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Top Ten Rules of Love

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Romans 12:9-21
Getting on the Same Page as God about the top ten Rules of Love
A. David Letterman has made a career out of his top 10 list
B. You have to admit some of his lists have been really funny
C. Today we have a top ten list, however, these are not humorous, these are serious.
D. Today we are going to look at the top ten rules of love
E. We are going to see how we should love one another
F. Romans, as we have said many times, is the most theological books of the New Testament
G. However, the section that we are dealing with is not theological, it is practical
H. This will be some of the most practical advice about Love you will ever hear
I. These wise words about love, do not come from me, they come from the Scripture
J. Let us begin our Top ten Rules of Love!

I. #10 Love one Another (9-10)
A. Explanation
1. Love must be sincere.
a) I am not that old yet, but you know what I have come to respect the most, a sincere answer
b) Not the answer that I want to hear, but the truth
c) Love must be the same way - sincere
2. Hate what is evil, Cling to what is good
a) If we are to truly live this one out, when we see evil it should not be “ohh that is so wrong” but rather cause us to feel sick
b) And if we truly cling to what is good, we need to become superglue. Superglue sticks and stick it does, imagine if you were to superglue your fingers together, you might have to go to the hospital to get them removed, we are to cling, to superglue ourselves to Good
B. Application
1. Do we sincerely love one another?
2. Do we sincerely love one another enough to hate when they get involved in evil?
3. Do we sincerely love one another to superglue ourselves to something that is good?
4. These thing must be done with true love
5. Notice the Bible does not say it would be good if. These are commands
6. Are you following them?

II. #9 Respect one Another (10)
A. Explanation
1. Honor one another above yourself
2. Proverbs 15:33 - Interesting most of us probably heard the first part “The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom,” But the verse does not end there
3. It goes on “and humility comes before honor”
B. Application
1. We are Commanded by God to honor and respect one another
2. To view someone else as better than ourselves
C. Illustration
1. Most of the time I can ignore salesman, I don’t care what they have to sell me, and I just listen to their spill and say no thank you. When I was managing the bookstore at the Lighthouse there was one exception. Barney from CPI.
2. He knew that I was just starting in the ministry. So he would sit there on the phone, ask me how things were going and truly listen to me and showed me respect and honor.
3. He was being honest and genuine, it was not fake, he put me above himself
4. However, because he did that, guess who bought too many books from that guy?

III. #8 Worship with one Another (11-12)
A. Explanation
1. Never lacking in Zeal
a) Zeal - enthusiastically, passionately
b) Oh if we could only keep that fire that burned in us when we first become a Christian, if we could just keep that zeal going
2. But Keep your spiritual fervor
a) Fervor - again that passion and enthusiasm
3. Be Joyful in Hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer
a) Let me just tell you, verse 12 became my verse of the week this week, for many, many reasons
B. Application
1. As we discussed last week - Worship is the offering of everyday life to God
2. If we view how we are treating others, how we are acting in love as an act of worship
3. Imagine what we could have
4. Imagine the amount of love that would be flowing from everywhere
5. If we were to love each other with that zeal, with that passion, with that enthusiasm, with that fervor
6. Imagine what that would look like
7. The Bible does something nice for us, you might be sitting there saying, “that sounds good, but how do we do that”,
8. (Read 12), that’s how, don’t you love when the Bible answers your questions?

IV. #7 Be Gracious to one Another (13)
A. Explanation
1. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice Hospitality
B. Illustration
1. Let me illustrate this Verse. (This is the time in the sermon were I get to embarrass people) As you know my mom has been going through a really really difficult time, that is just horrible.
2. She was/is in need. Now understand my mom is a very independent person, but she truly has been in need
3. Let me tell you about George and June. George and June found out that my mom was not doing good, since that time I can not tell you how much time that have spent with her
4. Praying, encouraging, supporting, and must importantly hugging my mom
5. The 2nd part of that verse, practice hospitality. On Monday my dad had to do some emergency counseling and there was a chance he would not be home for a long time
6. So of course George and June were talking to my mom and what did they do, offered to take my mom in at their house for the night
7. By the way does all of this stuff surprise you about George and June? NO, why? Because they have been putting this rule of love in practice for more years then I have been alive
C. Application
1. Follow George and June’s example,
2. Do not worry about having the right words to say, a hug says more words then anything
3. Do not worry about having the “perfect house¨ when someone is in need, they will never notice how clean your house is they will only notice how much love your show

