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How to Serve the Lord - Evidence of the Transformed Life, Part 4 - Romans 12:1-13

Every Saturday, Pastor Mike and Sherry write our congregation a letter of encouragement as well an introduction for the sermon topic he will preach the following morning.  Below you will find the letter from April 13th, 2024.  To watch this sermon, follow this link:  


Grace and Peace in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. May our merciful and mighty God show through you the power of His presence as you walk in the fullness of His Holy Spirit. May He be seen in you as He uses your life to pen a letter of love and mercy to the world. When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth he said, “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3 NASB). May each of you be a literary masterpiece drawing others to the fountainhead of love and life.

In a world that seems to be filled with hate we must set for ourselves the goal of presenting genuine, authentic love to that world. Last week I shared with you the centrality of love that must define a true Christ-follower. When Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, he began by saying, “the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5 NASB). Love without anything hidden; love that lives loudly and out in the open is our objective. This happens as we Christ-followers learn His Truth and are transformed into Christ’s image by which we prove the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God. Genuine, Authentic love flows when we’re abiding in Christ and His Word is abiding in us and we seek to live in the fullness of His Spirit.

Based on Christ’s self-sacrificing love on the cross, we can define biblical love as a self-sacrificing, caring commitment that shows itself in seeking the highest good of the one loved whether we would deem them worthy or not. By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, you can choose to sacrifice your own self-interests on behalf of others with the aim that they will be conformed to the image of Christ which IS their highest good.

A love that is invisible, that stays closed off and guarded within the soul of any person is not what Jesus had in mind in John 13 when he said, “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another… by this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 NASB).  The kind of “love” that Jesus spoke of not only FEELS but GIVES, not only SENSES INWARDLY but SERVES OUTWARDLY. It is THIS kind of love that Jesus said would be the distinguishing mark of the Genuine Authentic Christ-follower.

It is said that when the Apostle John was well up in years that His benediction to the church was to admonish them to love one another. He would say, “Little children let us love one another since love is of God.” When asked why he would constantly repeat the same thing at the end of each meeting his reply was, “Because it is the Lord’s commandment, and if this only is done, it is enough.” I think that’s an amazing encouragement and worthy of our remembrance and repetition, since it is by our love that we will be known as His disciples.

Tomorrow as we continue with Paul’s letter to the Romans we will focus on verses 10-13. In particular, we will seek to understand what he means by, “not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11 NASB). Then, this week during our daily studies in “Gospel Gleaning” we will conclude our look at the Seven Feasts prescribed by God for the nation of Israel and the lessons we learn from them as they lay out for us God’s redemptive plan for mankind. At the end of that we’ll add the “mystery” that exists behind the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony. The response to this study has been fantastic, and I thank you all for your comments and questions. I shared this past week that when we conclude this study we will move into a study of the Book of Acts.

I’ll close this now and get it sent along with the “Listening Guide” for tomorrow morning. I hope I will see many of you in fellowship tomorrow. Come for Bible Study at 9:45 and then worship at 11:00. Thank you all for your many prayers and your incredible generosity as you support the works God is doing through this Church. May God pour out on you His many, many blessings.

“Little children let us love one another since love is of God. If this only is done, it is enough.”

All our love and service, Mike and Sherry





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