Category Archives: R12- Chip Ingram study

Be the R 12 christian.

Week of June 24th 2012

 Romans 12

As we close our study of Romans 12 we should have a transformed sense of who we are as Christians. Now is when the real work begins. My prayer for all of you is that you would offer your whole self to our Father as a surrendered living sacrifice. Remember his promise for you and set yourself apart  when this world and this city seek to pull you into its ways. Be humble and know that God has given you a purpose, and made you special with skills and opportunities to serve him by lovingly serving others. Remember brothers and sisters that we are called to show the same grace, kindness and love that Christ has shown us. Even when you are hurting, do not seek revenge but forgive and bless those who hurt you. Keep in constant prayer and know that God is stronger than any evil. He loves you, he wants you and  he will never leave you.

 Father in heaven, Thank you for your grace over our lives when we don’t deserve it. Thank you for speaking to us and for the blessings we receive in the Spirit. We surrender ourselves to your almighty arms Lord and ask that your Spirit lead us to always live surrendered and set apart. Living with sober minds, serving others and supernaturally responding to evil. So that the world will see a love in us and know it came from you. All of these things we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

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When we look like Jesus.

When we look most like Jesus

“You are never more like Jesus than when you treat people in a way they do not deserve.”

What does blessing look like beyond forgiving? We are given 3 commands for our action of blessing our persecutors. We have to rejoice and mourn with them. It is certainly easy to rejoice with a friend or someone you love when something good happens in their life. In the same way we naturally respond with empathy and sadness when someone we love has been hurt in some way. We don’t rejoice and mourn with those we love because we are called to, rather we rejoice and mourn because we naturally respond in authentic love towards them. However, it’s not so easy when it comes to someone who has caused us pain. That is what Paul is calling us to do here. Rejoice and mourn with those who have hurt us. Imagine how you would feel if someone you hurt came up to you and showed you grace by giving support during a rough time in your life. Wouldn’t that be a blessing in your life?

The third thing to focus on when blessing our persecutors is living in harmony with each other. Chip Ingram brings up a very good point in this chapter. Living in harmony means being of  the “same mind”. Not being proud of ourselves or thinking more highly than we ought. We are not perfect and we should not act as if we have superiority.  Sometimes we are quick to excuse our faults but forget to do the same for others.

Blessing your persecutors starts with forgiving them with the same grace you have been given, and are shown in your actions of being happy or sad with them, and remembering that no one is better or worse than the other. We are all the same in God’s eyes. When we remember and do those things we will indeed look like Jesus.

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Blessing with forgiving

Week of June 3rd- 10th 2012

Romans 12:14-21

The last 5 weeks in “living on the edge” we have been discussing how we are called to sincerely love our brothers and sisters, honoring them and serving with enthusiasm even. Now as we begin the last section of the book we are going to address how we are called to love, honor and serve those who may not be our spiritual brother and have hurt us.

The first thing we have to do is examine our relationships and identify who hurt us. There are many different levels of pain and hurt and evil that we encounter every day. So in our R12 mindset and remembering that God trumps ALL evil let’s ask ourselves: What does it look like to allow the Spirit of God to give us the Grace to treat those who have unjustly wronged us the way Jesus would treat them?

The answers to this question will depend on prayer and forgiveness. Depending on the magnitude of the pain and evil in your life, I encourage you to seek the counsel of a Pastor, or trusted friend. Now on to forgiveness. How is it that we are to bless our enemies? The title of Chapter 22 poses a very good question.“Will you let Christ heal you?”

 Healing, forgiveness, and learning to bless those who persecute us is a three stage process. First we must have a true desire for God to forgive their sins. Then we have to make a choice to forgive them as God has forgiven us. Stage one is making a choiceto not desire revenge and to ask God to give them the same mercy you receive. Step two is where your choice turns into an emotional response of forgiving. It may take some time, But this process is where you will see the Spirit change you internally as you move closer into the third stage.

Lastly, Forgiven. When you have competed forgiveness of those who persecute then you will feel a sense of sincere joy when that person receives blessings. By this joy you will learn that blessing those who persecute you means praying for that person until the time when you find yourself feeling genuine joy in their presence.

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R12-Be the Church

Week of May 27th 2012

This week the subject is easy to understand but a little bit harder to apply and must be in constant practice. FocusPaul all throughout Romans 12 has been explaining to us where our focus should be; Surrendered to God, renewed, humbled, serving with love using our gifts, and being sincere never lacking fervor as we serve. That’s a lot to focus on and a little over whelming! You might be crying out to God saying “Father, How am I supposed to do all of this, I’m only human?!”

Let’s read verses12-13

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithfull in prayerShare with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.’’

Another word for joyful commonly used here is rejoicing. Here Chip Ingram is telling us rejoicing and being joyful in hope is focusing on the trust we have in God and what he has given us. Next we are to be focused on patience and persevering when we are stressed, or in hardship. God will use these times to test our faith, and help us grow as we gain patience by being faithful in constant prayer both for ourselves and others. This leads us to the last section. Serving others and loving them by sharing our time, our services, our home, our prayers and even our money when we see the need. We should be actively pursuing the needs of others and focusing on just beingin the Spirit of God. Chip ends the chapter by saying “Let’s stop going to church; let’s be the church!” 

