Our Changed Relationship to One Another – Part 3 [Reacting to Circumstances] Romans II Series  Romans 12:12-13
RECAP: OUR CHANGED RELATIONSHIP TO ONE ANOTHER [vs. 9-16] The Overriding Principle of Our Relationships (v.9) 1. Sincere Love2. Discernment General Attitude in Relating to One Another in Love (vs.10-11) 3. Affection4. Honor 5. Enthusiasm Reacting to Circumstances in Love (vs.12-13) 6. Patience7. Generosity 8. Hospitality Reacting to People in Love (vs.14-16) 9. Good Will 10. Sympathy 11. Harmony 12. Humility
HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN LOVE? 1)Reacting to TRIBULATION/HARDSHIP: PATIENCE. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (v.12) “Rejoice in hope”: Hope here refers not to an anticipation of good things on earth but to an assured expectation of God’s sovereign purpose for our eternity [= hope in God]. “Be patient in tribulation”: Joy of hope in God sequentially can sustain us through the tough time; patience means enduring/persevering hardship. “Be constant in prayer”: If hope in God is the source of joy and patience in hard times, constant devotion to prayer is a pipe that connects to that source.
24For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:24-27
HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN LOVE? How do we cultivate “patience” in our current hardship? Change the way you think about what is real—dwell on the reality of your hope in God. Change the way you approach life/hardship—turn your grumbling into rejoicing [= be cheerful!]. Change the way you face hardship—don’t deny/avoid it with a weak heart; face it head on with a strong persevering heart. Change the way you pray—don’t pray as a last resort or an afterthought; DEVOTE to prayer relentlessly.
Rejoice in Hope Christians [true believers] should be the most positive people in the world. We cannot mooch round the place with a dropping, hang-dog expression. We cannot drag our way through life, moaning and groaning. We cannot always be looking on the dark side of everything, as negative prophets of doom. No, “we exult in God” (Romans 5:11). Then every part of our life becomes suffused with glory. Christian worship becomes a joyful celebration of God and Christian living a joyful service of God. So come, let us exult in God together! - John R. W. Stott
HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN LOVE? 2)Reacting to THE NEEDS OF GOD’S PEOPLE: GENEROSITY. “Contribute to the needs of the saints…” (v.13a) The root Greek word used here for “contribute” is koinonia [sharing on common = fellowship]. We are to share our resource and material possession in loving one another as God’s family. What are the needs of God’s people? It starts within our local spiritual family but extends to the needs of brothers and sisters beyond us. We are to be generous in giving and contributing when we see a need of God’s people—this is true love in action.
34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Acts 4:34-35 19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 16:19-21
HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN LOVE? How do we give “generously” to the needs of God’s people? Acknowledge the Lordship of Christ over all your possessions. Resist all kinds of self-absorption—materialism, greed, rationalization, storing treasures on earth, etc. Be thoughtful in loving others and see a need. Share your resources and blessings to have fellowship with those who are in need.
HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN LOVE? 3)Reacting to THE NEEDS OF STRANGERS/MINISTRY: HOSPITALITY. “…seek to show hospitality.” (v.13a) Hospitality here does NOT mean entertaining guests with our best front. It means opening ourselves as well as our homes to STRANGERS. Why strangers? In the Early Churches, there was a huge need for traveling workers for the gospel [due to the lack of inns/hotels & problems and dangers]. We are to be hospitable not to impress our own friends but to reach out to the needs of ministry and strangers/Christian workers/missionaries.
HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN LOVE? How do we become increasingly more “hospitable” to the needs of ministry and strangers? Surrender yourself and your home to God as a living sacrifice. Give up idealism of impressing people with your hospitality. Open yourself up and open your home for the cause of Christ. Learn the joy of giving by practicing inventive hospitality.
God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. Randy Alcorn
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE 1.Draw your joy and patience from THE REALITY OF HOPE IN GOD through prayer each day. Change the way you think and the way you approach life. Devote yourself to prayer. 2.Share your resources to meet THE NEEDS OF GOD’S PEOPLE generously. Resist materialism/self-absorption. Be generous to those who are in need. 3.Seek eagerly how you can practice hospitality for THE CAUSE OF CHRIST. Open yourself up and your home for ministry. Love others/strangers though your hospitality.