Gang, passion is contagious.
If you're passionate about something, it's contagious. You know, I sat out there today watching people come in, and people come in, big old smiles on their faces, excited to be here. That's the real deal Christianity right there.
When somebody's happy. The Bible says, I was glad when they said, let us go to the house of the Lord. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. Too many Christians nowadays walk through life without any joy. They see serving God as simply a chore and nothing else. Find out how you can serve with enthusiasm today as Pastor David continues in Romans 12. With his teaching, serve with enthusiasm.
Here's David Magee. So we're in Romans chapter 12, and Romans chapter 12 gives a lot of really good, solid, practical insights into how to live as a Christian. And so, you know, in something like this, everyone in here can find something to apply to their life to become more like Jesus.
So with that, let's look. We wound up with verse 10 last week. We'll pick it up with Romans chapter 12, verse 10. It says, be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love and honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit and serving the Lord. Let's talk a little bit about these things.
We'll start with verse 10. It talks about being affectionate with people. We need to be able to express our care for one another. This is a very loving church and this is, you know, some people, the huggy church, you know, and people call me the huggy pastor.
And that's a good thing to express how much we care for each other and not a standoffish way, but an emotional way. And I understand for some of you, it's kind of a new thing. I remember going back months ago, you know, I was wandering around and somebody said, Hey, here, you know, this, this person's new and stuff. So, you know, I reached out and gave her a big hug, you know, and, and then she walked off and the guy said, well, it was an interesting time. And I said, well, is that, and he said, she was just explaining to me that everybody here keeps invading her personal space. And then you just kind of reached out and gave her a big hug, you know, and no, I mean, sorry. You know, I try to be sensitive if somebody, you know, but we should express our love for one another.
I mean, this is, this is the place, you know, we can't love each other and what hope do we have of loving people out there if we can't express it in here. And so Paul's talking about this and Paul, the writer of book of Romans says, Hey man, be kindly affectionate to one another and honor giving preference to one another. There's practical ways you can do that. Of course, those of you who serve do this in a very practical way. You prefer somebody else to have time and you serve and you give your time here so that they might be able to do other things.
And so that's a practical thing. And then in verse 11 says, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. In the new living translation, it says, never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. My father was a, taught me a lot of things. He's very hard working fellow. He'd get up early, go to work, stay late sometimes. And you know, as a young man, I didn't completely understand that. And one of the things I would say is like, dad, you know, you gotta go to work.
My dad would say, no son, I get to go to work. And I planted a seed in my heart at a young age that the, you know, work wasn't a dirty, nasty thing. It was actually a privilege and a responsibility. And so we need to understand and the Bible talks about how we're supposed to work and that we shouldn't be, you know, we shouldn't be lazy, especially in the things that we do for the Lord. Now I am big and the staff is big and excellence in ministry, not that we're putting excellence over serving the Lord or over vision or anything, but it has to be a consideration because you know, sometimes when people are doing stuff for church, they're like, well, that's good enough.
Good enough. Who are you doing it for? You're doing it for God, for the creator of this universe, then give it your best. Give it your all, do it enthusiastically.
Here's what Paul is saying. Here's the first life lesson to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift. In other words, if God has gifted you in some way and encouragement and given and serving some gift or talent, do it with your full enthusiasm and ability, because if you don't, it's going to be a squandering of the gift. And you've probably heard that, you know, what God has made you is your gift to you. What you do with your giftings is your gift back to God.
So I encourage you to develop your gifts, pour them out. And again, the Bible, it says in the New King James, it says not lacking in diligence. What's diligence?
Diligence is hard work. And understand gang, if you have an unbelieving boss who has to come to you and tell you not to leave work early or to get there on time or that you should be working instead of playing or on the internet or mouth and all you need to understand, you just blew your witness with your unbelieving boss. I wouldn't even mention your relationship with the Lord for a little while. See, because as believers, we should be a shining witness of what, of good stuff, working hard and coming in early and staying late.
Why? Because it gives us an opportunity to witness. And let's see if that happens. And maybe some of you go, wow, man, that just happened last week. Now I feel bad. It can give you an opportunity to exercise grace. If that happens, you say, chances are your boss is saying that to other people.
Okay. And those other people are going, well, it's, you know, I'm, yeah, I'm late, but it's actually my wife's fault that I'm late. And then, you know, or, or it's my husband's fault just because the kids, you know, they're blaming somebody else.
If it happens to you, you know, look at your boss and say, you know what? I'm sorry. I don't have any excuse and I will try to do better. I understand that I have dishonored you. And what's more important to me is I've dishonored the Lord.
