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Romans Chapter 12:13-21

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2023 12:00 am

Romans Chapter 12:13-21

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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March 12, 2023 12:00 am

Cross the Bridge 21108-2

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Paul, the Bible, the Holy Spirit saying, rise above the natural.

Live in a different way. The world either gives evil for evil or good for good. Jesus points it out and said, if you do that, you're not doing anything. But when you begin to give good for evil and not return evil, that's supernatural things happening in your life.

Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. The Bible tells us that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. And with Jesus as our example, he can show us how we are to handle those who treat us wrong. Find out more about this important truth today as Pastor David continues in Romans 12 with his teaching, Bless Them.

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. Go pick it up with Romans chapter 12, 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 if they need lodging for the night. Now a lot of times, and this is a great group of people, 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 say saints, or you know, maybe you're sitting here and go, well, I was talking about like St. John, St. 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. So the moment, you know, so it's like St. David, kind of cool, kind of like that. St. 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 the hospitality. Again, hospitality is different than entertaining. Entertaining is, you know, come let me impress you with my stuff or whatever. Really that's, that's what entertaining is.

And you know, you buy all these different things so you can entertain and, you know, kind of show them off and stuff. Hospitality is more focused on the person who's there. And, and we need to be given the hospitality and not be grudgingly. I love to cook. And when somebody shows up in my house, they're probably not just going to get like a tuna sandwich.

There's nothing wrong with tuna sandwiches. But you know, on occasion I have the elders or some staff members or something over the house. I blow it out.

Why? Because I want them at the end of that evening going through, you know, the whole five, six course thing. I want them to get through the end of the evening and go, wow, I've been loved on. I've been loved on. Given to hospitality, loving on each other. And again, this is what you're seeing develop in this chapter is that the body of Christ is not supposed to be fair with our friends. It's not, well, you know, let's, uh, you know, I can go to the church and you know, as long as we agree on everything, as long as we agree on everything, I mean, how long is that going to last? I mean, is that what you said in your wedding vow?

Hopefully not. We're going to 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 not just a fair weather friend. It's a two way commitment. And so myself, the staff and volunteers, we're all ready to make that commitment with you. And it's not, okay, well, you know, as long as we don't get angry or have a fight, no, no, no, no. Let's work through those things. If that occurs, let's work.

When you got married, did you? Well, for better, for worse, for richer, poor and sickness and in health till death do us part or till our first fight, whichever comes first. Is that what you said?

I hope not. Because chances are that first fight came before death. 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. 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. Sometimes we come off as irritating and unloving. And when somebody responds like that, we say, well, I'm being persecuted. No, you're not being persecuted.

You're being irritating and people are irritated by you. A lot of people there, they act like jerks and they say, well, in the name of the Lord. You're misrepresenting God, friend, at that point. And don't pass off your irritating stuff and you being unloving, unkind, uncaring as being spiritual. It's far from being spiritual. It's being carnal. It's giving a bad name to the Lord. It's giving a bad name to the people who want to follow him. 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 doer. 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. That's not what the Bible says. The Bible says, bless them. 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 in your nature, when somebody is mean to you, is to what? Be mean back. That's in your nature.

You're following human nature. But in your super nature, your spiritual nature, your Holy Spirit nature, you can bless those who persecute you instead of cursing them. Look at verse 15. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. It doesn't say preach to those who weep.

It doesn't say yell to those who weep. I was talking to a lady one time and the aspect of suicide came up. And she said, do you think that people who commit suicide go to heaven? I said, well, I would answer that question the same way I would answer any question about somebody dying is that if they knew Jesus as their Savior, then the Bible says, yes, they're in heaven.

That final act of suicide may be an act of rebellion, but, you know, that doesn't mean somebody didn't get into heaven. And I always like to ask, why are you asking? Because on a rare occasion, somebody may be asking if it's okay if they commit suicide, you need to be careful.

But I said, why are you asking? She said, well, because my father was a very godly man, a leader in the church and later in life, it kind of overwhelmed him and he ended up taking his life and we were deeply hurt, deeply mournful. And at the funeral home in the line, the pastor came through and said, it's so sad that your father is in hell. That is not weeping with those who weep.

That is taking advantage of somebody's weakness and in their pain, trying to inflict more pain. You can do that, but don't do that in the name of Jesus. Don't do that in the name of being spiritual. Now, here's the interesting thing. Rejoice with those who were just weep with those who weep at first glance. And I started thinking about this verse at first glance, you think, well, you know, weeping with people who weep, you know, feeling their pain, that's kind of difficult.

You know, which is the harder of these two, if we're honest, rejoicing with those who rejoice. Let me ask you a question. If you worked in somewhere where there's other people working, somebody gets a raise, somebody gets a promotion, what's the first thing you think?

Nobody's going to say it, but let me, let me fill in the blank. Why not me? You can't be happy. And I do the same thing. You know, like when somebody, you know, wins a $50 million lottery or something, Lord, I got tiled off of it at the very least. If you give me 50 million, I give you 15%. God, why can't we be happy for other people when good things happen? Because we tend to be self-focused. I don't see, I've never won the lottery.

