A group of children were asked a list of questions and you can guess the questions by their answers….

The future tense of “I give” is “I take.”

The parts of speech are lungs and air.

The inhabitants of Moscow are called Mosqitoes.

Define H2O and CO2. H2O is hot water and CO2 is cold water.

Most of the houses in France are made of plaster of Paris.

The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 opossums.

The spinal column is a long bunch of bones. The head sits on the top and you sit on the bottom.

We do not raise silk worms in the United States, because we get our silk from rayon. He is a larger worm and gives more silk.

One of the main causes of dust is janitors.

The four seasons are salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

The climate is hottest next to the Creator.

Syntax is all the money collected at the church from sinners.

In spring, the salmon swim upstream to spoon.

Iron was discovered because someone smelt it.

In the middle of the 18th century, all the morons moved to Utah.

A person should take a bath once in the summer, not so often in the winter. 

We hear answers like this and we say, “Ya gotta love ‘em”

Often we say, “Ya gotta love ‘em” because we are being a bit sarcastic but Jesus made it clear we needed to love people always…

Loving one another is something we give “lip service” to it is one of the most effective ways that we are able to allow the world to know we are followers of Christ.

John 13:34,35

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

God is love, joy, peace, and so much more and when we walk this way we are truly walking as children of God 

There is so much the world wants us to focus on, worry about as if God isn’t in control and the world wants to make it as God doesn’t love us the most….

But he does and he is just waiting for us to trust Him to relax and enjoy His love and to naturally supernaturally change the world around us..

There is a phrase the Lord gave me many years ago that I keep running back to to remind me of who I am. I am sure I have shared it here before and some may have heard it but I ask that you write this down and remember it yourself

We are not the victim of an anti-God society; we are the heroes the world has been waiting for to bring them to freedom!

Our love for God and people naturally does that but how do we get there? Let’s do a quick dive into Romans 12

How do we learn to live this way?

Romans 12: 1-2

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

It starts by recognizing that we are a gift to God….

Ephesians 2:10 tells us we are his masterpiece but our own flesh wants to get in the way and stop us from surrendering to Him and when we do we stop God’s great plan and design for our lives…

Jesus said (Luke 9:23) if we really want to follow Him deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow him.

While that sound very arduous and difficult it is actually a joy. You see everyday we pick up stuff that is bad for us, attitudes, arrogance, wounds, rejection, unforgiveness none of which will bring us joy, love, peace, success, fulfillment…Jesus is saying and Paul is stressing here that if we don’t deal with this stuff every day then we will never fulfill God’s great plan and design and we will never experience His great love for us because all of the garbage of “us” is controlling our lives rather than the Lord! 

Surrendering ourselves to the Lord everyday eliminates “stinking thinking” and allows us to expect great things from God and from the people around us because our minds and hearts are free to believe God at his word rather than the circumstances of life controlling us.

Let’s keep going 

Romans 12:3-5

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

As every day we die to ourselves we give ourselves completely to Him…we keep pride in check, arrogance in check. We begin to see those around us as gifts God has brought into our lives to help us become who God has called us to be….every person is a gift to you…God places leadership in your life for correction, guidance, wisdom, and to show you Jesus in a very real way…when you talk about them or reject their wisdom and guidance you are only hurting yourself…God has placed them there for your good.

He has placed some in your life just to love you and build you up. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt and rather than valuing those in your life with that gift for you, it is easy to begin to devalue them then you will begin to miss out on the encouragement God gifted them with for you.

God has even brought people into your life that are not like you, they have different gifts which we will focus on in a minute but it is easy to see those different gifts as irritants because they don’t think like you or act like you but that is precisely why you need them in your life because they can do things you can’t and you can do things they can’t but that is necessary for the whole body to reach a broken world (engineers and producers gift of tongues)

You need people in your life that are not like you so they can

  • Knock off your rough edges
  • Help you to see the world through a prism of color rather than black and white
  • Help you to reach others that you can’t reach or are not like you
  • Help you to value all of God’s great gifts
  • Help you to fulfill your destiny because we need each other
  • Help you to understand the father’s heart better because he created all of these differences

Are you getting this?

Let’s keep moving because Paul further explains this in part

Romans 12:6-8

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

This is rather self-explanatory…

These gifts generally function with different personality types, different skill types, but each one is necessary to fulfill the plan of the Kingdom. Value the differing gifts, honor them, look for them in people as we need them in our lives and in every church. I believe because of the Holy Spirit, every believer has at least one of these gifts in them.

Each gift is valuable, each gift is important, each gift is needed for a body of believers to be healthy. Each gift should be honored….if it is not then you need to go back to the first few verses of this chapter and reread them…all of these gifts are necessary inside and outside of the church so the body can be built up and so that world can be brought hope and won for the kingdom…after all that is what we are all called to do!

Let me wrap this up with these last few verses

Romans 12:9-12

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Paul is telling us that if we get ourselves out of the way, if we value the people in our lives as gifts not problems or irritants, if we recognize our gift and the gifts in those around us then we will begin to understand what real love is and change the world around us.

When we play church, faking our love and/or our true relationship with Jesus, the world knows it and sees it but when our love is real, there is genuine respect for each other, the gifts, callings and we serve the Lord and each other with those gifts, knowing God is honored by that…unity happens and when the church is unified, we answer one of Jesus most important prayers

Father that they might be one even as you and I are one…John 17:21

When we don’t get ourselves out of the way we are turning our backs on God, we are not trusting His plan for our lives. When we don’t value the gifts in others, our leaders, our encouragers, even those completely different than us we lose out one God’s great blessings for us.

When we don’t live love, part of love is hating what is wrong, helping to change our culture and society standing against the things that will damage people and push them away from God but it is also putting away prejudice, lies, jealousy, envy, being willing to lay down your life so that others can see Jesus in you…People will not see Jesus….they won’t see him in the world, only in us

Every store you walk into people will see Jesus, every job you do people will see Jesus when you walk on your campus, people will see the real Jesus….full of love, truth, and hope