So please, you have my apology. It's very different than what he would hear from somebody else. And in a way, that's an opportunity for you to give witness, but especially in these things that we do for the Lord, may we do them with enthusiasm with our whole heart, if you will fervent, passionate, everybody's passionate about different things. And it's kind of interesting to me that, you know, the things that we're passionate about, they tell a great deal. And I know that, you know, here, we're passionate about the Lord. We're passionate about ministry.
We're, we're excited about that. If you want to exchange that word, the reality is this is a good place to exercise our passion for the Lord. And that may be new for some of you. You may come in here and go, well, you should be very quiet. You should never clap your hands. That's just wrong. You shouldn't clap your hands from church or raise your voice.
No, no, no, no, no. But then that same person will go to a sporting event or a political rally or a NASCAR race, be hollering and hooting and clapping and yelling. And somehow that's okay to express your passion there, but you just can't do it in that whole life, death, heaven, hell, God thing. I'm passionate about my relationship with the Lord. I come in here, you know, the Bible says, clap your hands. All you people shout unto the Lord with the voice of triumph. That's scriptural.
Now I'm not saying you can't holler at NASCAR or holler at the TV while they're doing it or football or basketball. I don't have any problem with that, but we should be passionate about the Lord as well. Next life lesson, we should be passionate about our spiritual lives. We should be passionate about our spiritual lives. What part of our spiritual life? Every part of it.
Every part of it. We should be passionate about the church. Why? Because, gang, passion is contagious.
It is. If you're passionate about something, it's contagious. You know, I sat out there today and watching people come in and people come in, big old smiles on their faces, excited to be here. That's the real deal Christianity right there. When somebody's happy.
The Bible says, I was glad when they said, let us go to the house of the Lord. You know, I'll bring it up again. I do it from time to time, but the Disney characters in the Winnie the Pooh movie. There's Eeyore and there's Tigger. And Eeyore, if you've not seen it, he's just always bummed out about something. I mean, you know, the best thing in the world can happen and Eeyore is going to be bummed out about it. You know, Winnie the Pooh can get a big pot of honey and Eeyore is going to go, it's just going to go bad soon.
Too many Christians are like Eeyores and too few Christians are like Tigger. Tigger's always bouncing. He's passionate. He's enthusiastic. I want to be more like Tigger. I want to be less like Eeyore.
We need that Tigger thing. We need to be enthusiastic or passionate about our relationship with the Lord. We'll return to David's teaching in just a moment. First, I want to tell you about a special booklet that would be the perfect gift for any man on your Christmas list this year. The booklet is entitled A Father's Blessing and within its pages David McGee discusses the power and responsibility a father has in caring for his family.
This booklet can help men who have had poor relationships with their own fathers, as well as bless those who are just beginning their adventure into fatherhood. When you call today with a gift of any amount to cross the bridge, we'll send you A Father's Blessing as a thank you for your support of the ministry. Call today at 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. Experience the joy of biblical fatherhood with David McGee's A Father's Blessing.
Contact us today for your copy. Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to crossthebridge.com and click on the prayer button and you'll enter their name and if you put your name and email address in there I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones.
Please don't wait. This is so important. So please again go to crossthebridge.com and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world.
The whole book for the whole world. Now let's return to David McGee's verse by verse teaching in the book of Romans. First well rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.
Man there's a lot of stuff in there. The New Living Translation puts it like this. Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble and always be prayerful. Be glad for all God is planning for you.
Now here's the thing. You come to Jesus by His grace you can ask Him to forgive you of all your sins. You come to Him and then God and here's the great news God has a plan for your life. It's an incredible plan to live a life that Jesus said I've come to give you not just life I've come to give you life and life more abundantly. A better life a better way to live.
Okay so that's good news. God has a plan for your life. Bad news is you got no idea what that plan is.
You may think you do. To some varying degree your plan is not the same as God's. So as you go through life guess what you discover God's plan and it's a good one it's the best one but if you're like well no no no I'm all about my plan you're going to be frustrated as a Christian because there's going to be things in your daily living that you didn't count on or plan on. The Bible says this in Jeremiah 29 11 says where I know the thoughts that I think towards you says the Lord. Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope.
Man that's good stuff right there friend. God says I got a plan. I know the beginning I know the end I know what's around the corner and I even now I'm preparing you for what's coming. That's good stuff why because God is at work in your life Ephesians 3 20 says now glory be to God by His mighty power work within us He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we could ever dare to ask or hope. A lot of people paint God as this guy who just smashes dreams. No God is the dream giver in the Bible. He helps dreams to be fulfilled.
