Here Is Your Outline – Live It

Romans 12:9-21
Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable. Bless those who persecute you. Bless them, and don’t curse them. Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be arrogant, but be friendly to humble people. Don’t think that you are smarter than you really are. Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble. As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” But, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.

Message: Here Is Your Outline – Live It

In the early days of manned space flight, I remember sitting glued to the television screen watching as NASA preparied for launch. One of the things that fascinated me was the pre-launch sequence. They would go through a checklist called the go no-go where they would call for a check of all of the various systems necessary for lunch. Each monitoring station would report with either a go or a no-go. If there was a no-go then they launch would be delayed until that issue was fixed. Only when they had a clear go, on all systems, would they be clear for launch.

Well, sure, if we are going to be flying way above the atmosphere, we would want to make sure that everything was in top shape and fully ready before we put our faith in this piece of machinery Right?
I mean, if things go wrong, the consequences could put our lives at risk.
Aren’t our lives at risk by the choices we make everyday? Hey! Just living is risking our lives.
But there is something even more important than our lives.This life is but a moment in time.We are like the grasses of the field that flower for a short time and then are cast into the fire.
How is it with your soul?We live in a world that is broken and if we are not careful it can cause cuts and bruises to our souls – that eternal part of us.We have our eternal life to guard. Fortunately we have this “Operator Manuel” that we call the Bible.And we need to read it through over and over and become familiar with what it has to say.
Bible study is like astronaut training. We have to become familiar with the strengths and weakness.Where to look for trouble spots and how to correct them.
You have probably seen a TV show or movie where some untrained person is suddenly put in the position where they have to land the plane. That only works in fiction.
My point here is the only way to be prepared is to prepare! If the only Bible you know is what I or someone else has told you, you are about as ready to live the Christian life as I am to pilot the Mars Lander. We need to be prepared by reading the Bible for ourselves.
I know, sometimes we look at the Bible and think, “I could never read all of that.”The truth is that it is really simple. Just like eating an elephant; you take one bite at a time. There are lots of good reading plans out there (check the internet) that break the Bible into daily “bite size” bits.
I used one from the Gideons, that was designed to let you read the whole Bible through in a year.The first time through, I’ll admit was just a – read and check it off my list as done – sort of reading. It wasn’t “study” as much as it was complete the task. Maybe that wasn’t the best attitude or the best reason, however it got me into the Word.
Since then, I have used study plans that concentrate on parts of the Bible such as the Letters of Paul, the Psalms, Proverbs, or the first five books of the Old Testament.
As you read, ask yourself questions such as; who, what, when, where, why, and how. Ask what did this mean to the people who were there? What does it mean to me now?
Maybe you can join a Bible study group where you can share questions and ideas with others. Studying with others is great, however, keep it mind that it is YOUR life that you are training for, so you must take the responsibility.
Maybe you can join a Bible study group where you can share questions and ideas with others.
So, after you are trained, you are now ready to fly!
A daily devotional time will help you to “top off your tank”.
A prayer will help to set your navigation – your flight plan for the day.
Now you are ready for the “Preflight Checklist”
Our reading from Romans lays out a plan for living almost like a “preflight checklist” for life. (You were probably wondering when we were going to get into the scriptures today!)
1. Be sincere in your love for others. CHECK
2. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. CHECK
3. Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. CHECK
4. Never give up. CHECK
5. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. CHECK
6. Let your hope make you glad. CHECK
7. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. CHECK
8. Take care of God’s needy people and welcome strangers into your home. CHECK
9. Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. CHECK
10. When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. CHECK
11. Be friendly with everyone. CHECK
12. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. CHECK
13. Make friends with ordinary people. CHECK
14. Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. CHECK
15. But try to earn the respect of others, CHECK
16. and do your best to live at peace with everyone. CHECK
17. Don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.” CHECK
18. “If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty,
give them something to drink. CHECK
This will be the same as piling burning coals
on their heads.”

19 Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good. CHECK
Maybe we should go through this “preflight checklist” as we start each day. Imagine how different our day would be.
Also, remember that despite what a popular bumper-sticker says, Christ is the pilot – not our co-pilot. As a friend of mine has said, “If Christ is your co-pilot, you need to change seats.”

God bless

  • Visit my devotions blog

All content (except quotations) ©2011 Thomas E. Williams

Originally posted Monday, August 15, 2011


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