I've never actually bought a lottery ticket, so that's probably got something to do with it, but that's another discussion for another time. But be happy for people when good things happen. There's some people when something good happens, you go, Oh man, this just happened. They're like, well, bummer. You're like, friend, can't you be happy with something good that's going on in my life?

Can't you rejoice with me as I'm rejoicing instead of just thinking selfishly, why didn't it happen to me? So that's a difficult verse, another difficult verse. 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, that's 877-458-5508, or go online to 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 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 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. Verse 16, be of the same mind towards one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. The important things are not the high things. The important things are loving one another, loving God. And do not be wise in your own opinion.

Woohoo. The New Living Translation here says, live in harmony with each other. Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people and don't think you know it all. Don't think you know it all. You know how I refer to myself as a student of the Bible. I've been studying this book for a long time and I will never arrive. I mean, this book is so deep, so it's so simple and yet so complex.

I'll study it until the day I die and I will always be a student of the Bible. And the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. As it's been said, the more I know, the more I don't know.

Meaning the more you learn, the more you're aware, the more you've yet to discover. You start looking at relationships and people and you realize really, man, you hardly know your spouse. You hardly know your kids. You hardly know your parents.

And you need to spend time doing that. And so as we look at what we know, I'm never going to, you know, I met one guy who came to the church and it was kind of interesting to me because he came up and took my hand. The first thing out of his mouth was, hi, I'm a Hebrew scholar. And I thought, well, it's a strange name.

Your mama did that to you, did she? But so then I said something in Hebrew to him. He goes, oh, I don't speak Hebrew. Well, okay. Thought you were a Hebrew scholar. He was coming off as something he wasn't.

He was thinking more highly of himself than he was. And, and gang, every one of us is capable of doing that. I'm thinking we know more than we know. I can learn something from every one of you, has something to instruct me and teach me. The staff, man, doesn't a day go by that I don't learn something from the staff. Doesn't a week go by that I don't learn something from leadership.

Why? Because I don't know everything. See, the moment you think you know everything, guess what? You've stopped learning.

You've stopped learning. Verse 17, repay no one evil for evil, have regard for good things in the sight of all men. Man, new living translation, never pay back evil for evil to anyone.

Do things in such a way that everyone else can see you are honorable. Again, Paul, the Bible, the Holy Spirit saying rise above the natural, live in a different way. The world either gives evil for evil or good for good. And Jesus points it out and said, if you do that, you're not doing anything.

But when you begin to give good for evil and not return evil, that's supernatural things happening in your life. Mahatma Gandhi, not a Christian. Interesting fellow. I don't think he's a Christian, man.

I don't know for sure. But he said some very interesting things. Well, a couple interesting. He said, I really like your Jesus. I just don't like your Christians.

It's kind of convicting. Saying that, you know, we don't entirely act like Jesus. But he said something else that was, and I understand what you're saying. He said an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind. He was alluding to the fact that Hebrew scripture says an eye for an eye. A lot of people misquote that verse.

You can understand what it's saying. God was putting in place a way to, when somebody did something wrong to make sure the punishment was corresponding to what they did wrong. In other words, somebody put your eye out. You didn't get to put two eyes out. Why? Because the human tendency is not to get even.

The human tendency is the one up. Somebody does something bad to you. You want to do something even worse to them. Well, then what happens? Well, then they want to do something worse to you. And then what happens? Then you want to do something worse. Do you see how that's just a downward spiral? And God says, here, no, no, no, don't do that.

Stop the spiral. Now here's the hard part. When you come to the Lord and you ask him to forgive you of your sins, you trust him for what? For your salvation, for your forgiveness.

Huge step. If you hadn't made that in just a couple of minutes, I'm going to give you an opportunity to do that. Then you begin to learn to trust him with your family and with your friends. And that's kind of hard. But then as things progress, you begin to trust him with your enemies, which is difficult. There's something in us that thinks we have to make it right.

That we have to justify. Paul here, Jesus in other places says no, no, don't do it. Repay no one evil for evil. No one. This is tough. Verse 18, believe it.

Now, now notice this verse 18 starts out with the word. If please say if okay, some of you just woke up, please say if, okay. If it is possible as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men, if it is possible, you know what Paul is saying with some people, it ain't possible.

It ain't possible. Some people are just so miserable. They're just waiting for somebody to ruin their day. And you just happen to be the excuse for ruining your day. And there's people in your neighborhood, wherever you live, there's people that you just can't get along with.

That's just life. Okay. Now, if everybody in your neighborhood you don't get along with, uh, problem might not be within, you know, but there's, we need to understand as much as you're able live peaceably, but there's going to be some people that you're not able to live peaceably with. You're going to have to either agree to disagree or, you know, I've learned this as a pastor, I can't pastor anybody. I'll pastor anybody that comes here.

I'll lead anybody that comes here. I'll teach anybody that comes here with a Bible, but some people I, I'm just not their pastor and they need to go find their church and they need to go find their pastor and, and trying to force that situation. Sometimes people just need to bolt. They, they need to be molded and bended, but there's always going to be some people that I can't pastor.

