Summary: If we let the world have its own way, we could reach a place where we think that we can’t do anything, therefore we don’t do anything. We could reach a point of all talk or thought, and no action.
Title: The Christian Checklist; Do You Measure Up?
Scripture: Romans 12:10-21
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.
A couple of years ago, I visited one of those famous bookstore chains, looking for some idle reading material. My father was in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at a nearby hospital and the waiting was going to stretch into several days or even weeks. So, I went in search of a collection of material with which to fill my time.
I walked into this bookstore that is, by comparison, about 10 times bigger than our church sanctuary. There were books everywhere. I was overwhelmed by the rows and rows of books, CD’s, and games! But, what interested me more was the number of books they had to help people improve themselves in various areas. Those ever popular so-called “How to” books, or what some may call ‘self-improvement.’
They had books to help you get in tune with your emotions. They had books to control your anger, books to improve your marriage or your single life, books on how to raise children, books on how to eat right, books on how to lose weight, books on how to sew, how to knit, how to fix cars, and the list went on and on and on.
They also had a very large “Christian books” area where I was able to obtain enough material to last a month of waiting. I bought the books and returned to the hospital. But, you know, since that day the large number of books devoted to people’s problems continues to stick in my mind. And, not only that, but some of the titles of the books really stuck in my mind.
I recently visited a well-known book retailer on the internet. As a whim, I thought I would prepare searches that started with a number and followed by “Easy Steps.” I was amazed at the number of books and video material available that has “Easy steps” in their titles. You know, 12 easy steps to cut hair or 11 easy steps to great looking toes. Well, here’s some real titles that were based on those searches and taken at random (I edited some to make them shorter):
10 Easy Steps to a Higher SAT Score
How To Play Popular Piano In 10 Easy Lessons
How to Stop Smoking in 9 Easy Steps
Making Divorce Work : In 9 Easy Steps
8 Easy Steps to Coach Yourself to Success
Total Health and Beauty in 8 Easy Steps
Road to Riches Through Real Estate in 7 Easy Steps
Teach your child to read in 6 easy steps
Become an Expert Car Buyer in 5 Easy Steps
5 Easy Steps to Psychic Self Defense
In almost any bookstore, mall or large store that sells books, videos, and DVD’s, there is always a large section on ‘self-improvement.’
Well, I brought a book along today, that wasn’t found in that section of the bookstore. I brought along a book today that has been on the best-seller list many times. I brought along a book today that has been the number one source of enrichment, encouragement, and self-improvement: THE BIBLE.
The Bible has within its covers the simple ways and means to aid in the growth of any Spirit-led, born-again individual. And, in today’s verses we see just that. In today’s verses we see a ‘Christian Checklist’ that asks each one of us the very simple question, Do We Measure Up?
Verse 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Being devoted to one another has lot’s of implications, the greatest of them all being, of course, love. When we are think about or talking about one another, or doing something for others, this phrase, “Being devoted to another and honoring another” should be the ‘filter’ which all of our speech and action has to pass through. If it is the filter, then it can take out those rumors, it can sift out those wrong thoughts, it can block those selfish actions.