Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

Worthy lives: walking in newness

March 19, 2024

Daily Scripture

Romans 6:1-5, 12:1-2

Romans 6
1 So what are we going to say? Should we continue sinning so grace will multiply? 2 Absolutely not! All of us died to sin. How can we still live in it? 3 Or don’t you know that all who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore, we were buried together with him through baptism into his death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too can walk in newness of life. 5 If we were united together in a death like his, we will also be united together in a resurrection like his.

Romans 12
1 So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Some tried to discredit Paul, saying, “Let’s keep sinning, so there can be even more grace.” Paul said, “Absolutely not” (literally in Greek “May it never be!”) He said baptism linked Christian believers with Jesus’ death and resurrection. In chapter 12, he called the Roman Christians to offer themselves to God as a “living sacrifice,” not conformed to “this world.” “‘This world’ is literally ‘this age.’ The ‘renewing of your mind,’ then, includes thinking as citizens of the coming new world.” *

  • In the ancient world, most people had made a sacrifice to some god. That nearly always meant killing an animal in the right temple or shrine. If that were your background, how would you need to shift your thinking and acting to respond to Paul’s call to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice”? In what ways are you willing to put yourself, your life, “on the altar” to live in a new way each day, offering yourself to God?
  • Scholar William Barclay drew an important idea for how we seek to share our faith with others: “In modern times we may have tended to stress the fact that acceptance of the Christian way need not make so very much difference in a… life. Paul would have said that it ought to make all the difference in the world.” ** Jesus’ grace delivers you from all that is hurtful, outwardly or inwardly, and gives you a fresh start. How can living in that newness shape a life worthy of Jesus’ gift?

Jesus, to choose you as my “Lord” is to say, “I want you, not my broken habits or instincts, to rule my life.” Thank you for giving me the promise of a new, better way to live. Amen.

GPS Insights

Justin Burnett

Justin Burnett

Justin Burnett serves as a Missions Engagement Program Director for Resurrection's Leawood campus. He is a Missouri native who graduated from Drury University with a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management. Recently, Justin moved to Overland Park, Kansas to attend Saint Paul School of Theology, answering God's call to professional ministry. In his spare time, he enjoys nature, travel, film, and music—​singing with the Leawood modern worship team on occasion.

In Romans 6:1-5 and 12:1-2, Paul writes about the spiritual renewal that is birthed from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul, then commonly referred to as Saul, had experienced this renewal while on the road to Damascus—an encounter so profound that it led to his use of the name Paul instead. Similarly, in the Old Testament, Jacob had encountered God in a powerful way and received a new name, too (Genesis 32:28). This is remarkable as one’s name is very personal and closely tied to reputation. Only a transformational encounter with our loving God would lead to a change like this! Today, remember that no barrier can keep us from our pardoning God’s care (Romans 8:39).

Expressed another way, the triune work of God’s grace is seen throughout Romans. This concept was taught by the father of Methodism, John Wesley. It is through the prevenient grace of God that we are made aware of our failings through the gentle correction of the Holy Spirit, while the justifying grace of God—through Jesus—reconciles us with the family of God. Sanctifying grace then empowers us to love God and the things of God. Paul addresses this transformation of the heart when he writes: “So what are we going to say? Should we continue sinning so grace will multiply? Absolutely not! All of us died to sin. How can we still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2, CEB).

Salvation, moreover, is a gift of God’s grace, which is received by faith alone (Eph 2:8). While the Apostle Paul later describes good works as the fruit of this transformation, they are attributed to God’s original work in the heart lest there be any confusion about salvation being a divine act (Eph 2:10). I’m thankful to be justified by the gift of Jesus Christ, while God’s sanctifying grace leads me to serve as the healing hands and feet of our Savior in this broken world.

It is this work of the Holy Spirit that allows us to love unconditionally and desire the things that please God. In a troubled world, this can be expressed beautifully through the Fruit of the Spirit. This week, will you join me in filtering our words and deeds with this standard? May every action be loving, joy-giving, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and an expression of self-control (Galatians 5:22). Whenever there is a mismatch with this standard, let us seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in forming a holy response.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (p. 9891). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. In Galatians 1:4, Paul called “this age” “the present evil age.”
** William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, p. 85. Paul spelled out how “all the difference in the world” can look in Romans 12:9-21, a passage worth your time to read.