Summary: God is a giver. God gives to you all the time. God gives you grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. He has given you Jesus. His Holy Spirit. He provides for you. Now, His Holy expectation is that you will use what you've been given to bless others.
Paul concludes Romans 12 with this statement, "Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good"
Has evil conquered you? During a day you will fight many battles. How many battles will you fight in a lifetime? The same author of Romans, also wrote this in Ephesians, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Jesus says He is the light in this dark world, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
We fight Spiritual battles every day. Everyone suffers a sinful nature. One of the reasons it's difficult for us to live in community is because we bring our sinful nature to the community. The reason we battle in our marriages is because of our sinful nature. It's impossible to be perfect. There are many, many, sins we battle all the time. We get jealous. We're greedy. We eat too much. We want what someone else has. We lust. We google for porn. We act out immorally. We get drunk and/or high. We get angry. We lose our tempers. We judge people. We gossip. We lie. I could go on, but, you get the picture. This is darkness. These are behaviors of those in the world. We condemn Justin Bieber for partying too hard and disrespecting authority at the same time we battle with our own sinful nature. Jesus teaches me to take the "tree out of my eye, before I deal with the speck that is in Bieber's eye."
You might be feeling today that you've lost some battles lately. Maybe you're feeling beat up. Something terrible has happened to you, or maybe you've made some terrible choices, even sinful ones and you're suffering the consequences. You could be dealing with a round of good old fashioned guilt. If you're struggling Spiritually right now, here's what you need to know. Jesus is victorious. Evil will conquer you, if you let it, but, you can choose to follow Jesus. Your faith in Jesus is the victory that overcomes the darkness of this world. This is why it's vital for you to refuse to listen to the lies of the world. Your faith in Jesus is indispensable because no matter what is happening to you or around you, your faith in Jesus is the victory over evil.
Paul teaches us a couple of things in Romans 12 that helps us to live victorious in Jesus.
Use the gifts God has given you.
Zig Ziglar in his book, "See You at the Top" tells the story of an Indian man in Oklahoma. "All his life he had lived in poverty. But the discovery of oil on his land had suddenly made him a very wealthy man. The first thing he bought was a very big Cadillac. He wanted the longest car in the county, so he added four spare tires on the trunk. He would dress up in his new clothes and everyday he would take his Cadillac into the hot dusty little town nearby. He wanted to see everyone and he wanted everyone to see him. He was a friendly old soul so when he was riding through town he would turn in all directions to wave at all the people as he rolled by. Interesting enough, he never ran into anybody nor into anything. The reason for this was that directly in front of that big beautiful car was two horses harnessed to it and pulling it. There was nothing wrong with the car’s engine. It was because the old Indian had never learned to drive it. He had never learned how to insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it on. Under the hood was 100 plus horsepower ready and willing and raring to go, but the old Indian was content to use the two horsepower hooked to the front of the car."
Here's how Paul puts it in Romans 12, "In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly."
God is a giver. God gives to you all the time. God gives you grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. He has given you Jesus. His Holy Spirit. He provides for you. Now, His Holy expectation is that you will use what you've been given to bless others. Don't be the old Indian who had no idea the power that was under the hood of his car. You have the same power in you that rose Jesus from the dead. So, use your faith the way God intended you to use it. Love God and love others. Share Jesus with people, show Jesus to people. We gather as a church community so we can send each other back out into our world so that others may experience the victory we enjoy. There is power in Jesus!