“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
This is a command. Jesus knows He's leaving. The standard of how we are to love each other is how Jesus loves us.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2
This is what we're here for.
Live with the intent of glorifying God.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world (world thought).
Very rarely do you see good news in the news.
It's very easy to slide into a world view.
Satan loves to stifle our witness.
Transformation is the same word used for a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Two distinct creatures.
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." Romans 12:3
When we judge people we're missing the point. Stay humble.
We don't deserve to be here either. My testimony should be look where I was and look where God has brought me.
Each of us has a role to play.
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8
Have you figured out your role?
All are efforts of love.
Be a living sacrifice.
It takes sacrifice to serve, to teach, to lead, to give.
Teachable moments -- openings.
Making most of the gift by making it who you are.
I'm a Jesus Follower!
Examine ourselves to know who we really are. Where we are.
What is lacking? Self evaluate.
It is easy to coast in our faith.
God wants us to participate.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:9-10
Our faith can't be just like "how ya doing?"
Church meant to be a growing community. If it's not growing it's dead.
Be devoted to one another.
Look for opportunities.
Fail forward. Learn from you failings.
Self evaluation isn't comfortable but it's necessary.
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Romans 12:11
What's it going to take to get us excited about Jesus?
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:12-13
These are not suggestions.
"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.[a] Do not be conceited." Romans 12:14-16
People need you to be with them. They need a Halleluia from you. They need you to be with them emotionally.
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:17-18
Where are you on the scale of love?
4 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8