Maybe the people I care about that I can't, but that's the reality. Look at verse 19, beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath for it is written, vengeance is mine. I will repay says the Lord. Lord says, I'll take care of it. The new living church nation, dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God for it is written. I will take vengeance. I will repay those who deserve it says the Lord. God says, I got your back. Don't you try to make the whole world right because you, your perspective is really kind of warped.

You can't do it. And so, you know, if somebody does wrong to you, what do you do? I pray God to smite them is what I do.

No, no, no, no, no. You pray God to bless them. I'm not going to pray God bless a sinner. You're a sinner.

You ever prayed for God to bless you. Now we're sinners by nature. We're saints in Jesus, but we need to pray for God to bless those people that hurt us and trust God with them. Trust God. Friend, when you get to the place where you're trusting God with your enemies, man, something has happened in your heart.

When you can keep your mouth closed towards your enemies or towards somebody that's irritated you. That's a work of the Holy spirit. Cause you know what? Without the Holy spirit, let's all re that don't happen.

That does not happen. That is a work of the Lord in us. And here's the thing, gang.

Now I've learned this as well. God says he will defend you. He has your back, but there's only one person that can defend you. If you go to defend yourself, guess what? God says, okay, defend yourself.

I'm not at it. Or if you allow God to defend you, you're not defending yourself. Now, let me ask you a question. Who do you want defending you? I mean, do you want to defend yourself or do you want God to have your back and God to defend you? I choose to let the Lord. Verse 20. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him.

If he is thirsty, give him a drink and for in so doing, you will reap coals of fire on his head. Do not even be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Now let me explain this verse and it, you know, because it used to be, you know, we look at this verse and Oh yeah. So if you do good to the enemy, it's like pouring fire on his head.

Hallelujah. No, that's not what it means. Back in the day, they would have a fire and that would be hard to start a fire.

He didn't have a little pick lighter. So you would take coals from somewhere else to start your fire. So in a way it's saying to be a blessing. In so doing, you will bless somebody else. You will bless somebody else. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Let me point something out because this is such a great chapter and I would encourage you to read this chapter several times through because there's just great practical information. Sometimes I hear people, Bill Meyer and some other people and they say, well, the problem with the world is, you know, religious people and I, you know, yeah, yeah. There's some problems with religion. There's some problems with churches. There's problems in this church, problems with this pastor. You know what's interesting is people who say the problem is with the religious people are not religious. So what they're really saying very arrogantly is it's not my problem. The problem with the world is not me.

It's everybody else. Now let us be careful because the church tends to do the same thing. The church tends to look at the world and says, well, the problem is those people in the world that aren't following Jesus. Well, let's all acknowledge you can't control them, but you can make your own decisions and you can honor God. And the final life lesson is we should light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

It's a lot easier to talk about what's wrong with the world. It's better to ask the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out and to show the world what God can do with a life. Man, what a chapter, what a chapter.

But let's understand all this practical advice. It all starts in our relationship with the Lord, with making sure that you've been forgiven. And if you're here today and you're not sure you've been forgiven or maybe you've been forgiven and you've wandered off today it's time to come home. I want to pray with you.

Short, simple prayer, not a long religious ceremony. Now this asking for forgiveness is based upon the death of Jesus on the cross, not on your goodness. Jesus died for you because he loves you, not because he felt sorry for you. He died for you because he loves you. And by his grace, he wants you to come to him and ask him to forgive you of your sins. And he'll do it. He's willing to do that.

The question is, are you? Jesus died for the sins of the world. Did he die for your sins?

That's your decision. And I'm here to offer that to you. And the awesome thing is if you can hear me talking right now, you've been given another chance to ask him to forgive you. Friend, you may have walked in here with a bunch of shame and guilt and sin and sorrow.

You don't have to walk out like that. God desires to forgive you if you'll come to him. The Bible tells us that if we will come to him, he will forgive us. Jesus says, if any one comes to me, I will not turn him away. And whoever believes in him will have eternal life.

So the invitation is there to make that decision today if you're not sure. God wants to forgive you. God wants to change your life. God wants to give you that life abundant that the Bible talks about. And if you're not experiencing that fullness of life, I'm here to offer it through Jesus.

That forgiveness of your sins, of knowing you have a relationship with the Lord, of having healthier and better relationships all the way around. Let's pray. Lord, thank you. Thank you for your offer of forgiveness that is for each and every person that's here right now. Lord, anyone listening through the television or the radio or here has the opportunity to be forgiven of their sins. 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.

Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him and he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. 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 Did you know one of the keys to spiritual growth is to daily be in the Word of God? I want to help you to do that. You see, I send out an email every day with a scripture passage, a life lesson, a directed prayer, and some encouraging thoughts. All you need to do is go to and sign up for our absolutely free devotional. Also, you'll receive prayer support. You let us know if you have a prayer need, and you'll get specially discounted offers.

God in His Word promises that His Word always produces fruit, always. So let's get started. Go to and sign up for our devotional. You'll be glad you did. Thanks for listening today. We pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 00:23:48 / 2023-03-12 00:35:15 / 11

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