Tom Scott - 17/03/2013
e-study for March 18, 2013
Saint Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that gets slighted by other dates on the calendar. Easter, Christmas, and the 4th of July are the bigger holidays, while going green gets swept under the carpet. There are passages of scripture that get treated like that too. Most of us remember the words of John 3:16, Genesis 1:1, and Psalm 23, but how many of us remember the words of Romans 12:9. Paul says that love must be sincere. Warren Wiersbe stated, “Love is the circulatory system of the spiritual body, which enables all the members to function in a healthy, harmonious way.” If we want the world to accept the fresh start that God has to offer, then we need to love one another sincerely. Here are five questions to help you reflect upon the message from Romans 12.
1. Several years ago there was a song that proclaimed that they were looking for love in all the wrong places. Some people seem to do that without even trying. The church was created to be a place of love. Jesus issued a new command that we were to love one another. What are some places that you went searching for love and did you find it there?
2. When we hear the command to love one another it brings to mind that some people are easy to love and others not so much. 1 John 4:20-21 tell us that we must love our brother if we are going to be able to love God. Who do you find it hardest to love in your life right now? Is it someone in your family, a past friend, a fellow church member, or a co-worker who has taken advantage of you?
3. The second half of the sermon talked about the fact that love must be evident. This is what Paul is trying to drive home in the last thirteen verses of chapter 12. He offers lots of practical suggestions on how to let our love be evident to others. The first grouping of suggestions centers on the need to be devoted to one another in brotherly love. In Galatians chapter 6, it tells us to do good to one another as we have the opportunity. Why is it difficult for some people to be devoted to one another in brotherly love when it comes to the church?
4. A second grouping of suggestions centers on the need for us to live in harmony. In verse 18 he says that we need to live in peace with one another as far as it is possible for us. People coming to church often have enough chaos in their life. They are looking for a place that is filled with the spirit of peace that comes from the love of Christ. The Greek word for church is one that means common bond or family. What does it mean to you right now to live in harmony with others both in the church and in the world?
5. The third grouping of suggestions centers on the words of verse 21. We must overcome evil with good. Matthew 5:43-44 tell us that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Sir Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” These words of Paul are meant to spur us on towards love and good deeds. We need to figure out how to do as much good as we can to overcome the evil that is in our world. What are you doing right now to overcome evil with good?
Hope you have a great week in the Lord. Next Sunday we will start a new series entitled, “It’s Empty.” Looking forward to a great Palm Sunday!
A PLACE TO LOVE
Romans 12:9-21 March 17, 2013
Introduction: Finding a place where we can experience authentic love is difficult for some people. Jesus had in mind that the church was to be one of those places where people would exhibit sincere love for one another. Paul talks about this in our third segment of Romans chapter 12. With the fresh start we have received from God, we are to love one another as Christ has loved us.
I. Love must be sincere.
A. Some people are hard to love. 1 John 4:20-21
B. Some people are easy to love. John 13:34-35
II. Love must be evident.
A. We must be devoted to one another. Galatians 6:10
B. We must live in harmony. 1 Corinthians 12:26
C. We must overcome evil with good. Matthew 5:43-44
Conclusion: All of us have experienced those moments when the church has been anything but a place of love. This morning I am asking you to join me in making this a place where sincere love wins the day. Let’s raise the standard of true love so that others might experience the fresh start, which we have received through Jesus Christ.
Key Thought: If we want to overcome evil with good then we must have a sincere love for one another.