April 21

Live the Gospel

Romans 12

            KEY VERSE: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

n     Romans 12:2


Society constantly exerts enormous pressure on all of us to adopt the value system of materialism. Paul understood that the world wants to squeeze us into its own mold. But God has a different plan! He invites us to resist the world and allow his Spirit to give us the power to live by his holy standards.

Paul recognizes that such holy living does not happen simply because we want it to happen. The secret lies in submitting our minds to the transforming power of the indwelling Christ. Grace, and grace alone, saves us from conformity to the world.

But when by the grace of God we are able to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” to God, he is able to use our example to attract others to embrace the mission of Christ. I have seen this happen in our local church.

For more than a decade our church has invited missionaries to share their faith with our people. Over and over again we have witnessed with our own eyes, and heard with our own hearts, the testimonies of men and women who are sold out to God. We have been divinely inspired by the examples of ordinary folks like ourselves who have found in Christ the transforming power to live by Kingdom standards.

The result has been that several of our people have been moved to offer themselves for missionary service. At one point Keith and Dianne Byrd, both educators with good positions, were co-chairs of our Missions Team. Now they are in Kenya where both are teaching at Highlands Bible College. To do so they had to give up the values of our society and embrace the values of the Kingdom of God. Several other adults in our church are headed toward the mission field as their minds are renewed and transformed by the power of God.

Another result of the influence of godly missionaries is the increase of our concern for missions. People care more, pray more, and give more. Our church is now assisting nearly 20 missionaries in different parts of the world. We are sending mission work teams to love and work in Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, and Russia.

In February our people responded to a goal of $100,000 in Faith Promise giving by believing God for more than $110,000. Last year our people gave about
$98,000 for Faith Promise missions work, as well as paying 100% of our apportionments.

Why is this happening to our church? God has been using the examples of people who are “living the gospel” to transform the lives of others. Seeing that happen should motivate us to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” so that he can use us too.