Summary: Christians often wonder what God’s will for their life is. While we expend great effort in seeking God’s will, we often miss the obvious as contained in the Bible. This sermon looks at practical ways we can help fulfil God’s will for us to love our neig
What am I supposed to do? What is God’s will for my life? Have you ever wondered what God wants you to do with your life? Have you ever spoken with other Christians who say “I wish God would tell me what He wants me to do with my life, then I’ll do it!” Have you ever seen Christians paralysed in inaction, doing nothing, because God hasn’t told them what they are to do with their lives? - yet? Or have you been one of those ones?
But rather than seeking some special revelation, have you ever asked, “What does the Bible tell us to do with our lives?” Now I’m not saying that God may not have specific things planned for different individuals – but generally speaking, the Bible is full of the will of God for our lives. Many Christians get so hung up on finding a specific will for their lives, which is often elusive, they forget God’s clear commanded will in Bible.
MT 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
MT 22:37 Jesus replied: " `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: `Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (NIV)
Jesus summed up the law and the prophets with these two commands. The greatest command is to love. Firstly, to love God and secondly to love our neighbour. In some ways it is easy to love God. After all, He is perfect. He sent Jesus. God is very lovable! Not so our neighbour!
Tonight, we will be looking at some practical ways we can love our neighbours. A popular chapter on love is 1 Corinthians 13. But will not be looking at that passage tonight. Tonight we will look at Romans 12:9-21.
RO 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
RO 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
RO 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
RO 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NIV)
Now Romans was written to – the Romans! It was the centre of the world at the time, equivalent to New York or London. It was a crowded city of over one million people.
The first half of the book of Romans is doctrine, concentrating on salvation through faith in Christ. Then there are a few chapters on the place of Israel in the history of salvation. The last five chapters concentrate on practical living. This is where we will be looking tonight. This section on practical living starts with Romans 12:1-2.
RO 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 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 what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
In verse 2 we see there is a reference to the will of God, and how to find it! It is found by not being conformed to the world’s behaviour, and by renewing our minds. What follows is how to practically renew our minds. It involves a change in our behaviour, in which we fulfil the will of God for our lives. Paul even re-iterates Jesus’ command we have just looked at.