Romans 12

Value by Faith

There is a famous Bible quote about the subject of faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

Sort of cryptic isn’t it?

In a nutshell, it says that faith is the tangible part of the expected, what you don’t have yet. It is the thing that you can sort-of touch, the thing that you have some control over.

In reading today I noticed that we are to measure our value by our faith.

As God’s messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. – Romans 12:3

Hmm, I find that a strange statement… measure my value… I was under the impression that we are all equally valuable to God. After all, Jesus died for me. That means that God placed the highest value on me he could when he allowed his son to be sacrificed in my stead. So I guess that means that this passage in Romans is referring to something other than personal worth. But what?

I think the section that follows it brings that to light. Notice the operative words that I’m italicizing below.

We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.

God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. – Romans 5b-8

Everything that follows (all the way through the end of the chapter) is in the context of others.

How is your faith lived out? What is your value? How do you know how much faith you have?

It is in the context of how others benefit from it.

Prophecy is for the benefit of others. Teaching is for the benefit of others. Sharing means others benefit. Leadership is helping others get to where God wants them. And the list goes on; honor others, be helpful, be hospitable, bless, share in joy and sorrow, live in peace, do good.

Why?

Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. – Romans 12:11

Because when we do this we are actually serving the Lord.

Father, may I live in such a way as to be valuable. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Faithful one, are you valuable to others? Jan

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