He gives pictures sometimes of what the future holds for people and gets them excited about it and then fulfills it. Life following God is an incredible adventure. Rejoicing in hope what is hope. Now understand when we use hope biblically that's a little different than the way we define the world in the everyday.
We say well hope like hope what like I hope it works out. No that's not the biblical definition of hope. Hope in the biblical definition I know it's going to work out.
I'm just not sure when. We refer to Jesus as the blessed hope. The blessed hope. I know that some point I'll be redeemed out of this earthly body.
I don't know when but I know it's gonna happen. Patient and tribulation. No. Now there's a phrase. Patient and tribulation. We have in our life we have these spiritual mountaintops and we have these spiritual valleys and and a lot of times when we're on the spiritual mountaintops we pray bold prayers don't we? I mean you know you're having that moment maybe it's during worship maybe happened this morning you know you're in worship man everything is just cruising off your favorite worship song and you're oh lord I'm just well lord help me to grow my faith yes lord or if you're really bold or maybe young in the lord you go lord make me more patient yes praise god you know. Now when we pray that prayer we think well here here what here's here's god when I ask you for patience here's what I want to happen. I want you to kind of just have the holy spirit hover over me and sprinkle patience dust on me and then one moment I don't have patience and then boom I got it praise god thank you jesus. That's not the way that it works. When you ask god to build your faith and you ask god to give you patience you need to understand how he's going to answer that prayer because he doesn't just sprinkle patience dust on you when you say god help me to be more patient god then gives you the opportunity to be more patient so when you ask god to grow your faith he sends tribulations your way when you ask for patience he sends you with opportunities to be more patient so when you pray for patience and then you go out and there's a line in the restaurant or the food takes a little while or maybe there's a line at walmart that's an opportunity for you to be patient or maybe you get stuck in a traffic jam that's an opportunity for now here's the bizarre thing god grow my faith give me patience and then we get in the middle of this tribulation then what would we do god get me out of this tribulation get me out of here quick you know and god's like I'm still answering the first prayer to give you patience and then now you're getting me out of here as quick as you can I understand tribulations are hard I mean that's nobody's like you know oh this is great I just love tribulation nobody says that they are they're lying but it's the effect the fruit that tribulation can have in their life I understand it I mean sometimes it's just as a person just as a Christian and then sometimes as a pastor it seems like I get hit with tribulation after tribulation after true you know people hey how you doing man I'm like tripping out god is producing something in me that wasn't there before and the way that I'd often happens friend as you go through this trial this tribulation this is continuing steadfastly in prayer we have a strange view and we quite frequently get rather legalistic and religious if you will about a prayer life and sad to say some of that's been reinforced from pulpits and platforms because you know pastors like to sometimes weave in that they're really superhuman and they're really you know not like everybody else and their prayer and they it's very subtle and I've practiced this art so I'll perform it for you now but you know if I'm if I'm up here and I you know you know I was I was praying for you guys last night it was about 4 a.m. it's about the fourth hour that I had been in prayer and see as I'm saying that you're going now first of all you're very impressed right wow he got up at midnight prayed for four hours you know so I'm looking good but what what happened to you you're up there going I so cannot do that I give up I'm just gonna forget my prayer life I can't you know I hit snooze when I'm supposed to get up and pray and so we get weird about it well I'm gonna sit aside the time to pray so you know I gotta have a quiet room gotta have a candle lit incense burning velvet painting of Ellis on the wall and then I can pray but you know what that just you don't get those opportunities very especially if you got kids so we developed this thing we call praying on the hoof kind of a horse thing but you know praying on the go some of the best prayer time I have is in the car you know I'm driving I'll be out on 40 be driving down there I'll just close my eyes start praying no I don't if you're if you're praying and driving don't close your eyes okay but that's a good time to spend time with the Lord and guess what if you get stuck in a traffic jam guess what you just got you just got a gift from God because you just got some time to pray that you didn't have before and now everything the way you look at the traffic jam every time I you know when I get so convicted I preach to myself so often up here every time I get stuck in a traffic jam mentally I go how's my prayer life so I'll probably get stuck in traffic jam today or tomorrow but so this this continuing steadfastly in prayer and here's what's happened you know we Jesus said don't do vain repetitions and use a bunch of words useless meaningless words that's why you know what and I've challenged my kids as they've grown up you know because we went it's sitting down for meals we never did the and if you've done that I'm not trying to slam you but people have different little prayers they go through but they say if you say the same thing every time before you eat change that and give it something heartfelt because what can happen is those words begin to lose their meaning over time don't just run through some words of the Lord stay in an attitude of prayer and here's what's cool man if you got 10 seconds to pray and say hey Lord thank you for this day be with me help me you know if you're right in the midst of a child God I need your strength I'm about to lose it here and if that's all you you know Peter when Peter was sinking he didn't say oh Lord who created the heavens and he'd have been underwater he just cried Lord save me he didn't