the journey is doing a sermon series on engaging with god and with others.
and last night was SO good.
we read romans 12:3-21, which is addressed to the church.
so in this section, when it is talking about loving...it addressing loving the church, because if we cannot love those who make up the church, then how could we ever expect to love the world?
romans 12:9--"let love be geuine. abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good."
so often we go REALLY conservative and tie the sin to the person...and hate both the sin AND the person. or we go REALLY liberal and excuse the sin because of loving the person. but this verse clearly calls us to something completely different---loving the person, and hating the sin thats destroying them. its hard, but it ties into another point in a journey sermon about having a combination of truth and love; most people are all truth and little love...or all love and little truth. as representatives in christ, we need to find the balance of the two.
romans 12:13--"contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality."
when it says "the needs of the saints", the passage is referring to the needs of the church. as darrin said on sunday, "the church is supposed to take care of the church." if someone needs a place to stay, offer your home. if someone needs a meal, cook for them. if someone needs financial help, reach into your pocket. this is a call to selflessness. its not just something to talk about...it is action that we are commanded to take.
and yet, none of this can be done on our own accord. we can only accomplish such love & selflessness through the grace and mercy of christ.
1 john 4:19--"we love because He first loved us."
we can only learn to love in such a way when we ourselves realize that though we were god's enemy...though we mocked him....though we are covered in depravity....he chose us. he became flesh and provided the new (and ultimate) exodus.
2 corinthians 8:9--"for you know the grace of our lord jesus christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."