For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about community in the body of Christ. In view of God’s mercies, in view of His acts of kindness and compassion, we are to respond a certain way. Paul is exhorting the body to understand their service in His Kingdom. There is an encouragement to use our gifts and then to understand the attitude in which we use those gifts. Romans 12 gives us seven motivational gifts. We are all called to serve, and as we serve, our gifts will manifest through the motivation in which we serve. For some, they are motivated to serve through giving. They have a heart to give, so they serve in the body through a motivation of giving. Others are motivated by leadership, and they may serve in the nursery through that motivation. It is important to realize that what we have is from God and what we have been given is to serve others. We are not to confuse our gifts with service. We are all “called” to serve, we just serve through a diversity that manifests through our motivational gifts.
This last week, we talked about the attitude in which we are to serve the body. Paul exhorts us to never be lacking in our zeal but keep our spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. We are never to be lacking in our passion and pursuit of His Kingdom. We keep our passion by being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithfulness to prayer. We are people of hope. Colossians 1 tells us that our love and faith spring from the hope we have in Christ Jesus. My hope is in Christ—his finished work on calvary. My hope is found in the righteousness of Christ and the love that he has for me. My hope is found in the promises that God has laid out clearly in His Word. This hope sustains us in affliction and moves us to faithfulness in prayer. When these three things are present in our lives, it helps us to never be lacking in our zeal but to keep our spiritual fervor as we serve Christ. This passion undergirds the sincerity of our Love. Paul exhorts us that love must be sincere. Sincerity is genuine love without hypocricy. This does not mean we do not mess up or that we do not fall short, it simply means that I have a heart to be sincere. I long to live a life of sincerity or genuine love. The sincerity of our love is played out in three things: our devotion to one another, the way we honor one another, and our heart to be hospitable one to another.
Devotion is the idea that we are bound to one another as family. I am devoted to you because you are a part of me and I am a part of you. Because of this, I am committed to you and your well-being. Devotion is always in the present state. Devotion is a commitment to the present, an ongoing active state with no end. Sincere love also manifests in honor. The truth is, honor is value. When I honor someone I place extreme value on them. Our treatment of all things will be in accordance to the value we give them. Our value is nothing short of the shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Finally, the sincerity of our love is manifested in hospitality. Hospitality is simply the ability to make someone feel right at home. Hospitality requires that we are other-oriented; it is the ability to prefer others over ourselves, and to lay down our lives, our comforts, our wants, and our desires in service for those around us.
Romans 12 is a great exhortation to live life in community. We respond to community in view of God’s mercies, his acts of kindness and compassion in our lives. In view of all that God has done for me, I will serve the body through my gifts. Where there is need I will do my part to supply that need. Why? Because we belong to each other, I am not my own. When I serve through my motivational gifts, I participate in expressing the totality of God’s grace through all His hues and colors. The attitude in service is to never allow our zeal for the Kingdom to wane, but to keep our spiritual fervor while serving the Lord through joyful hope, patience in affliction, and faithfulness through prayer. Our zeal will manifest through the sincerity of our love expressed through our devotion to one another, the honor we place, and the hospitality we give.
I look forward to this journey with you!!