Well, good evening. It’s good to be here with you.

We’re going to be in Romans this evening, Romans chapter 12, verse 9.

I keep saying we’ve got to finish Revelation, but then I keep seeing things that I want to preach. So I’m going to assume that I should do that and preach what I feel like I should preach. Not I feel like, I feel like I’m led to preach. And accidentally, I’ve kind of put a sermon series together, just stringing this along. Because we’ve talked about, we’re a holy nation. We talked about that a few weeks ago. We’re like in the tribe. And then we talked about last week. Okay, if I’m really in the tribe, I want to, as a branch, remain in Jesus. And then we talked about staying. And if we stay, we bear fruit, right? Well, then what? That’s the fruit. So I want to move us away from generalizations in the Christian life. I don’t think it’s helpful just to always preach big picture things and never get down to the nitty gritty of what is that? What is that? So I want to do that. I want to go from 30,000 feet to walk in the woods, if that makes sense. So what is the first fruit of the Spirit in Paul’s list in Galatians? It’s love, right? And love is truly foundational. Love is also what Paul talks about in verse 9 of chapter 12. And it’s significant because of this. And I want you to see this if you’ve ever thought about it. Paul goes through Romans, and Romans is, I think, the clearest exposition the whole Bible gives us on what is the nature of salvation. From the law of Moses, to faith, to spiritual. False Israel, who thought they had it because of their heritage. But it’s truly in Christ, by faith. And God’s keeping us for the end. And even Jews can be grafted back in if they have faith. So it’s a big, beautiful thing. All these chapters. And you think, well, what’s that come out to? How do you end that? And Paul ends it practically. And I think that’s really important to think about. That your big, beautiful, awesome theology. And if you want to read some. You know, thousand page book on systematic theology. And soteriology, which is the academic word for salvation. But then you can’t really tell me what to do with that. What a waste it is. But see, what for Paul it does is it becomes incredibly practical. Paul can talk about justification by faith alone. And that’s great. But where does it go? It comes out to just a few little short wrap-up sentences Paul gives. And so I want to, over the next couple weeks. Weeks work through these things that Paul says. So what is it after all these things that Paul says here? He says, verse 9. Let love be genuine. Abhor what’s evil. Hold fast to what is good. And love one another with a brotherly affection.

Paul. Paul. Paul. Paul. Paul. Paul. Paul.

Paul. of the Christian life. But be careful. Don’t think when you read that like, oh good, I can do practical. Like I can never sit through a theology class. That’s not my thing, but I could do practical. You can’t do practical. You can’t do practical. You and I can’t grasp the huge spiritual truths of the gospel, nor can we bear practical fruit for Jesus without Jesus. So the practical fruit. Fruit is beautiful, and it’s good, and it’s worked into the daily. And that’s why it’s so good, because life isn’t lived in a classroom. Life isn’t lived endlessly studying. That’s good. But at some point, when the rubber hits the road, what kind of person are you? What is the fruit of your life? What’s the fruit of your life?

And Paul says here, genuine love. Genuine love. Genuine love.

In 1 John, John says, chapter 4, verse 8, Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Simple verse, powerful verse. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God is love. God is love. So we can’t manufacture that. You can’t manufacture this true, genuine love located in God. You can’t produce that in yourself, because it’s only found where? In God. It’s true someone says, oh, I deeply love my spouse, I love my children, or I love my country, and surely there is real affection for these things. But if we’re talking about love unfeigned, if we’re talking about pure, perfect love, unmixed with any selfish motivation, and be sure of it, every form of love you have is mixed with some selfish motivation.

Love without contingency, love without agenda, love as it is in the heart of God, is seen. In this, the Son of God nailed to a tree in a bloody death. That’s where you and I visibly see the genuine love of God. It’s not actually, there’s no verb here, let love be genuine, that’s supplied by English translators. It’s really just more of a statement. It would be like love without hypocrisy, love that’s genuine, love that’s true.

