Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
In these opening words of Romans Chapter 12 , Paul moves in verse 2 from Body to Mind. The mind can cast a shadow or a light upon our body. “As a man thinketh so is he.” Proverbs 23verse 7 .
Don’t be a chameleon - be a caterpillar. A chameleon - someone who adopts the colours of his surroundings on the outside - wherever you put him he is like his surroundings. A jellyfish only fits the mould it is put into.
Don’t let people’s thinking and behaviour affect you. Demos has forsaken me - he loved this present age too much.
Caterpillar speaks of metamorphosis - a transformation takes place - it becomes the most beautiful butterfly - the colours are formed from within. Let the Holy Spirit in you colour your thinking.
Jesus, on Mount Hermon, was transfigured - the glory that was HIS shone out.
2Corinthian 3verse 18 . Only Christ can produce the colours of Christ’s character. If you copy other people, you can never achieve Christ’s likeness.
Let your mind be transformed. And the mind affects the body - the mind of Christ in you can make you a most attractive and colourful character.
God wants these two things - body and mind. Then we can know things - then we can be blessed by what Paul mentions next.
You can know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The promises are offered to those who have made the commitment. You present your body and HE will renew your mind.
Then we come to - having a right attitude to ourselves - Love your neighbour as yourself. Loving yourself is right and legitimate.
Do we love ourself in a right and healthy way? We have to if we are going to minister in a right and healthy way to our neighbour. And remember, that most of our Christian work is with people - and not just for people.
A wrong attitude to yourself can mean a wrong attitude to those around us. If you are going to think rightly of others - you MUST think rightly of yourself.
We have different gifts. There is NO equality among men - this is a very modern notion.
We are not all the same - except to say that we are all sinners.
We have different gifts - resources - contacts - backgrounds - abilities - talents - opportunities - and God gives these to different people.
He creates varieties in snowflakes - grasses - and people. Don’t think more highly of yourself - don’t overvalue your importance and prestige. “Put your arm in a pail of water - take it out - and see what mark you made and how much you are missed.”
And don’t think too modestly about yourself - “I could never do that” - when asked. Think rightly and soberly. But also - my hand doesn’t have to think about what to do - it just gets on with what it was designed to do.
“There is something I can do - that is something I can do and should be doing it.”
It was the man with the one talent who buried it - never do that!
When God gives a gift - or gifts - use what He gives you. When God calls, He equips - just put all that you have at His Disposal.
If just one part of the body does not function properly - the whole body is affected - one little tooth - one little toe. What does God want me to do? Then I’ll do it.
Assess yourself properly - and use your gift responsibly.
We receive through the grace given.
Prophecy - to give a word from The Lord.
Ministry - lit - ‘deacon’ – service – just serve – be a good faithful servant.
Teaching - the applying of truth to the hearts of men.
Exhorting - to encourage people - we need people with the gift of encouragement.
Giving - if you are in a position to give - do it with liberality. Generously. Don’t be niggardly or mean - let it flow.
Leadership - ruling - do it with enthusiasm.
Showing mercy - do it with cheerfulness - make them smile - (the opposite is 'reluctantly').
Develop your gift - work at it - like music - practice your scales.
Paul is so physically practical here. Don’t be casual in your faith.
Our behaviour and attitude reflect our allegiance to Jesus.
We are living under all kinds of pressures today - will our faith stand the test?
We see here that The Bible does not present us with abstract theology - this is no intellectual exercise - GOD is interested in life - and in the way we live our life now - in The Kingdom. And this Word certainly directs us in the way we live our life.
As we read through these verses, we see God’s plan unfolding. This is how we are to respond to The Gospel. This is how we are to be faithful disciples - and it is all very down to earth.
“Loving Father – these words are so practical – help me to use the various gifts You have given to me – may these gifts and ministries be used to help others and strengthen those who may be in need. In this hurting and broken world, send me out with love and light and healing – in Jesus Name. Amen.
"Today's Little Lift" from
Nothing But... (2 Kings 4:2)Read Article »
Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "Word from Scotland" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.