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Summary: Paul writes and reminds us of the simple fact, "love MUST be sincere". It cannot be fabricated or fake, because if the love of Christ resides in us then that is what we will show to others.

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Romans, Part 38

Romans 12:9-21

Introduction

- Paul begins his last portion of this letter by directing our attention to living

- We are called to live dedicated to Christ; fully and completely in all things

- Caution against living with versus living for God …

-- Living with … A casual acquaintance, treating God like a roommate

-- Living for … Completely devoted, you exist to show others who He is

- This evening we are going to focus on “Love in Action” and our response

- Stand and read Romans 12:9-21 / Pray

Point 1 – What is Love? (9-13)

- Question: How do you show love towards one another?

- God gives us incredible guidance here on how we should spend time loving

- Consider the greatest love you have in this world; do you love it like you should

- Or, is it treated casually, something that is convenient when you need something

-- This is really where Paul is headed in this important section of scripture

- V9: Love MUST be sincere (NKJV says, “Let love be without hypocrisy.”)

- It must be sincere, it cannot be fabricated; nor can it be forced upon someone

- When we honor one another above ourselves, it is then that we show total love

- There is an important aspect here we must be aware of; service to others counts

- When we serve, we are giving to one another our time/skills God has given us

- It is not a matter of spending time with others; but fulfilling their needs too

- This is incredible practice for the future because we will forever serve Jesus

- If our eternity will be in constant service to Christ, we ought to know how to here

-- Where do we see this in scripture? Rev 22:3, “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”

- APP: We must live a life of service because of JESUS, not b/c of who we are!

- When we serve, we are exemplifying what God has done in our lives

-- It is the output (testimony), the witness of who Jesus is and how He’s changed us

- Being joyful in hope means that we continually look forward; anxious and ready

-- It is not wondering “what’s next”; but knowing we shall be with Jesus (promise)

- If we are to be patient in affliction we won’t moan and groan about the challenge

-- This is very difficult for most to do because misery loves company

-- We often bring others along so we can feel empowered over the tough situation

- When we are faithful in prayer, we live a life devoted to fellowship with God

-- 1 Thess 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing; to have constant communication

- Sharing what you have and practicing hospitality are necessities; not options

-- It is what brings us into a closer walk with God; and in turn other people

- TRANS: Asking the obvious question … How do we live this life?

Point 2 – How do I live this way? (14-21)

- Question: Is it difficult to live a life devoted to others? Why?

- Live a life that blesses even your enemies; give them praise and comfort

-- Spend time with those who need a shoulder to cry on; sacrifice your time

- Offer your neighbors the greatest gift ever … your Savior and His love

-- Get your nose out of the air and spend time with those around you

- Is this easy to do? Maybe not; but if you never start you’ll never know

- We are called to live lives that show others who Jesus is; not in seclusion

- Do we look to get back at others because they spend time hurting us?

- Or, do we do everything possible to show them who Jesus is in our lives?

- IMP: It is a tough road to walk on; but one that Jesus walked to show us how

- The Lord says that vengeance is His; and He doesn’t need our help here

- We are merely called to literally … kill them with kindness; to go out of our way

- Look at the direction we need to take towards our enemies (Prov 25:21-22):

-- Feed our enemies – no one likes to be hungry, can’t argue with a full mouth

-- Give them something to drink – thirst is a powerful motivator (3 days = death)

- Critical APP: Basically, love them in a way that you would want to be loved!

- TRANS: How you live and relate to others is critical in your testimony (v21)

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