But bringing it into the English, that’s the force of what Paul’s doing. He’s saying this is a banner over your life that’s got to be true of you. So if I’m going to have a capacity to respond to God’s love with His own perfect love, it’s got to be put inside of me. The only way you can love God truly and have genuine love is if God puts it inside of you. By His Spirit. You can’t fake that. You can’t fake that.

Everything in the Christian life, everything in the Christian life, is a big sham, friends, if we have a superficial love that doesn’t originate with God. It doesn’t fool God. Even if we fool ourselves, sometimes they’re thinking we have it. And here’s the thing about, here’s the thing about a love that’s hypocritical, a love that’s disingenuous, a love that doesn’t start with God placing it in me. It’s powerless. It’s powerless to move me or move you deeper into knowing and growing in God. So even if one for their whole life thought they had the love of God, they’ve done nothing. They’ve gone in circles spiritually. And we can talk about this. We can talk about this in practice. Practical stereotypes. Practical stereotype. Waiters hate serving on Sunday afternoon, don’t they? Because church people are mean. How did that happen? We’re supposed to have the genuine love of God.

Divorce rates are just as high inside the church as they are outside the church. How does that happen?

Teenagers graduate from church. Teenagers graduate from church as much as they graduate from high school anymore. Bismal, you know, stats on that that keep getting worse. You don’t have to, you know, look too hard to say, I think there’s not a genuine love really pulsating through the life of most churches today.

Look no further than Judas Iscariot. Judas was with Jesus three years. Three years.

He was with Jesus three years ago. Friends, anyone and all of us, we will each in our own way betray Jesus in the end if we do not have a genuine love. It’s only what’s going to happen if we don’t truly have the love of God in our hearts. So how can we maintain that love? How can I discern that love within myself? Bearing that fruit? How do I do it?

John, 1 John also says this. And of course, you know, 1 John, John really talks about the nature of God’s love. He says this in 1 John chapter 4 verse 9. By the way, I’m not going to put the verses up there anymore. Open your own Bible and read it. So that’s what I’m doing from now on. In this, the love of God was made manifest among us. That God sent his only son into the world. So that we might live through him. How is God’s love made manifest? God sent his son into the world. Verse 10. In this is love. Not that we have loved God, but that he loved us. And he sent his son to be the propitiation, satisfaction, atonement for our sins. So if you want to know whether or not you have that love, you want to keep that love thriving in you so that you bear these fruits. What do I do? It’s plain and simple. You need to live at the foot of the cross of Christ. You need to gaze and gaze some more. You need to dwell and dwell some more and see how God’s love for you was manifested in the son of God. Pure and perfect. Suffering, bleeding, naked, bruised. Nailed to a tree. What is love? What is love?

It’s God in the flesh. Nailed to a cross. That’s where you and I see true love. In beholding Calvary.

Because in your beholding, and we don’t do it enough, do we? We don’t behold Jesus. We’re too busy to sit and pray. We’re too busy to behold Jesus on the cross. But in our beholding, we are becoming. And where are you becoming when you behold Jesus on the cross? You are becoming perfected in the love of God.

And that’s surely a road less traveled.

It’s always the few, not the many, who really want to possess the love of God. It sounds so beautiful, doesn’t it? It’s the love of God flowing in me. It’s the love of God flowing out of me. Oh, I love God so much.

Friends, in this the love of God is manifested. Someone nailed to a tree.

There’s no you in that equation, is there? There’s just Christ in that equation. There’s the love of Christ in that equation. And if I want to be full and know the love of God, it means I have to, in beholding Jesus, see myself as dead. Dead. Dead. My preferences, my wants, my dreams, my high ideals of life, my sin, all of it. I’ve got to die if I want to be full of the love of God.

But the love of God is so wonderful because in everything that you lose, and you do lose everything, you gain a thousand. You gain a thousand times more in the fullness of knowing God and His love.

