Summary: While we are waiting for Christ’s return, we are to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ

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Rom 13:8-14 – Avoid the Nightlife

One of the more sobering parables Jesus told was the parable of the ten virgins

• Story of 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom to return

• 5 made the mistake of allowing their lamps to go out because of a lack of oil

• while they went to buy more oil, the bridegroom arrived and they were shut out of the kingdom

• they arrived back only to hear those terrible words from the bridegroom as they pounded on the door of the wedding banquet, “I don’t know you”

• the sad part about the story is at one stage these virgins all knew the bridegroom, they had lamps and they had oil indicating they had the Holy Spirit

• the parable finishes with a warning to all of us, “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return. Matthew 25:13

• Jesus is going to return, he is coming back and our section in Romans today is a reminder of what we are to be doing while we are waiting

Rom 13:8-14

• This is a continuation of what our response should be to the love God has shown us

Who likes to receive bills in the mail?

• Carol Loetje was sharing with us a couple of months back how good it felt to finally have the mortgage paid off after years of paying

• However there are some debts like the power and phone bills that we have to learn to live with each month

• Sometimes it’s a bit of a juggle over who gets paid when we overextend ourselves

• If you ever get in that situation, here’s a unique solution

• There was a man who had a unique way of paying bills. He was overextended and couldn’t pay all of them every month. One month, one of his creditors called him and demanded payment on a certain account. He said, "Look, the way I pay my bills is to put them all in a hat and pull five of them out. Now if you don’t quit bugging me, next month I won’t even put you in the hat!"

• Well there’s one debt we will never get to pay off – this is going to be around longer than the mortgage

• when you sign up for this one, its not just for 25-30 years, its forever

8Let no debt remain outstanding,

• Christians need to be faithful to pay off their debts

except the continuing debt to love one another,

• Godly Love is the radical force Jesus turned loose on the world with his death and resurrection

• You and I have been enlisted by Jesus Christ to impart this radical force on the world

• Suppose you have borrowed money from someone. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you bump into them - I owe them money – its an automatic response

• That’s exactly how we ought to feel about every one of our fellowman we come in contact with

• “I owe them” - my first obligation to that person regardless of who they are, is to love them

• so when we sign on to become a follow of Jesus Christ, we take on a debt burden – a responsibility to love one another

• at first glance this may sound like a burden, as we tend to think of love as only going one way, us loving others

• but when we realize we have 30 or 40 people loving us back, what we receive is much more than what we give, and we will have a much richer community

There are times thought when we may have to go into debt on our own for our most precious relationships

• If we want to save a marriage we have to be willing to go in debt for it!

• Raising teenagers doesn’t come cheaply in monetary terms or in love terms – it costs us

• The other person may be making such huge withdrawals on our love, they are causing us to run into serious debt

• In those circumstances, its important to realize we only have a limited supply of human love and that’s when we need to go to our heavenly father and ask him to give of his endless supply so the account doesn’t run dry

• That’s the only way the father in the story of the Prodigal Son was able to continue to love his son

• and it is the only way we will be able to love those closest to us in our times of distress

for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet,"[1] and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."[2] 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

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