Romans 12:9-13,15-16 Serving with Kingdom’s attitude 2
Romans 12:9-13, 15-16
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. … 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
The distinctive feature of the church is not found in its doctrine or rituals but in its culture of mutual acceptance and in giving honor. This culture enables her members to build profound relationships by sharing one another’s joys and sorrows. Her members are accustomed to recognizing one another’s strengths and contributions to the community. A healthy church perseveres in the midst of difficulties by contributing to one another’s needs in practical ways.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
The original text is translated as, “Let love be sincere and irrevocable”. Believers must exercise love because it is in our spiritual nature to do so, not just in wanting to repay a good deed. Believers must persevere to do what is right and what is meaningful and not to retaliate when wronged; as true love is irrevocable. “Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good” can also be translated as: hate what is evil and persevere in doing what is right and gracious. In doing so, we begin to grow in favor before God and men.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.
This calls for a deeper love as opposed to just being sincere and clinging to what is good. It is a love among people of like values system and life purposes: brotherly love. The word “brotherly” suggested a more profound relationship going beyond mere acquaintances. For such relationships there has to be a devotion or culture towards lifting up and honoring one another. Particularly, in the context of a church or people in the same organization, we must promote a wholesome culture of trust, of building up one another by giving honor. In doing so, we bring out the best in one another.
Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord
The original text is translated as, “make haste, do not hesitate, let the spirit boil while serving in the Lord.” This speaks of the Kingdom’s attitudes a believer must have when it comes to serving. We must not withhold our efforts and to maximise our time to serve the community: make haste, do not hesitate. We must serve with the heart beat and the passion of Jesus: let the spirit boil. In all that we do, we are accountable to God: serving in the Lord. In doing so, we maximise our time and resources and not giving in to idleness.
Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.
This talks about the attitudes believers must possess while awaiting their labor to bear fruit. The first attitude is to have genuine hope which is accompanied by rejoicing: Rejoicing in hope. Hence, we must not forget to rejoice in hope while we labor. The basis of our hope is found in God’s ordination for our success and His promise to help us overcome the difficulties that hinder us. If we endeavor to do what is right, we maximise our time on earth to fulfill what we are called to do. The second attitude is commitment and perseverance to tasks given to us. As believers put God above all their endeavors, God begin to bless in unimaginable ways. The third attitude is the believers’ dependence on God through prayer. Revelations and impartations of God’s grace are received through united prayer of the Christian community.
Contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
God has called every believer to contribute to the needs of the community and to serve one another. The saints here refers to the church community and loosely include those the church is trying to reach. The needs of the saints include basic needs like food, it also include giving assistance in their education as well as family counselling services.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Be deeply involved in one another’s life; that includes sharing another’s joys and sorrows. A fulfilling life must include a community that we can share life with without the fear of rejection or betrayal. The church must endeavor to be that community! The next phrase: “Be of the same mind toward one another” can also be translated as “be into one another” or “be into one another’s shoes”. It speaks of identifying with one another without being arrogant or snobbish; a total acceptance of one another.
1. To facilitate the growth of individuals, there must be the culture of building deep relationships and giving honor. The growth of the individual is the foundation of the growth of the church. The believer grows when he adopts the mindset and life goal of Christ; and when he acquires the ability to love (character) and the ability to influence (power) of Christ. In order to facilitate the growth of individuals, it is necessary to build a culture of openness where members are free to share their joys and sorrows as well as weaknesses without the fear of being despised: Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be into one another; do not be arrogant in attitude. It is in fellowship and communion at a profound level that hearts are transformed. At the same time, build up one another’s confidence by giving recognition to one another’s strengths: give preference to one another in honor.
2. To facilitate the growth of the church, there must be zeal in serving the community, be joyous in corporate worship and fervent in prayer. The growth of the individual will lead to quality growth of the church. In order for the church to grow, there has to be urgency: make haste, do not hesitate, and passion: let the spirit boil, among the members to build God’s kingdom. Members of the church must develop a passion in serving one another and the community. There must also be present a positive energy of hope expressed in explicit rejoicing during worship: Rejoicing in hope. A growing church will exhibit perseverance through difficult times accompanied by a culture of fervent prayer.
1. Seek out some people and tell them how much you appreciate them for their work. Give them honor and recognize their strengths and contributions.
2. Make empathy the goal without offering solutions to other’s problems. Learn to listen at an emotional level and identify with their joys and their sorrows.
3. In your service and commitments in church, serve with your utmost passion and enthusiasm as serving the Lord and not men.
Dear Lord, give me a heart that listens and identifies with the joys and sorrows of others. Help me to be generous in giving honor and appreciation to another. I thank You for giving me an opportunity to serve You and I will do my utmost in being passionate and diligent in my responsibilities. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.