Summary: This is the other "love chapter" of the NT (1 Cor. 13 being the main one). Paul’s commands or exhortations in these verses are really ways of expressing love to God and to fellow human beings.
Romans 12:9-21 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, 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. 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. 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." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Intro: In a survey of 4-8 year olds, kids share their views on love. But what do little kids know about love? Listen to what they said.
- "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
- "Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
- "Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you don’t yell at him because you know it would hurt his feelings."
- "Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
- "Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
- "Love is if you hold hands and sit beside each other in the cafeteria. That means you’re in love. Otherwise, you can sit across from each other and be okay."
- "Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redbird."
- "I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
- "When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." [Borrowed from Steve Shepherd, sermoncentral.com]
-People have all kinds of ideas about what real love looks like. One thing’s for sure: Love gives! God so loved the world that He gave…. The Bible also tells us that we are able to love because God loved us first. So as we get to know who God is, and align our lives with Him, the more love should be expressed in our lives.
-Romans 12:1-2 speaks of offering ourselves to God. Part of that means putting others before ourselves. After Paul gives the call for his readers to offer themselves entirely to God, and points out the variety of gifts God gives to people to use, he takes the rest of Romans 12 to give practical advice about what it looks like to love God and love man. He is talking about real love. He calls it sincere. It must be real! If it is insincere then it carries ulterior motives and is still all about ME! Insincere love (or selfish-love) is all about what will benefit me or mine. I may try to act graciously toward others, but in my heart I might be more concerned about myself than anyone else. Paul says, “Keep it real! Don’t fake it!”
-So 1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter in the Bible, and describes love as patient, kind, not rude, not self-seeking or puffed up with pride, does not envy, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and never fails.
-These words in Romans 12 could possibly be called the love chapter, part 2. When I first approached this part of the chapter I just thought Paul got kind of happy with the one-liners on how to live for God. But as I looked closer I began to see a thread linking all of Paul’s admonitions together. Each of Paul’s commands or exhortations are really ways of expressing love to God and to fellow human beings. My plan of attack is a little different from Paul’s, however. I’d like to start with a few thoughts about loving God.