Summary: Message 35 in our exposition of Romans. This message continues consideration of the characteristics of unhypocritical love from Romans 12 , specifically serving the Lord with gladness.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Gladly Serve the Lord with all Your Heart” Romans 12:11
As a response to God’s mercies through Christ detailed in the first eleven chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul calls for all believers to present their bodies to God’s service as well as their souls to God’s transformation. Paul urges all believers to resist the world’s attempt to cram them into its way of doing things and open their life to continual transformation as a result of renewed thinking. The rest of Paul’s letter then details some vital areas where we must think right if we are to constantly live right. Renewed thinking always precedes consistent transformed living. God gave us the Scriptures for our transformation not just for our information.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17
God’s true disciples not only hear but heed His word. Blessing and stability come from those who hear and heed.
I. Receive God’s gift of righteousness 1-5
II. Apply God’s gift of righteousness 6-8
III. Understand God’s gift of righteousness in relations to Israel 9-11
IV. Live God’s gift of righteousness 12-15
A. Get your thinking and living straight 12:1-2
1. Dedicate your bodies completely to God
2. Dedicate your soul to transformation by constant renewed thinking
So far, Paul’s letter has addressed several areas where our thinking needs renewed so our living can be transformed.
B. Think and live responsibility concerning the body 12:3-8
1. Realize the general design of the body 3-5
2. Exercise your specific gifting 6-8
3. Show genuine love for one another 12:10
a) Abhorring what is evil
b) Clinging to what is good
c) Loving one another with brotherly love of a family member
d) Outdoing one another in honor
C. Think and live diligent service for God 12:11
Here Paul zeros in on the central focus of life and love.
Its pattern - Its Power - Its Purpose
1. Regarding diligence – not lazy (The pattern)
2. Regarding the Holy Spirit – boiling, on fire (The power)
Paul encouraged a fervent, passionate service to the Lord energized by the Holy Spirit. Within every genuine Christian resides a nuclear energy source in the Holy Spirit. It is actually better than that because the indwelling Holy Spirit is a real person who feels and cares and is committed to come along side every believer just as Jesus walked beside and encouraged His disciples. Jesus promised “another” comforter or encourager like Him in the Holy Spirit. His presence brings whatever power necessary to carry out God’s specific directives for each person. He is your personal perpetual pastor to encourage and empower you in your spiritual walk. By an act of our will, we seek the continual fullness of the Spirit’s work in our life. In our seeking, in our searching, in our longing, we discover the things that block His life-giving river from flowing in and through us. In our seeking we also discover the things in our life that grieve Him. In our seeking we realize how we quench Him through disobedience and unbelief. The children of Israel did not enter into the fullness of God’s promised rest because of unbelief. We must first understand what he has promised to do and how we block His work in our life by our willful sin and unbelief. Then, by an act of faith we knock on heavens door with expectant heart and full assurance that God will do in and through us what we ourselves cannot do. Then, with a heart full of faith, we cry out to God and ask for His blessing and His fullness to actually manifest in and through our life. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened Ask and it shall be given. As individuals and as a church let us continue to seek, knock and ask for the fullness of God’s power to flow in and through us. Jim Elliot wrote…
Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. But flame is often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul? Short life? In me there dwells the spirit of the Great Short-lived, whose zeal for God's house consumed Him. Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
There are numerous passages which warn against mediocrity. Genuine love resists the tendency to get comfortable and find the path of least resistance but keep the fire for God burning. There are many things that could cause us to be on fire for God. Programs, reward, fear, threat, emotional appeal…
Only one will bring consistent eternal fruit – the passion and power that comes from full surrender to the Holy Spirit. The pattern of life and love is diligence persistent passion.