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Summary: Romans 12:9-21 lists some qualities that the Lord looks for in the lives of his followers. Applying, practicing and perfecting these qualities is what the Christian life is all about.

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Title: Practicing the Principles of Romans 12 in 2012

The good Lord by his grace and mercy has given us a new year. A new year, a new start, a new beginning. A new year is a time to look at our lives and see where we need to make changes and improvements. Our lives are in a constant state of change. If you don’t think so, go back and look at your baby pictures. The question is are we changing for the better. Are we bitter or better, meeker or meaner?

There is no better time to make changes/improvements than the start of a new year. Today is the day of salvation the Bible says. We don’t have to wait. We don’t have to put it off. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today you can improve your life so that the rest of your life can be the best part of your life.

Someone has said and I believe it to be true, “Be content with what you have but never with who you are.” We can all improve in some area of our lives. We can all change for the better.

Q - What areas of your life can you improve upon? As we enter into a new year I want to challenge you to think about some areas in your life where you can change / improve. Changes/ improvements in your personal life, in your r/ship with others and in your r/ship with God.

For the Christian the Word of God is our text book on how to improve our lives. It teaches us, guides us, and shows how God wants us to live.

Romans 12 lists some qualities that the Lord looks for in the lives of his followers. Applying, practicing and perfecting these qualities is what the Christian life is all about.

Read text. Romans 12:9-21

Some of these qualities listed here you may feel you are doing alright with already; some of these qualities you may have to work on to become better at. We can improve in all these areas. The Lord will help us as we do so.

These are requirements for Christian living. Qualities the Lord looks for in our life. Qualities that must be there as his followers.

There are some 20 qualities listed here. I’ll cover a few and you can study the rest on your own. They can be broken down into 3 categories: areas we can improve upon in our personal lives, in our r/ship w/others, our r/ship w/ God.

The first listed here is areas that we can improve on in our own personal lives.

1. Possess and practice a genuine love (v9)

Let love be without hypocrisy. (NKJV) Love must be sincere (NIV)

What does this mean? It means don’t just tell people you love them show them. Love is a verb that requires some action.

It means seeing your brother in need and help meet that need.

It means if you say you love God you will love others also. It means you can’t say you love God whom you have not seen and hate your brother whom you can see. That’s hypocritical.

The greatest quality in the life of a Christian is love. 1 Cor. 13 says, "And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Of all the qualities that a Christian can possess love is on the list above all the rest.

Not only is it the greatest quality in the Christian life, it is also the fulfillment of the greatest commandment. Jesus said the greatest commandment is, ". . . Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. "

This is an area that certainly all of us can improve upon. We can all love God and others more w/ a genuine/sincere love.

Someone will say well I can’t love others the way God wants me to. I have good news for you. You can’t, but he can.

He will give you the love you need in order to love. Romans 8 says that God has deposited his love in us by the Holy Spirit. The day you were saved not only did you receive Christ in your life but you also received his Spirit and with his Spirit came his love. He filled you with his love enabling you to love him and others the way he wants you to.

If you are not as loving as you ought to be it is because you are not living your life filled with his Spirit. One of the qualities God’s Spirit wants to produce in our live is love. He can only produce that quality as we seek to live our lives filled, lead, controlled by his presence and power.

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