First things first

By Dr. John W. Lewis - Religion Writer

Romans 12:1 & 2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Are we more excited about the will of God or the work of God? The plan and purpose of God or the why of God? His ways or our way? How do we take it when our plans and service for God are not doing so well? What we prayed and hoped for turns out to be a flop. Too many of us get stressed out over uncontrollable detours, sickness and setbacks because we don’t understand first things first.

First things first is understanding that God is more interested in our personal growth in Him and His divine plan than our circumstances. Can you imagine a missionary who just can’t wait to get to his field of service but is handed one set back after another? What about a pastor who must be hospitalized for months? A congregation who loses their church building to a tornado. Maybe you are suffering right now, and it is driving you crazy. Perhaps you feel defeated, discouraged, and forsaken. The truth is it happens to all of us, but we must realize that God is taking care of business and that is first things first. The obtaining of the will of God for our lives.

It’s our reasonable service to suffer. 1 Peter 2:19 & 21, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps.” It’s our reasonable service to be offered as a living sacrifice. 1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

It’s our reasonable service not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our mind. 1 Peter 4:2, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lust of men, but to the will of God.” It’s not unreasonable in God’s plan for us to experience detours, sickness and setbacks, He allows these to come into our lives for the purpose of conforming us into the image of Himself.

Don’t ask why, just remember the will of God is more important than the work we do for God.

Anchor Baptist Church

456 Jamison RD

Washington Court House, OH

(740) 333-7777

By Dr. John W. Lewis

Religion Writer