Summary: God has given the gift of His Agape love to believers to be "exercised" in your daily life in Holy Spirit-filled ways.
In the Western World, so many people eat and exercise to be “Heart Smart”. It is far more important, though, for followers of Jesus to exercise God’s Love than it is to watch what you eat. We looked at Romans 12:9-10 over the last two weeks: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
Today God adds 8 Critical Commitments to a HEART-Y EXERCISE plan in verses 11-13. Let your Christian life be: “not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”
Heart-y Exercises strengthen your heart of Love for Christ, for the Body of Christ, and for those outside of the Body of Christ. Strap yourself in…hope you didn’t stay up too late last night and had your caffeine this morning!
1. In your Christian life you should “Not be lagging in Diligence”: Don’t be lazy in loving others, but quick to love others, just as God has loved you. Run toward the opportunity to show others the love of Christ, not away from it. Jesus had said in Matthew 25:26: “You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.”
2. Commit to being “Fervent in spirit”: BE “boiling over” with enthusiasm and energy for Christ and love for others. Not COLD for Christ but energetic for Him and others. The word was use to describe boiling water and fermenting grapes. We are not to be lukewarm with Christ’s Spirit, “HOT” with His Spirit. Revelation 3:15-16 gives us an example: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot ; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
3. “Serving the Lord”: Very simply it means Submitting to, obeying, and serving the Savior. If you have been born of His Spirit, it IS a privilege to be devoted to serving the Savior and others; What great Love He has had for me! How could I NOT serve Him? Jesus said in Luke 16:13: "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." We serve Him WHOLEHEARTEDLY because we belong to Him! Serving is not burdensome for Believers, it is a privilege!
4. We also exist, “Rejoicing in Hope”. (chairo-to rejoice exceedingly: You remember this word, associated with chara-joy, eucharisteo-give thanks, eucharistia-thanksgiving, charis-grace. Hope for the Christian is joyful and confident expectation of what God promises; we can trust implicitly and entirely in the TRUTH He has given to us and we TRUST HIM because His track record is impeccable. He is God, and we are NOT! We rejoice in His Grace GIVEN and anticipate what He will COMPLETE in us. We live in Joyful confidence for the future present and the future on account of God’s past history, not our own.