Father,
We thank you for bringing us together so that we can feel your presence and love in each other. We feel you working in this group and ask that your spirit continue to dwell in us as we form a strong, supportive, loving community. Open our eyes when we are focused on selfish motives and fail to see the needs of others so that we can continue to serve with love as you have loved us.
With thankful hearts we pray, Amen

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You better check yourself…

Week of May 20th 2012

What is keeping us from experiencing authentic community?
Authentic community occurs when the real you meets real needs for the right reasons in the right way.-Chip Ingram
 
 

In past weeks we talked about not worrying about pleasing people and finding our self-worth in their approval. Several times now you have heard (or read) about how important Action is in serving God. We shouldn’t just say but actually do. Chip Ingram tells us in this chapter about a time when he was young and his pastor called him out on his misguided motive for serving. The general concept of his story is very common. We all want to be liked, appreciated, and recognized for a job well done, but all of those things are just self gratifying. We can’t be serving God, if in the back of our minds we really are looking for a pat on the back. In this chapter we have been challenged to check our motives by how we respond to not getting the pat on the back.

Secondly think about the verse we just studied last week. Being devoted in brotherly love and honoring each other above our self. Now read the verse at the top of the page. Never be lacking Zeal means never being lazy! Chip defines laziness as not doing what you know needs to be done, when it needs to be done. If we know that there is a brother or sister of ours who needs help but we are lacking zeal and fervor, because possibly we “just don’t feel like it” then how are we honoring them in brotherly love with the servant heart that we have been called to have in Romans 12?

It is important to keep these things in mind and do some self-evaluation. Here are some questions to meditate and pray on. Are you serving God passionately by putting yourself aside and focusing a loving heart on how you can help your brothers and sisters, and not what you can get out of it? Have you fallen short in being authentic in your community and need God to help you realize your motives? How will you apply this into a real, devoted, loving change in your community?
  
All Mighty Father,
We thank you for never lacking zeal or fervor when it comes to loving us. Show us how to make change in our lives and focus pure motives for serving you. Let your Spirit guide us to those who need our help, and give us the love to serve passionately; so that glory will be given to you and you only. In the Saviors name, Amen 

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How do you stay…

How do you stay in the Holy Spirit? What should  you do to keep focused in your doily life?

Romans  12:2- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your  mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 Some people would say you have to read the Bible every day, others would say you have to practice what you preach. Both of these answers are correct. In Romans 12 we are commanded to renew our minds daily as an act of worship and an effort to become closer with God, and the purpose he has for us; but it is also important for us to take what we learn from our time in scripture and apply it to how we live out our daily life. There is a third thing that is needed to keep us focused, grounded, and humble.Prayer. Thessalonians 5:17 pray  without ceasing. The time we spend in a conversation with our Father where we both speak and listen is so important. Our prayer life feeds our growth,shows us who God is and who we are IN him.

 There is a cycle that we get by doing these three things. We read and study the word of God. Then we pray with the knowledge of God’s power, wisdom and love from that word. Then it will show through our actions as we become more Christ like. It’s not easy at first but just like playing music or a sport the more you do it, the easier it will be.

But what if I do these things  and I still fail at being in the Holy Spirit?

First I will say…You’re not  the only  one. Because we are not God, we will fail. That’s why we have the sacrifice of Jesus. Also, you should keep in mind that our Father isn’t going to love you any less because you messed up. It’s what happens next when you realize you weren’t in the Spirit that counts. First; get back to prayer Praise,Confess,Thank, and Ask. Then get back into the word and reflect on how you might apply the scripture to your situation. Lastly, Just Do lt. When you leave your house and go to school keep that scripture in mind and put it to action. Share it with a friend,or write it down so you have it as a reminder. The more we apply our knowledge from scripture and prayer into how we behave the deeper our relationship with our Father will be. As a result, the stronger we will be in the Holy Spirit.

 

 

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May 21, 2012 · 10:41 am

R-12 Wk 1

Weekly Devotion 

             Week of Feb 19th 2012

Hey Everyone ! Starting today we would like to begin a weekly devotion to help us renew our minds throughout the week and keep everyone up to date even if you can’t make it on Sundays or Wednesdays.This email will also keep everyone in the loop with Crossroads events and prayer requests.Currently we have been looking at Romans 12 :1-2. We’ve talked about Surrendering our life to God.What that is and what that looks like.This week we are addressing why the Christian life is so difficult.
 

