My husband is a preacher so I am always hearing sermon ideas and outlines...or maybe he thinks I need a lot of preaching to! Anyway, he shared this one with me as our devotion the other day and we are trying to apply it to our life. I give him credit for the thought and outline, but I added my own 2 cents:) Many people wonder about God's will and if they are in it or if there even is a perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 says, "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."
The Bible is clear that there is a perfect will of God. This is an exciting and fearful thing because I desire to be in it and I fear to miss it! There are 3 things every Christian can do to prove the will of God.
First, we must have a Life of Sacrifice. In finding the will of God we have to sacrifice. Sacrifice money to give to others when you don't have much. This is part of His will. Jesus was a giver and He always gives back to us "a good measure pressed down" what we give to others. We asked our children if they would rather us buy them more presents for Christmas or give a specific amount of money to someone in need so they could buy presents. After some discussing, they decided to give money to the family and sacrifice more toys. Within the same hour that my husband gave the specific amount of money, someone came up to him and said "God told me to give you this money." It was the same amount of money we just gave away! What a lesson for our kids in giving sacrificially!
Second, we must have a Life of Serving. We must serve others with our time and our talents. There are many ways to serve God but one area we are focusing on is hospitality. Usually I want my house spotless before anyone comes over, but with 3 boys I have become content to just have the table cleared. Tonight at church Pastor Steve preached on hospitality and how it is biblical to have others in your home..."breaking bread from house to house". We had our wonderful neighbors over for lunch (they have had us over many times!) and it's amazing that we have gone through a lot of the same things and are able to encourage each other in the Lord. Ask the Lord how He would have you to serve Him this year.
Third and last, we must have a Life of Saturation. We must saturate ourselves in His Word. Let it renew your mind. When we come to God with OUR plans, OUR ideas, OUR sins and then we read His Word we see what HIS plan and HIS will is. Then we must conform our mind to His Ways. This takes surrender and dying to self which are both hard. But nothing beats being in the perfect will of God where there is peace and joy and vision!
So for the new year I challenge you to live a life of sacrifice, service and saturation!