A Week in Romans 12: Being Like Jesus
If someone mistreats you because you are a Christian, don’t curse him; pray that God will bless him. When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Work happily together. Don’t try to act big. Don’t try to get into the good graces of important people, but enjoy the company of ordinary folks. And don’t think you know it all!
Romans 12:14-16 Living Bible (TLB)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the people many ways He desired those whom He would call His "sheep" to live. Turning the other cheek when life slaps us in the face(Matthew 5:39) is probably one of the most difficult examples He set for us to follow. However, He endured a most humiliating death on the Cross for us all. He was slapped, spit on and murdered for no other reason than to save those who believe in Him from sin. What we as believers can never forget is that He got up. He defeated death. The grave could not hold Him.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NLT
Those of us who follow Christ are referred to as Christians. Jesus did not give us that name, but it is derived from the title of who we belong to. God's Word teaches us to be Christ-like so that we may be presented to God the Father as people who believe in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us history of persecutions believers faced then and that many in the world still experience now. But God has also revealed in His Word that His story has an ending beyond our wildest dreams and imagination. We have a Savior!
We are to pray for those who mistreat us, showing the same humility Jesus demonstrated because as believers we are promised a future to look forward to. We are to share sorrow with those who weep. We are to rejoice with those who are happy. Our hope is in the Lord and we have been given the opportunity to share that hope by how we react to everyone.
We need not be impressed with those who esteem themselves or pretend to know more than they do. Jesus is the most important person we will ever know and His grace is everlasting. Christ hung out with ordinary people who were hungry for His righteous goodness and He fed them. As the story goes: There was plenty of food leftover after all of them were satisfied (Luke 9:17). We can trust Him to feed us too.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:13-14 NIV