Friday, May 17, 2013

Romans 12:9-21: Love is the Ultimate Goal

LINK: Romans 12 

BACKGROUND

Paul has just explained the importance of spiritual gifts. Now he is going to talk about demonstrating love in our relationships. 

The main passages of Scripture that tell us about spiritual gifts follow a similar pattern:  
  

Our spiritual gifts are the expression of living a sacrificial life, and our love, especially of our enemies, will be the evidence of it.  When we love, we are becoming more and more like Christ and entering into maturity in Him!


REFLECTION 

All Those Little Acts of Love
To give my life for Christ appears glorious. To pour myself out for others . . . to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom -- I will do it. I'm ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory. We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table -- "Here's my life, Lord. I'm giving it all." But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid's troubles instead of saying, "Get lost." Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home. Usually giving our life to Christ is not glorious. It is done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it is harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.
(An Address by Fred Craddock in "Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching." Leadership Journal. 1993, p. 200)
On my morning walk yesterday, I found Toyota car keys. There was a key chain with the name of a Toyota dealership in town. When I called the dealership, I asked if anyone ever asks about their keys being turned in. She told me that it did occur occasionally and to bring them by. I said that I would like to leave my name in case someone called before I brought them by, and low and behold, someone DID call for the keys. He had been running before dark. They went over his whole route but could not find the keys. 

It was just a small 25 cents on my part, but I was so happy when I was able to give the keys to the dealership so they could give them to the owner! 


APPLICATION


Is there a family member, friend, or even an enemy in which you need to show more love? What is one specific action that will demonstrate love to that person?



PRAYER


Because of Your great mercy, my only natural response can be to offer myself to You in little acts of love throughout my 24/7/365 existence. Teach me how I can demonstrate Your love to others. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.  
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