It's Thursday, April 12, 2018.  After writing for chapters on deep theological truths, Paul starts offering real practical advice here in Chapter 12 on how to live out the Christian life on a daily basis.  The believers in Rome were facing persecution and it would only get worse in the years to come!!! I think we will be well served to follow Paul's advice on how to behave as we face being a follower of Jesus in the post-Christian American culture in which we live today!!!  Chris Adomanis

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_Discuss a  personal experience when you were unfairly accused of something or treated poorly when your only goal was to bring good to a situation.  How did that make you feel? Who did your "avenging" for you?

PRAY
Heavenly Father, forgive us for sometimes taking things into our own hands.  It shows, in its most basic form, our desire to cast You aside and "play God" for ourselves.  Thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness and for being the only Perfect Just Judge. Amen

DISCOVER [Romans 12:19]
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
_Why do you think the Lord doesn't want his people avenging for themselves?  
_Definition of vengeance is "infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person; violent revenge".  However, can you think of ways that you have been "subtly" vengeful to people?  Is that any better, or is it still vengeance?
_ What do you think about worshipping and serving a "vengeful" God?  How do explain to non-believers the term "the wrath of God"?

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_Taking vengeance, even when it seems 100% justified, is sin.  Recall situations when you have done this and take appropriate action to repent and ask for forgiveness from those you've hurt.

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?
_Who in your life TODAY is the Lord prompting you to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
_Do you have someone in your life TODAY that challenges you (and you challenge back) to be an effective witness for Christ?