So I’m not saying you are without error, and I’m without error, and if we really love God, it would be true of you that it would be happening all the time, and you’d be almost levitating as you walk, and you’d be the most sacrificial, giving person in the room. You still have your bad, fleshly moments, that’s for sure. But there needs to be a certain coloring to your life. A certain shade over your whole life. That if the person who knew you best described you, they would say, that person really loves God, and they seek to know God, and show God in all of their life, and they’re willing to sacrifice for it. That’s got to be true of you. That’s got to be true of you. You have to think critically about yourself. You have to.

It’s like an Alabama accent.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just drive north for a few hours, and just start talking to the first person you see. And they’ll turn their head sideways, and go, where are you from? And you’ll be like, oh, Alabama. They’ll be like, oh, that makes sense. And then you’ll try really hard to not have the accent, like feel like you’re talking clear, and like they can’t hear it anymore. Talk to somebody else, and they’ll go, no, you’re still doing it. Like you can’t hide it. You can’t hide it. Because it’s just soaked in who you are. It’s your phraseology. It’s just how your tongue moves in your mouth, and you can’t change it.

It’s a dreadful thing to get to the end of your short, very short life, and discover before the judgment of Christ, you had but a mere mock-up of the love of God.

John Calvin says this, it is indeed difficult to express. I love that he says that. It is indeed difficult to express how ingenious almost all men are to pretend to love which they really have not. For they not only deceive others, but impose also on themselves. Friends, you are so false, you can trick yourself into believing it.

God calls us to the foot of his son, Jesus, to sit at his feet, to see him, to know him, to behold him by faith, to die fully to self, to be buried with him, but then to be resurrected, to full life and love in God. I don’t think you’re going to like heaven very much if you don’t like this. Heaven has nothing to do with the way you want to live. You want to love the way you want to process your whole life and people and stuff and things. Heaven is going to be full of people who are full of the love of God. You love to love God and bear that fruit. But I want to add here verse 10 to this first part of verse 9. Verse 10. Verse 10. Love one another with brotherliness, with brotherly affection. Love one another with brotherly affection. And here’s the thing. Verse 10, if you want another way to really know do I have the genuine love of God within me? Verse 10 proves 9 beyond a shadow of a doubt. And I imagine we’re probably all tired of me talking about this. Because I realize I talk about this a lot and especially lately. The idea of brotherly love, interconnectedness within the walls of the church. But it has to be done. And I’ll explain why. Leon Morris says about it, they saw themselves, speaking of the ancient church, as a family in a special sense. God was their father. They were brothers and sisters. They were united in a love that other people saw only in a family. In a natural family. Paul is underlining the truth that Christians are members of one family. And that accordingly, they should have a warm and fervent love for one another not seen elsewhere. Here’s the thing. If there was only, let’s say, this isolated passage that talked about you and I who were not related by blood but were supposed to love one another with a brotherly, sisterly affection for each other, intertwined like that as if we were actually family. If it was isolated, we could do a sermon once or twice a year on it. Even if it was peppered throughout the New Testament, we could talk about it sometimes. Here’s the thing about it, though. The scriptures are soaked to the bone

regarding how important and necessary it is for those who claim to be followers of Jesus to have this very present fruit and evidence in their life. It’s all over the place.

I’ll run through these. 1 John 4.20 If you hate your brother, you’re a liar and you don’t have the love of God. Peter, sincerely have a brotherly love. Earnestly, he says. Thessalonians, seek to do good to one another. Acts, they had all things in common. Not one person said anything belonged to them. Ephesians 4. Bear with one another, eager to maintain unity in the bond of peace. 1 John. Love brotherly, love your brother. If you don’t love your brother, you’re not truly in the light. John 13. What’s Jesus say? A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. This is how the world will know that you’re mine. Hebrews 10.25 Don’t neglect one another. Encourage one another. Matthew 12. Jesus says to the crowd, who’s my mother? Who’s my brother? The one who does the will of God. That’s just a few. That’s just a few. That’s just a few of the whole selection.

