Tom Scott - 3/03/2013

Romans 12:1-2

e-study for March 4th
What would it mean to you this morning if you could have a fresh start on life?  If there were some magical reset button that you could push, what would you do differently with your life?  Those are some of the questions that people wrestle with.  For some it comes during childhood as they fight with their parents.  For others it comes at midlife as they feel trapped in their life.  Then there are those who look back at the end of days and wonder “what if” or “only if.”  For these individuals a fresh start might be grand.  God does offer us a fresh start in life.  That was our focus yesterday as we looked at the first two verses of Romans chapter 12.  Here are five questions to work through as you think about that message.
1. The first half of the sermon was devoted to looking at the four signpost that Paul uses as dividers for the book of Romans.  This fourth “therefore” in Romans 12:1 has been called the therefore of dedication.  Paul will switch gears from talking about doctrine to talking about our duty.  What thoughts come to mind when you hear the words: “Christian duty?”
2. Paul begins chapter 12 by encouraging his readers to consider the mercy of God.  This is why I spent so much time reviewing the first eleven chapters of Romans in the message.  God has been patiently waiting for us to come to this decision to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to Him?  What is it about the mercy of God that speaks to you the most right now?
3. As Paul moves through verse one, he writes that this gift of our bodies as living sacrifices is pleasing to God.  It is our spiritual act of worship.  In the Old Testament book of Amos we read that God hated the dead sacrifices of the Israelites.  God rejoices when we make that decision to become one of his children.  Are there times when you feel unworthy of being called a child of God?  Remember 1 John 1:9
4.  Verse two begins with Paul telling us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Notice here that Paul is suggesting that it is the Spirit that does the transformning.  So often we try to change our behaviors and fail.  Diets fail, exercise programs fail, marriages fail, vacations fail because we are trying to find that fresh start on our own terms.  It is only when we allow the Spirit to work on our minds that we find that fresh start that we are seeking in life.  What is the one area of your mind that you will not surrender to God today?
5. The last part of the message focuses on the will of God.  Paul says that when we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, then and only then will we know what God’s will is for our lives.  Read Psalm 5:8 and Proverbs 3:5 and 6 again and think about what they say.  God has a new path laid out for us if we are willing to allow him to lead us.  Where do you feel the Lord leading you today and are you willing to go there?
Cumberland is, by no means, a perfect church, but it is a great place to find a fresh start when it comes to God’s mercy.  It is our desire to offer people a fresh start when it comes to mercy and grace.  If you are looking for a fresh place to come and worship, then we will see you Sunday morning as we continue our look at Romans chapter 12.  Have a great day in the Lord and remember each morning is an opportunity for a fresh start from the Lord.

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