have time for a long eloquent prayer but sometimes those short prayers are the most effective so encouraging then here's what happens when you stay in this attitude of prayer you know what you're more aware of you're more aware of the presence of the Lord and then when you hit trouble it's like God where are you you know he's right beside you you've been talking to him staying steadfast in prayer great stuff here verse 13 distributing to the needs of the saints given to hospitality let's understand that hospitality is different than entertaining Romans 12 13 in the new living translation says this when God's children are in need be the one to help them out and get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or they need lodging for the night now a lot of times and this is a great group of people the very hospitable very warm but you know you can't say well nobody's inviting me over for dinner you're not in control of how many people invite you over for dinner or how many people call you or how many people email you you have no control over that or very little what you do have control over is how many people you invite for lunch you invite for dinner or phone calls and emails that you send out so you can be hospitable looking to meet the needs of others and and again distributing to the needs of the saints that is something we take very seriously and understand when it says saints are you now maybe you're sitting here go was talking about like Saint John Saint Matthew no no no no no no biblically the moment you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins this is so cool you become a saint you don't have to like prove miracles or anything like that God says okay now you're a saint I understand that's that's a little hard to get our minds right but biblically that's right so the moment you know so it's like Saint David kind of cool kind of like that Saint Jack up here in the front row kind of cool you know you're a saint so then when we gather we're getting together as the saints and so in this body when somebody comes to us and especially we love everybody and we care for everybody but if somebody comes here we want to you know you're part of the family man and it's a big family and just like every family you know you got crazy aunts and uncles and whatnot but it's a it's a big family and we love each other and if somebody needs something we want to know about it now where do the resources come to meet their needs come from you guys so y'all give to the church and the church is a blessing to other people and when it works like that it's beautiful distributing to the names of the saints given to hospitality again hospitality is different than entertaining entertaining is you know come let me impress you with my stuff or whatever hospitality is more focused on the person who's there what you're seeing develop in this chapter is that the body of Christ is not supposed to be fair with their friends it's not well you know I can go to the church and you know as long as we agree on everything we're gonna disagree on some things as long as we agree on the main things we can agree to walk the road together there's a commitment there and and it's not okay well you know as long as we don't get angry or have a fight no no no let's work through those things so as the body of Christ there's that commitment well if possible it gets more difficult now verse 14 bless those who persecute you bless and do not curse man new living translation if people persecute you because you're a Christian don't curse them pray that God will bless them now let's understand something a lot of what we call persecution is not persecution at all if you work a job and you're supposed to be doing something and you stop doing what you're supposed to be doing to stop to tell somebody about the Lord that's not honoring God and then if somebody comes up and says hey you know you're really supposed to be a do I'm persecuted no no no your boss is simply reminding you of what you're supposed to be doing there so let's understand that persecution but persecution and a lot of times we suffer for things that we do or things we say that's not persecution either persecution is when we're really loving God loving people telling people about the Lord and somehow we suffer for it and that friend that does happen and when that does happen you just pray that God smites them I'm kidding now really you know what the Bible is saying here the Bible is saying do something that is entirely unnatural in your life in order to do this you have to enter into the supernatural why because then in your it's your nature when somebody is mean to you is to what be mean back that's in your nature your fallen human nature but in your super nature your spiritual nature your Holy Spirit nature you can bless those who persecute you friend do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven you can know right now I want to lead you in a short simple prayer simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him please pray this prayer with me out loud right now dear Jesus I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven and I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life and I've done wrong things I have sinned and I'm sorry please forgive me of all those things please give me the power to live for you all of my days in Jesus name amen friend if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible you've been forgiven you've been born again so congratulations friend you just made the greatest decision that you will ever make God bless you if this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David we would love to hear from you you can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our first steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Jesus also if you have been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee would you consider supporting us with a financial gift this month when you give to Cross the Bridge we will send David's powerful booklet on biblical fatherhood entitled A Father's Blessing the number to call is 877-458-5508 that's 877-458-5508 or go online to crossthebridge.com while you're there make sure to sign up for David's email devotional and begin receiving daily inspiration in your inbox that website again is crossthebridge.com thanks for listening today we pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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