I Love You, Lord I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You-- O my soul, rejoice! Take joy, my King, in what You hear; may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.
The Hard Labor of Love Romans 12:9-21
True Christianity is characterized by both character and action • The concern in this section is the church’s witness to the world through the life of its members • Godliness, in the face evil, will disarm those who oppose the gospel as well as build up unity in the community of believers.
Key Principles • True love clings to what is good and hates evil • True love seeks the good of our brother, even at our own expense • Endurance, Diligence, and Hope • Sensitivity to People and their needs • The Christian observes a material need and meets it
Love is Hard Labor • Another way in which love is to be shown to our fellow human beings is that we are to bless those who persecute us! • The Christian responds to ridicule and rejection by speaking a word of blessing, rather than a curse. • It’s easy to pretend to love when everyone loves you, but what about when someone hates you and persecutes you.
Absence of Vengeance (vv. 17-21). • Is this the hardest labor? • Others are watching how we are responding to the evil that is being done to us. • We can’t control others actions and reactions, but we can control our own. • How does doing good to our enemies heap coals of fire on their heads?
We are called to repay good for evil, not in order to cause our enemy torment, but to bring him to repentance and restoration. • This is Genuine Love in Action! • This is hard labor – but – • 1 Cor 15.58 “Our labor is not in vain in the Lord”