Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK SEVEN
ORBIT – DAY TWENTY EIGHT
Hello and welcome to another Orbit – the devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Each weekday we look together at a little bit of the Bible, and ask how we might be able to apply it to today. Please do tell your friends and family about these daily readings if you think they’d find them helpful.
BIBLE READING – Romans 12: 11-13
If you haven’t heard yesterday’s Orbit, you might want to start there. Over the course of a few days, we’re going through this brilliant but very dense passage of Paul’s instructions to the church. He’s giving them some great advice on what it means to live as followers of Jesus. Here’s the next little bit:
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
In the first part of this reading yesterday, we saw how fundamentally important it is that we love one another as followers of Jesus. This is the bedrock of the life of the church – if we don’t have love, we don’t have very much at all.
But there’s lots more to build on that platform – lots of things to think about if we want to grow as people and as a church. Paul basically presents a list of virtues or good attitudes to aim for; ways of thinking or behaving that are in step with the Holy Spirit.
He starts by using two unfamiliar words to describe the same idea – zeal or spiritual fervour. Essentially this is about passion – for God and for his kingdom. Paul is saying: stay hyped for the things of God. Make serving God the thing that you’re most excited about in life.
Then he talks about having joy in hope. Being certain about the eternal future that God has promised, and also the fact that he is already remaking the world for the better. This is great news – and we should feel joy about it.
Paul goes on to say that we should be patient in affliction – which means that when suffering comes, we have to learn to endure and persevere through it. That isn’t easy, but it’s helped a lot by the next item on Paul’s list: being faithful in prayer. Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers straight away, perhaps because he wants a long-term relationship with us; not a short one-off chat. So he invites us to persevere in our prayers.
The final two things Paul adds here are about how we relate to other people. As a church we should share what we have with those who are in need – starting with the people on our doorsteps. And finally he invites us to practice hospitality: to open our homes to others – when it’s not against government restrictions to do so – and to show kindness by feeding and sheltering people in need… and not just our friends.
Passion, hope, patience, prayerfulness and hospitality. What would our lives look like if we lived them by these rules. How might our church be transformed if this was what we were known for. This is what love looks like in action.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
God I thank you for Paul’s words in this passage, and for the reminder to put love into practice. Help me to know how to do that; point out opportunities and remind me of situations that allow me to show love to the people around me. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
Passion, hope, patience, prayerfulness and hospitality. Although a long list like this might feel overwhelming, we don’t need to grow in all these things at the same time. Choose one of the things on this list today, and ask God for an opportunity to grow in it. You don’t need to wait around for a miraculous occurrence – you could just choose to start. Share your passion, start praying for something, or find a Covid-safe way of showing kindness to others. Find a way to put love into action today.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!