Remember, everything that Paul writes from this point on is built on the foundation of chapters 1-11. We've got to have the understanding of those first chapters to live out what Paul will challenge us toward in those chapters we now read.

I have to admit that I am bent toward verses 1 and 2. I love these verses and view them as the simplest explanation of what it means to live the Christian life. And the best commentary I have found on these two verses is Eugene Peterson's paraphrase found in the Message. It says this:
1 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Christianity isn't about showing up at church on Sundays (although that is important) and it isn't about memorizing verses from the Bible (although that is important)...(I could go on here). Christianity is about offering God our lives - every bit of our lives. Christianity is about living differently, in light of what God has done for us. How different do you think our world would be if Christians took these two verses more seriously? What would be different about your life if you lived these two verses?

Don't get me wrong, I love the rest of the chapter. You and I need to do what we were gifted and called to do. You and I need to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. We need to meet needs as we see them. I am challenged by all of these things.
So what hit you and challenged you today? Let us know what God will use from this to work in you today...this week...this month...


  1. I have a CD set on the Spiritual gifts if anyone wants to figure out what their gift is.

    v.10 The note in my Bible talks about the motive for honoring people. Unlike the world, our motive is because they have been created in God's image.

    Same with v.13... hospitality may look different from social entertaining. I'm thankful for that.

  2. The last portion of Chapter 12 (vv. 9-21) is such wonderfully practical instruction. It reads like a "how to" manual. How to love with no strings attached! If there were ever a clearly articulated instruction on righteous living through the offices of Jesus Christ alone, this it it. When I read these verses I am struck by the exhortation that we live a life of complete humility which in my view can only occur with the exercise of unconditional love. If you get a chance read the Matthew Henry Whole Bible Commentary on this portion of Roman's 12. Not an easy read but very inspiring and powerful. Don't you love it that God's word is so clear!