Summary: Teaching us to allow God to create in us the portrait that he desires in living for Him

The Brush Strokes of the Master Artist (Part 2 of 2)

Rom 12:13-16

Last week, we looked at how Paul described that we should treat each other as believers in Christ

We said that God is the Master Artist and He is trying to paint in us the brush strokes that others can see such as

• Geniune Love

• Consideration for Others

• Enthusiastic Service

• Patience in Tribulation

In vs 13-16, Paul identifies some other things that should be present in the canvas of our lives

Read Passage 13-16 / Pray

Notice now that Paul begins to describe how we should treat those outside the Church

Trans: Paul says people should see in our lives the brush stroke of…

1. Practical Hospitality (vs 13)

The word “hospitality” in the Greek is “philoxenia” and it literally means “love to strangers”

In other words, we should have in our lives the habit or practice of showing love to strangers

It’s easy to love those that love us – AMEN – but what about total strangers?

It may have been a while for some of you but not for others but do you remember what it feels like to visit a church for the first time?

You visit and feel like an outsider – a stranger – around a bunch of people who don’t know you and you don’t know them

People go to the church that is dearest to them and not nearest to them

True hospitality practiced in a church will draw people to want to come and stay

Proverbs 18:24 (KJV) “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly…”

Hebrews 13:2 “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it”

May we pursue the practice of pure hospitality in our everyday lives

Trans: Secondly, Paul says that we should…

2. Be Different (vs 14)

Listen, the normal emotion to exhibit when someone does you wrong is to do wrong back to them

That is our natural fight or flight instinct that kicks in – it’s what the norm is

But Paul here says for us to BE DIFFERENT

Bless them that persecute you and do not curse them

“Bless” here is “eulogeo” (U la gay O) which means “to praise, celebrate praises”

It is where we get our English word “Eulogy” from

“Persecute” means “to be mistreated”

What happens when we bless those that do us wrong or mistreat us?

• First, we exemplify the character of Christ

• Second, Prov 25:22 says “You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you”

Jesus said in Matt 5:39 “to turn the other cheek”

Abraham Lincoln was once being criticized for his attitude towards his opponents, “why do you try to make friends with them?” a colleague asked. “You should try to destroy them” Lincoln simply replied “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make them my friends?”

My story with Chris just this past week

We should be in the habit of blessing those who do us wrong

Trans: Thirdly, Paul says we should…

3. Be Understanding (vs 15)

We should practice understanding by empathizing with those around us

We can be very cruel at times to others when we don’t empathize with them in what they are going through

Did you know it’s all relative according to how God has wired you?

What seems like a little thing to you may be a horrendous thing in someone else’s life

It may seem illogical to you but then something you go through may seem that way to others

The key is this; it doesn’t matter how you see it but rather how the person going through it sees it and we should all practice understanding or empathy

Galatians 6:2 “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ”

Abraham Lincoln “I am sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip when it’s laid on the other man’s back.”

More people fail for lack of encouragement than for any other reason

Discouraged people don’t need critics…they hurt enough already.

They don’t need more guilt or distress piled on them…they need encouragement, they need a refuge

Someone who cares about them in the midst of what they are going through and not trying to tell them to get over it and move on

Ancient proverb says “I must first seek to understand and then seek to be understood”

We should practice to be more understanding of others and what they are going through

Trans: Lastly, Pauls says we should not just practice hospitality; not just be different; not just be understanding, but that we should…

4. Live in Harmony as One (vs 16)

NLT “Live in Harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”

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