Romans 12:9–21 (NKJV) 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 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. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
We are given a wonderful view of what it should look like to be a Christian, the question is... what does the world see when it examines our life? We are all but guaranteed that as soon as we call ourselves Christian, the outside world will examine us, sometimes fairly while other times not so much. To fully examine this section of scripture would take a full sermon but I would like to point out some of the key points here. Cling To What Is Good The outside world is going to bruise and batter us, it will throw stones, it will persecute, it will mock. The most important thing we can do during our time on earth is to cling to what is good. Who is good but God? We must cling to Him. Is that where you are today? Can you honestly say you cling to Him? We have to be willing to examine our own lives, our own discipline, our own dedication to what is good. If you are falling short, you are in good company. Do not, however, allow yourself to remain there. Seek God first! Rejoice, Be Patient, Steadfastly Pray Rejoice - The Lord has done, is doing, and will continue to do great things in our lives. If we are behaving like Christians, we should be rejoicing in all that He is doing. It is amazingly easy to fall into that trap of expecting or wanting more than what is currently being provided. Guard your heart against such things. Take a few moments each morning to rejoice for the things you have. Be Patient In Tribulation - If we take heart that we can grow during tribulation, we must be patient through it. We are promised tribulation, we are not going to be able to avoid it. Think about the times you have faced tribulation, it probably led to unexpected growth. Tribulation can produce faith when we are patient enough to let it do so. Steadfastly Pray - What does steadfastly mean to you? Does it mean once a week? Maybe twice a week? Probably not! If we are steadfastly in prayer we will be communicating with God multiple times a day. The closer we are to Him through prayer, the more we understand what He wants from us. Prayer can lead to Christian-like behavior. Closing Thoughts: There is no better compliment someone could ever pay me than saying that I am acting like a Christian. Translated Christian means little Christ. Is that what the world is seeing through you? Does the world look at you and think of the Lord? From the moment we come to a saving knowledge of Him until the moment we return home, our life’s pursuit should be to behave like little Christ’s! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.