V. #6 Do not be spiteful toward one Another (14,17,19-20)
A. Explanation
1. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse
2. Do not repay anyone evil for evil
3. (Read 19-20)
4. What do you get when you add Evil with Evil = More Evil
5. Obviously we do not want evil
6. So what is our Choice
B. Application
1. Add to Evil Kindness then what do you Get = Love!
C. Illustration
1. Around Christmas time our one Sunday school class but this lesson in to practice. One of the members was having a hard time at work with a coworker. The class got together all pitched in and sent him a wonderful Christmas card with about $50.00 in it!
2. Repay evil for evil? NO Repay Evil with Love? Yes
3. Oh, by the way, just to make sure, how do you repay love? With Love!
VI. #5 Care for One Another (15)
A. Explanation
1. Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn
B. Illustration
1. How many of you have ever been hammering and got the wrong nail, your finger nail, it hurts doesn’t it? But where does it hurt? All over
2. If one part of your body is suffering the whole body suffers, the same is true with the Church body, if one part suffers the whole part suffers
3. On the other hand, if something good happens to one part of your body, say you have just successfully landed a sale over the phone using mainly your mouth, the rest of the body rejoices too
4. The same goes with the Church
C. Application
1. When someone is rejoicing what does it tell us to do? To offer criticism on why they should not be that happy right? NO! Rejoice
2. When someone is morning what are we to do? Well if you are a guy you offer practical ways of fixing the problem
3. Men like to fix things, so if there is a problem we will fix it
4. NO, MAN, the Bible says mourn with those who Mourn,
5. Robert Shuller once said “love is my decision to make your problem my problem”
6. That is a rule of love

VII. #4 Get along with one another (16,18)
A. Explanation
1. Live in Harmony with others
a) Have the same attitude toward one another
2. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone
a) Basically if you know someone that you are not at peace with, FIX IT!
3. We are not talking about not having conflict, their will always be conflicts, but it is acceptance through conflict!
B. Illustration
1. Imagine if you will we are bunch of porcupines stuck in the North Pole on a cold winter night. Porcupines have really sharp needles on them that hurt when you touch them. We also know that we have body heat, and a bunch of bodies together can keep each other warm.
2. Now you are all looking at me funny. If we are a bunch of porcupines huddled up close together, we are going to get poked, and it will hurt. So what is the alternative
3. We disband, separate far from each other, and die because of a lack of heat
C. Application
1. Everyone will annoy you at some point
2. Everyone will hurt you at some point
3. But we need each other, we all need one another
4. Do your best to live in harmony with others
5. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone
VIII. #3 Be humble toward one another (16b)
A. Explanation
1. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position, do not be conceited
B. Illustration
1. Billy Graham, one of the most famous people on the earth, everyone knows Billy Graham. This summer when I was at Wheaton College for a seminar, I got to go to the Billy Graham Museum, I was amazed at all the stuff, but there is one picture I will never forget
2. It is snapshot, Billy didn’t know they were taking it, of Billy witnessing to three poor kids
3. These were low class kids, these were no bodies, but there is Billy Graham talking to these kids
4. Billy was not too good to talk to them, they weren’t too low for Billy to worry about, these were people who needed to hear about Jesus
C. Application
1. Do not ever think you are too good for someone, or on the other hand do not think you are not good enough for someone, that too can be pride
2. Rather look at someone and ask yourself, do they need to be loved? If the answer is yes, then love them, if the answer is no, then I guess you don’t have to love them
3. By the way is there anyone here or somewhere else that you know that does not need to be loved? NO!

IX. #2 Be willing to accept one Another (17b)
A. Explanation
1. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody
2. This sentence is a foreshadowing of things to come

3. We are talking about laying down your will, your rights if you will, just to help others
B. Application
1. Maybe you think something is ok for you to do, but another person does not
2. True genuine love is saying, ok, I wont do it then
3. If it offends you that much, I will not do it
4. Take time to think through what you are going to do, and make sure you are not doing something to offend someone on purpose, that would be breaking a rule of love,
5. Rather be willing to accept one another

X. #1 Be Good to one Another (vs. 21)
A. Explanation
1. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!
2. This is one of those ‘sum it all up’ verses
3. Look, we all know that we live in a world full of evil, just look around
4. We are called to be different
5. We are called not to be drawn into the evil but to overcome evil with good
6. To show love
B. Application
1. Simple acts of love go a long way
2. Smiling at the cashier at the grocery store
3. Holding the door open at the restaurant for a elderly lady struggling to get inside
4. Just calling someone up and telling them you are praying for them
5. It is not hard to overcome evil, we must be intentional about it though
6. We must hold to the rule of love and overcome evil with good
A. There you have it, the top 10 rules for love!
B. That is what God expects, that is what God desires, that is what God commands
C. And that is how we should be living our lives
D. Someone once put it like this “the church is the glue that keeps us together when we disagree. It is the gasoline that keeps us going during the tough times, it is the guts that enables us to take risks when we need to.”
E. So how can we grow in love, what areas do we need to improve?
a. Is there anyone we need to confess to or forgive and be reconciled to?
b. Is there anyone we need to come along side and rejoice with or mourn with?
c. Is there any one we need to encourage or build up?
d. Is there any one we need to reach out in love with?
e. Is there anyone we need to show more love to?
F. Make the commitment today, Make the commitment today to follow the rules of love
G. The question is, are you on the same page as God about all the rules of love?

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