you into a disciple filled with and fueled by his incredible love. May you discover God’s grace and perspective this week as you examine your life in light of this powerful passage of Scripture.
Have you ever experienced love and compassion from someone right when you needed it? Have you laughed or rejoiced with friends or family when you wanted to celebrate something great? Or, have you ever had a friend cry with you in a time of great trial and grief? In Romans 12:15, God commands us, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus because his heart is filled with compassion for people. David exemplifies this truth in Psalm 30:11 when he says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” Let’s spend time today encountering God’s heart of mercy for his people and learn how we can better share the love we’ve been shown with others.
As children of God, we are called to community. We are called to step away from the path of selfish ambition and sacrifice our lives for others the way Jesus has for us. Often this sacrificial life requires simply being there for those God has placed in our lives in whatever capacity they need. Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” God calls us to clothe ourselves with his heart. He asks us to be ambassadors for him by sharing his love with others. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Jesus counted our redemption more important than his own life and “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8). And he asks us to be like him.
So, how can you and I live our lives like Jesus? How can we better “rejoice with those who rejoice [and] weep with those who weep?” It all starts with encountering the heart of God ourselves. Only in seeing the incredible compassion and love God has for you will you be able to have his heart for others.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” We’re meant to love others out of the overflow of God’s love for us. He doesn’t ask you to have compassion and mercy in your own strength. He knows those are gifts that come from the Spirit working in our lives. You and I can do nothing in and of ourselves. To truly share God’s heart we need God’s help, and that starts with simply spending time encountering God for who he is.
After being filled with the love of God, you must choose to humble yourself before others and step outside of your comfort zone to bless someone. Humility requires strength, courage, and the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will always help you share God’s love for someone. Follow his leading, ask him for his heart for people around you, and follow through with courage in love. If you will make it your goal to see God’s heart proclaimed through your life, you will experience more joy and purpose than you can imagine. Being a person who gives their own life for the sake of others will fill you with more peace and passion than living for yourself could ever produce. Spend time encountering God’s heart today, and walk in obedience to his command: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” If you do so, you will find yourself filled with the knowledge of God’s love today and satisfied in knowing you proclaimed God’s love through your life.
1. Meditate on God’s love for you. Ask God to show you how he feels about you in this very moment.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
2. Now ask for God’s heart for someone else today. Who needs you to rejoice with them? Who needs you to weep with them?
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34
3. Right now in your own heart, humble yourself before the person that God has shown you. Choose in your own heart to count them as more significant than yourself. And commit to share God’s love with them in whatever way the Spirit leads you.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:12-13
Choose to love people today in whatever situation you find yourself. Whether you’re driving, having a conversation, working, or just relaxing with someone, you can always count others as more significant than yourself. You can always show others God’s love. And the more you encounter God’s heart for yourself, the more natural sharing his love with others will become. Share in the joy of co-laboring with God to see his kingdom, founded on love, come to earth today. There is no better life we can live than one spent working with our heavenly Father.
Extended Reading: 2 Corinthians 1