Friends, why is it that the love for our brothers and sisters is so crucial?

It’s because it’s impossible to understate how much Jesus loves his church, and so he expects us to love all those who he bled and died for as well. It’s impossible to understate how much Jesus loves his church, and so he expects those who are full of the same love, the love of God, to love that church just as much. Yet we seem to take this so lightly, don’t we? We seem to take it so lightly in the church today. Brotherly affection is a very strong, it’s a very strong phrase. He could have said a lot of things. He even goes on to say,

outdo one another in showing honor. So it’s not even like, oh, you’re my brother, you’re my sister, I care about you, let me know if you need me to cut your grass when you’re sick or something, if I have to. I think we have such poor and low ideals of this biblical concept of togetherness, brother-sister relationships in the church, to the point where Paul says, outdo one another in showing honor. So there is a certain active desire to show reverence and care for someone, to go out of your way, to love and value those whom you follow Christ with.

Here’s why you can’t fake it. Here’s why you can’t fake it, because it takes that supernatural love that we talked about to treat non-blood family like that. It takes the supernatural love of God to treat people who are different from you, who have different personalities from you, come from a completely different walk of life, and to love them as if they were your own brother. It can’t be done without the genuine love of God.

And let’s be honest, most folks go their whole church experience with maximum, like a smile, a handshake on Sundays, maybe they’ll go to a Bible study or something, and that’s it. That’s most people. Most people don’t. Most people don’t want to deal with conflict. Most people don’t want to deal with the church in a difficult season. Most people. Most people. And so, again, I’m pushing you and myself to re-examine what is the nature of the love that I have for the local church, what is the nature of my love for the people with whom I say I do church life with. Because it probably is not reaching this brotherly love that Paul says you should, gosh, seek to honor, he says further down, show hospitality to one another. Practice hospitality. How can I just bless them?

So, service is good, and all the things we can talk about that we should be doing as Christians are good. Evangelism, mission trips, doing this, doing that. All good things. All good things. But the Christian life is not boiled down to all the good things I’ve done. It’s boiled down to this, is it not? Am I full of the love of God? Am I loving God’s people well? There is an undeniable, unimpeachable way to discover whether or not you’re truly a Christian. And I think most people fail that test. A lot of people in the church, they fail that test.

The New Testament seems to be supremely interested in this. Do we love the brothers? Do we undervalue the brothers? Do you underestimate how much Jesus loves His church? Jesus spilled His blood for the church. So, Jesus demands. Jesus demands we treat one another like this. Like the family we are, and the family we will be for all eternity. So, I need to act like the family I am with you like it’s going to be in a few years. You know, life’s short. It’s so short.

And it’s hard and it’s difficult, but part of being God’s people, loving one another through every season, Jesus uses that to grow and to sanctify us into His image through a variety of seasons and circumstances when we love one another. When we love one another. So, again, that’s hyper-practical, isn’t it? It’s hyper-practical. It’s hyper-practical to say, Sunday mornings matter, well, for us. Sunday evenings matter because I want to be with God’s people. I want to talk to my brothers. I want to see my sisters. I want to see their faces. You know? I want to know what’s going on with them. I want to worship God with them. I want to hear the Word of God with them. I want to gather. If the church is gathering together again on Wednesday, let me be with God’s people. It’s the most important thing in my schedule. I want to be with God. Be with God’s people. Again, I’ve said this a million times. You don’t need some official sanction from me to love someone else in the church. Build a friendship with someone you don’t know. Here’s a crazy idea. How about someone you know the least here? Ask them to come over for dinner one night. Have you ever thought about that? Which is biblical. It says, seek to show hospitality to the saints. How can you love? How can you love deeply those you don’t know and grow deeply with your brothers and sisters in Christ? I would like to do something new.

The last Sunday of every month when we take communion, why not? Just whatever you’re going to eat for dinner, just bring that. Maybe it’s simpler. Maybe it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a frozen something. And we just go in there and eat together. Just fellowship. There’s always arguments. