Summary: Message 33 in our exposition of Romans. This message continues our consideration of unhypocritical love as described in Romans 12. The focus of this message is the command to serve the Lord with diligence.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“The Pattern for Life and Love” -- Diligence
I. Receive the gift of righteousness
II. Apply the Gift of Righteousness
III. Place of Israel in the God’s Plan of Salvation
IV. Live the Gift of Righteousness
• Dedicate fully your body and soul to God’s service
• Renew your thinking in regard to the body. 12:3-8
• Renew your thinking in regard to genuine love
1. Renew you thinking in regard to the evil – continually be abhorring
2. Renew your thinking in regard to the good -- continually being glued
3. Renew your thinking in regard to the friendship love – warmly embracing as a dear family member
4. Renew you thinking in regard to the honor of one another – leading the way
a) Acknowledge Value
(1) Assign or ascribe value
(2) Apprehend value.
b) Affirm Value
I have come to believe that verse 11 is most likely the pivotal verse in all of these verses focusing on renewed thinking. In it we discover the Pattern, Power and Purpose of life and love. Here is this foundational trinity of renewed thinking.
• Renew your thinking in regard to diligence – don’t be lazy
• Renew your thinking in regard to the Spirit – boil over
• Renew your thinking in regard to the Lord – serving as a bondservant
Literally verse eleven reads…
“In the diligence not slothful”
“In the Spirit boiling over”
“In the Lord serving.”
The pattern for life and love is diligence not laziness. The power for life and love is boiling over by the Spirit not lukewarm by the desires of the flesh. The purpose for life and love is to please the Lord and serve Him not just viewing Him as our servant.
Our thinking must be clear about why and how we live this life and by what energy we live it.
Genuine love persistently and passionately (not lazy in regard to the diligence) pursues divine directives (serving in regard to the Lord)
in spite of discouraging difficulties
fueled by the energy of the Spirit (boiling in regard to the Spirit)
and the encouragement of the saints.
Many people have zeal and passion but for the wrong things and for the wrong reasons. Many people draw their energy from within themselves for themselves. Many people pursue their own agenda and serve themselves and view God as the servant rather than the Master. Genuine love persistently and passionately pursues divine directives fueled by the energy of the Spirit and the encouragement of the saints. We will be passionately pursuing these things over the next several messages.
This lesson focuses on the pattern of diligence not laziness and then we will focus on learning what it means to boil over in regard to the Spirit and what it means to serve the Lord after Easter.
5. Renew your thinking in regard to the diligence – don’t be lazy
The grammatical pattern established through this passage deviates a bit here.
It still starts with “in regard to the” but follows with a noun instead of a participle.
“in regard to the diligence”
“diligence” = speed, haste, zeal, passion, seriousness, urgency, eagerness, dedication, readiness
In regard to your dedication and service to Christ don’t be lazy. Diligence is the natural and expected result of conversion. That is what is so wonderful about a new Christian. They are eager and zealous about their new relationship with God. Us old timers sit back and smile as we think, “Just wait, you’ll soon be like the rest of us. I am here to tell you today that just because mediocrity seems to be the normal modus operandi after being a Christian for a while it is not the Biblical expectation. Diligence is the continual expectation of a faithful servant. Everyone hopes for a passionate employee; one who persistently demonstrates a passion for the work and consistently pursues the directives of the boss and objectives of the company. We hope for someone who sticks to the job and does it with persistence. Would God desire anything less?
The persistent and passionate pursuit of divine directives
in spite of discouraging difficulties.
We must renew our thinking concerning diligence. Love keeps diligent, zealous, urgent, and passionate about life in God’s service. Paul reminds us here that “in regard to diligence, genuine love is not sluggish or lazy.”
“sluggish” = shrinking, hesitating, backward, troublesome, sluggish, idle, lazy, indolent, not active, bothersome, lagging behind, slothful, (sloth like), slow and poky.
No matter how long we have been Christians, genuine love for the Lord remains zealous, diligent, passionate and ever moving toward kingdom objectives. We must continually be on fire for God. How zealous is your dedication to the kingdom.
Jesus called His followers to seek kingdom first above all. We must concern ourselves with issues of the kingdom FIRST; the restoration of righteousness in our own life and the community around us. We must focus our attention and direct our primary energy toward kingdom goals. Diligence has to do with pursuit of objectives. Without objectives and goals there is no way to measure diligence. You can’t measure progress without a destination. Unless going in circles is our goal, it doesn’t matter how passionately we spin in circles if we are no closer to our destination. If only we could only find the kind of zeal and diligence and dedication in the church as we observed these past weeks from the Olympic athletes. Hours and hours of tedious training! Years of dedication! A lifetime of concentrated effort and resources directed to one thing in life! Years of training for a mere moment of opportunity!