 Romans 12:2 says
“Do not Conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve whats God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will”
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“Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world”-The behavior and customs of this world are often self-indulgent and corrupting. Many Christians decide that most worldly behavior is off-limits for them. Our refusal to not conform to the worlds system however must go deeper than the level of behavior and customs. It must be firmly planted in our mind. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. It is possible to avoid most worldly custom’s and still be proud, covetous,selfish,stubborn and arrogant.Only when we let the Holy Spirit renew,reeducate and redirect our minds are we truly transformed.This week take time to think about what worldly things are keeping you from a closer walk with God. Recognize the battle that you as a Christian are facing today. Chip Ingram breaks it down like this,”Stop allowing yourselves to be molded by the influences and pressures of this present world we live in. Stop allowing Satan to dupe you, con you, use you, trick you ,promise you life and love and power through a seductive world system that will only deliver disappointment,defeat,depression and make you a slave to sin.” “But allow God to completely change your inward thinking and outward behavior by cooperating wholeheartedly moment by moment with the spirit’s renewing process”. 
So as you are going through your walk this week think about what worldly things you are conforming to. Then pray and meditate with God to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*New life Application study Bible, Zondervan
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram

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To Love and to Honor

Week of May 13th 2012

To Love and To Honor 

Authentic community occurs when the real you meets real needs for the right reasons in the right way.-Chip Ingram

God has called us to love sincerely. Last week we talked about taking off our mask and being real with each other so we can experience authentic community. Now let’s examine the two things that Paul calls us to concentrate on once we have taken the masks off.

Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
 

It’s pretty straight forward but this command is not easy. Jesus is the example.Jesus was truly devoted. He always put others before Himself. He was so filled with the love of God that it overflowed out of Him into all of His works. He met the real needs of those around Him by being devoted and putting them before Himself.In John 13 we read about Jesus finding a need to wash the feet of His disciples.  As they prepared to sit down for the passover meal Jesus did not pick a disciple to get a towel and wash everyone’s feet. No, Jesus was devoted to his disciples and loved them above himself and so He washed their feet and told them that now that he has washed their feet ;they are to go out and  wash one another. They are to do as Jesus did; love and serve each other with devotion and honor. Also, lets not forget His ultimate act of honorable devotion in love; His sacrifice so our sins could be wiped away.
 
So what does this look like for us as we build our authentic community? We have to keep that mask off, forget ourselves, and get out of our comfort zone .Take a look at what is going on around us and ask “how can I help serve my brothers and sisters by meeting needs they have, even if is at cost to me?” When we love and honor others by putting them first above our needs, we are showing God first hand that we love Him and just want to honor Him. Then the spirit will be fruitful in us and continue to bring glory to God.Did you take off your mask? Now, ask yourself how will I be devoted in love to my brothers and sisters by honoring their needs above my own? 

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Seriously…. Lets get real.

Romans 12-8-13

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

We now know what God wants (surrender); who we are ( saved through Christ), and what we are to do (use our gifts to serve with love). So now we just have to figure out how to take everything we have learned and actually do it with a sincere heart. Last week we discussed having authentic love for each other. Now let me explain further into what it means to be authentic and how it will bring us closer to our Father and to each other. Chip Ingram put it this way:

“Authentic community occurs when the

 real you, meets real needs, for the right reason , in the right way”.

                The real us is called to be authentic and pure; to meet the needs of others with devotion and humility. We need to be genuine and motivated by love; by being diligent, passionate and focused on humility, prayer and serving others.

At the root of  this we have to be honest , even vulnerable and open ourselves up to our brothers and sisters. Chip used the example of wearing a mask. We in weeks previous talked about false beliefs that we use to keep us secure with ourselves. These false beliefs are invisible masks that we use consciously or  subconsciously use to hide who we are from others.  We must be sincere . That means taking off our masks and truly being ourselves with our brothers and sisters so that they will know who we really are and be able to love the real us and not what we are pretending to be. If we do not we are being hypocrites that God will judge. A little hard to digest, but true.

That is why it is so important for us to be focused on sacrificing our lives and renewing our minds in prayer and scripture; so that we will be focused to serve with honest ,loving, authentic hearts in our community.

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me. O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

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R12-Living in love

Week of April 29th 2012 

Romans 12:9-13
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, 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. 
We are hopeless without the Love of Christ. Undeserving of the sacrifice of his life, but if we loose our life and die to ourselves we will gain everything in Christ’s love.

As Christians we know that there is nothing out of Christ’s reach or ability. Christ is a living example of how God wants us to live; with authentic, sincere love. In everything Christ did he showed love, compassion, and humility. In everything he did he loved sincerely.  And we are called to do the same. Romans 12:9-13, and John 15:12 are just two instances where we are commanded to love each other as Christ loved.

This isn’t an easy command, and we will need to work at it. We must continually pray for the Holy Spirit to be overtaking our thoughts and actions. We have to also focus and remind ourselves of the example of Christ’s life and how he loved. If we do these things and let Christ-like love come through our lives then others will see God working in us.

Our father knows when and why we forget to love others the way we should. We are all guilty of being selfish, defensive, or prideful. Let’s takes time right now to thank our father for his unconditional love, confess our sins of not loving others sincerely, and then ask our father to reveal to us how we can love others with real, sincere, authentic Christ- like love.
 Your Sister in Christ,
April Carmack

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram
Romans 12

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