Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Outdoing One Another

As I was reading Romans again, I ran across a particular verse that spoke to my heart. In Romans 12, Paul talks about not only being a living sacrifice but also acting in love for one another. The verse that really spoke to my heart comes later in the chapter. Reading from the English Standard Version, Paul writes to the Christians in Rome, “10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

The last sentence of that verse really spoke to my heart. As I thought about it, I began to really feel a connection to it. We spend our lives competing in various activities. Some enjoy playing sports while others prefer other sorts of events that test our knowledge or skills. In all cases, we compete against one another to win a competition.

In the case of love for one another, we are, as one translation states, to love one another deeply. We are to put others above ourselves all the time. It is not enough to say that we love one another. We must put that love into action. Our desire should be to love and care for one another just as Jesus commanded his disciples. 

In John 15, Jesus says, “12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

Think about the love that Jesus had not only for his disciples but also for each and every one of us. He laid down his life for us out of love. He suffered for us out of love. He bore our sins out of love. His love for us remains with us as we go through all of the trials and troubles of our mortal lives. We know that he is with us and loves us without question.

In the same breath, Jesus tells his disciples, “13 There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Jesus lays down his life for us and pays our debt of sin willingly. He shows us through his act of love that he truly came into this world not to condemn but rather to save. Jesus saved us from the payment of sin that we owed. 

In chapter 6 of Romans, Paul writes, “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Because of God’s love for us, He sent His son to die for our sins and to be that sacrifice. That one act of love far surpasses anything we could hope to do for ourselves. We cannot save ourselves from the wages of sin. There are no sacrifices that we can offer to repay our debt of sin and disobedience. The debt that we owed requires our own sacrifice, but God provides us with the perfect sacrifice through His son, Jesus.

Because of Jesus’ love for us, he humbles himself and willingly accepts the punishment, humiliation and, ultimately, death upon a cross. Jesus could have called legions of angels to rescue him from that wooden cross, but he chose not to. He remained on it as the sins of the world, including every generation past, present and future, were heaped upon him.

I want you to think about the love that it took for him to bear all of this for not only yourself but also for all. He took up his cross and walked to Calvary for us. He loved us that much. 

As Jesus called his disciples, he also calls us to love one another. But, just not to say it. We are to mean it and love each other as brothers and sisters. We are to love one another and outdo each other in that love. When we love one another like Jesus loved us, we are willing to do anything and everything for one another even if it means that we are to lay down our lives for one another. It is through that sort of love that we gain a deeper understanding of God’s love for us. With that type of love in our hearts, minds and souls, we are able to stand firm in His grace. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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