THE DEVOTION OF THE BELIEVER
Devoted means giving of ones self to a cause.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Calls for devotion of the believer to the cause of Christ.
Jesus is come to seek and save the lost.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Our cause and purpose is to reach the world with the Gospel.
Nothing is to be more important in our life than accomplishing this purpose.
We are to use every gift and ability at our disposal to accomplish this purpose.
If we are to accomplish this purpose we must have a correct understanding of our relationship with God, with ourselves and with others.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
In order to do that we must have a renewing of our mind.
This is brought about in the blood bought believer by allowing the Holy Spirit to rightly apply the Word of God to our conscience, bringing about a true conviction to abhor evil, cleave to good and practice true Christianity.
We know from verses 3 – 8 that we have at least one gift to use for God’s glory.
In verses 9-13 we will see the attitudes necessary to have a true devotion to the task given us by God.
In order to accomplish our purpose and carry out God’s plan for our life we MUST be emptied of self.
We must be centered on the need of others.
Let us focus on the need of others tonight as we examine the Scripture before us.
I. OTHERS NEED LOVE.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Dissimulation means to hide the true feeling behind a false appearance.
This happens when we do not know how to love the unlovely. Inside we abhor them.
Then we put on a smile and try to act as though we love them because we are commanded to love them.
But can it be possible to love them despite the sin they are involved in?
I think we can and should.
Love must be genuine without restraint if we are to accomplish God’s purpose for our life and help others through the terrible forces of evil.
Thank God that He loved us even though we did not deserve it.
We can love the sinner because he is precious to God.
Because Jesus died for him, because he is just like us before we received Christ.
We must abhor sin and love the sinner caught in its grips and with every fiber of our being try to rescue that one in peril.
Abhor means extremely repugnance toward that which is evil.
Please do not misplace the abhorrence.
Don’t throw out the baby with the wash water.
Cleave means to adhere to firmly, closely, loyally and unwavering.
Let love be without dissimulation.
Genuinely love the sinner while hating the sin that binds him.
He must overcome sin we cannot do it for him.
The fact that you don’t have a problem in the same area as he cannot help him.
The fact that you overcame that sin cannot help him.
He needs strength and we can help him by giving him Godly counsel and being the example that he can follow.
The word affection means with emotion.
Love is an emotional feeling.
So we are to feel an emotional kindness when we think of others.
Especially those who are saved.
With brotherly love.
The word honor means to esteem highly.
It has to do with value.
Means precious or value in the Greek.
We must realize the preciousness of a soul even though the person may not.
II. OTHERS NEED HELP.
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
The word fervent means when spoken of a liquid boiling, when spoken of a solid it means glowing.
When spoken of a Christian here it must mean going.
Working with every fiber of our being to be everything we can for Christ and helping others reach their full potential.
1 Cor 14:12
12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
1 Cor 15:58
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Some of you started out going soul winning on Saturday mornings.
I haven’t seen you in months. There was no explanation you just quit coming.
I don’t know maybe you have a good reason for not going?
I do know this
If God is going to bless our church it must be a soul winning church.
Where is our fervor for souls?
God help us to reach them with the Gospel and to help them to mature and grow.
III. OTHERS NEED OUR PRAYER.
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
We can rejoice in the hope that Jesus is coming.
There are those who have no hope.
That is those without faith in God or our Saviour Jesus Christ.
But, we who have accepted Christ and experienced His love first hand know that He is coming and that the sufferings of this present world will be well worth it when we see Christ.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rejoice in your hope.
Be patient in your tribulation.
I know it is not easy.
The road that you and I have taken is the hard road.
If it were easy it would be worthless.
But, knowing the way is hard and taking it anyway makes it precious.
1 Pet 1:7-8
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
We are told in this verse to rejoice in hope and to be patient in tribulation before reminding us to pray.
For the prayer of those who do not have a correct attitude have no guarantee of being answered.
31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
We must pray for those who are not in God’s will.
How much time have you spent praying for others?
Do you ask God to work in their behalf?
Do you really want them to be saved?
Do you really want that person who hurt your feelings to be reconciled to God and to your friendship?
Or is it just so easy to hold a grudge?
IV. FINANCES ARE NEEDED TO REACH OTHERS.
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
The attitude required here is hospitality.
That means according to Webster, “offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.”
We must keep missionaries on the field.
We must keep our church going.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
The Apostle Paul said this.
Those who are laboring in the Lord’s work do not desire a gift, they just want the opportunity to witness to the lost.
The missionary labors on the field, you labor here at home to earn the money to send them.
Therefore, all our labor is exhausted in reaching them for Christ.
When the time comes that God recognizes the laborer both will receive the reward, the one who sent and the one who went.
Every soul that gets saved because we gave to the necessity of our brother, we will receive a reward.
Some send some go but, both will receive a just reward.
Someone once said it is never foolish to give that which we cannot keep to gain that which we cannot loose.
We must give in order to operate the local church.
This is done through the tithe and offering.
Then God wants us to send missionaries.
I do not believe this is done through the tithe and offering to the local church.
The tithe and offering go to the local church.
Missionary giving must be an offering above the tithe and offer which belongs to the local church.
2 Cor 8:10-15
10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
If we are going to send missionaries we must be accountable individually.
I must determine how much I will be willing to give to see a missionary get to his place of service.
I cannot just leave that up to the church.
I will never give a penny to missions if I say well the church can support missions if we can afford it.
Others need love, help, and prayer, and if we are to reach them we must give to the purpose.