Associate minister Greg Ball urges us to reflect on our walk with God as the school term comes to an end. Are we offering ourselves to him as living sacrifices?
Can you believe that it’s less than three months to Christmas! Where do the days go? Where has the year gone? For those of us who organise our lives around school terms or university breaks, as another term ends and the holidays begin, let me ask all of us: How are you going? How is your walk with God?
I realise that not all of us organise our lives around school holidays or mid-semester breaks, but with the end of the year fast approaching, now seems as good a time as any for us to pause for a moment and take stock of where we are with God.
Paul, in his letter to the Christians in Rome, urges his brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer themselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (Romans 12:1).
Paul encourages his brothers and sisters in Christ to look carefully at themselves and see how they are living; not thinking of themselves more highly than they ought, but with sober judgement in accordance with the faith God has given to each of them. He reminds them that they are all part of the one body in Christ and each one has been given different gifts, which they are encouraged to use to serve the Lord, his people and even their enemies.
So let me ask all of us, how do you see yourself before God?
As another term draws to a close, it is such a joy to see the body of Christ here at St Aidan’s at work in so many different ways. We should take great encouragement from the way God has blessed us this year: many new people joining our different gatherings; the ongoing ministry to our children and youth through FunTime, Kids Club, KiC, Crest, Tiny Tots, Mini-Staks, Staks, Crew, X and SRE; the growth of our ESL ministry; and the introduction of the DivorceCare ministry, all of which have afforded people within our church family the opportunity to exercise their gifts and reach out to the wider community.
Paul lists so many ways in Romans 12 by which we can serve God, the Christian family and the community at large: Love must be sincere… Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves… Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you… Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn… If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:9–18).
Whatever we are feeling, as this term draws to a close, let us not give up offering our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; this is our true and proper worship. For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 13:36)