Read Through Romans – Day 22

take thoughts captive

What kind of thoughts swirl around in your head?  Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?  You are a failure.  You have no friends.  No one cares about you.  You are all alone.

Who do you think is behind these thoughts… God or Satan?  I’m all too familiar with battling the lies that Satan whispers.  The lies he whispered to me, starting at an early age, were “You’re not beautiful.”  And these lies haunted me for a huge portion of my life.

God didn’t want me to believe these lies and after much pursuing, He finally got my attention by reminding me to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).  And that’s what I decided to do.  First, I went on a Biblical scavenger hunt to find the true meaning of beauty from God’s perspective.   Then, I typed up the verses and recited them to myself in the mirror, out loud, two times a day.  This daily practice transformed me.  My thoughts were taken captive as I wrote God’s truth on my heart. I began to see myself as God sees me. And God’s word set me free.  (You can learn more about my beauty war here.)

Today’s Romans reading encourages us to be transformed by changing the way we think.  Read Romans 12:1-8.

Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Read Romans 12:1.
    • What do you think it means to give our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice? (Romans 12:1)
    • Why should we give our bodies to God? (Romans 12:1)
    • Based on what we’ve studied in Romans 1-11, what has God done for us?  (Consider Romans 8.)
  • Read Romans 12:2.
    • What are we told NOT to do?
    • Who transforms us into a new person?
    • How are we transformed?
    • Why would changing your thoughts lead to transformation?
    • Read Romans 8:5-6.  What do you learn about your thoughts from these verses?
    • 2 Corinthians 10:5 says:  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  One way to take our thoughts captive is to evaluate them against Philippians 4:8.  How can you take your thoughts captive by using the guidelines from Philippians 4:8?
  • Read Romans 12:3-5.
    • Romans 12:3-5 introduce the concept that believers are the body of Christ.  1 Corinthians 12:12-27 explains this in more detail.  What did you learn about the body of Christ?
    • Based on these verses in Romans and 1 Corinthians, why do you think Paul warned us to not think we are better than we really are?
    • What do these verses tell you about your importance to the body of Christ?
  • Read Romans 12:6-8.
    • How would you summarize these verses in one sentence?
    • What gifts are described in these verses?
    • Do you know what your spiritual gift(s) are?  Ephesians Four Ministries offers a free spiritual gift inventory.  After completing the online questionnaire (which is 108 questions and takes about 10-15 minutes), you receive a report with detailed information on your dominant spiritual gifts.  You can then learn how to use your spiritual gifts here.
    • How can you use your spiritual gifts to serve the body of Christ?

How you think is important.  Using your spiritual gifts to serve others is important.  And you are important.  As a matter of fact, this is how you are described:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9

Be confident because you are fearfully and wonderfully made by your Father God.  Let Beautiful by MercyMe remind you of your value today.

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