Series Note ~ In just the single chapter of Romans 12 the Apostle Paul gave believers a list of 39 things which are part of the Christian life which pleases God. This chapter is crying out saying, “If you name Jesus Christ as your Savior then please act like a Christian!” It is Paul’s “To Do List” for us. The key principle is that while you and I cannot change God’s character (who He really is) we have the clear potential to damage His reputation (what others think He is).
Scripture to Meditate On ~ “Therefore ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him’” (Romans 12:20a).
Comment ~ This passage is about meeting the physical needs of others—friend or foe. A close examination of Christ’s ministries while on earth will show that He almost always responded to physical needs before addressing the spiritual needs.
Related Passages ~ Consider the story of the Good Samaritan. “Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’ And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise’” (Luke 10:30-37).
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17).
While taking care of physical needs is important it is more vital that we point others to the only way they can satisfy their spiritual needs.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:47-51).
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
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