Sermons

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1. Love must be based in God's reality. Love should not be hvpocritically Pharisaical. The unconditional love of God is enduring without exhibiting undue anger, irritations, or annoyance. Love has the courage to change the things it can, the serenity to accept the things it cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference. Love is kind as it builds others up since it is more constructive than destructive. Christ's love is full ofthe Spirit joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Love is not envious, resentful, or discontented. Sincere love accepts the fact that all God really wants us to do is to obey His will and give Him glory.

Love is not anxious to impress others, it is not conceited, it is not rude, it is not self-centered, it is not touchy, it does not bring up past offenses, it does not make a big deal out of others' misdeeds while still hating the sin, but loving the sinner. Love clings to what is good, true, lovely, pure, honest, praise-worthy, moral, upright and exemplary. Love bears up under any diffficulty. Love is ready to believe the best in each person and situation. Love's hope is fadeless without being fickle, nepotistic, tribalistic, prejudicial, cronyistic, cliqueish or selfish. (Rom. 12:9)

2. Be devoted to one another in brotherlv love. Be compassionate without being overly sympathetic, empathetic, or gullible. Be grateful without being a push over. Help each person to bear his responsibilities. Honor one another above yourself. Be discerning but do not become judgmental, overly critical or proud of your ability to know others' weaknesses. (Rom. 12:10)

3. Never be lackin~ in zeal. Be enthusiastic without being a fanatic, being uptight, or extreme in your ideas, actions, or outlooks. Let vour fervor be spiritual. Be holy without being eclectic, synergistic or distorted in your Christ-like perspective. (Rom. 12:11)

4. Be jovful in hope. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength. Do not rely on circumstances to go your way before doing all of the will of God. Do not be overly optimistic, but be confident in God's future plans, purposes, processes, promises, and priorities. Be patient in affliction. Learn to relax and allow God's sovereign will to work without becoming indifferent, complacent, or settling for second best. Be faithful in praver. Let your prayers reflect a growth in your maturity in all aspects into Christ. (Rom 12:12)

5. Share with God's people who are in need. Be objective in your giving without lacking compassion. Be generous without being extravagant, wasteful, stingy, or unwisely using God's resources. Practice hospitality. Accept people for who they are without being patronizing or condescending. (Rom. 12:13)

6. Bless those who persecute vou: bless and do not curse. Remember that Jesus and prophets endured great persecutions and so found themselves greatly blessed. Do not develop a matry's complex. Remember the song, "Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No there's a cross for everyone and there's a cross for me." Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, so send I you."(Rom. 12:14)


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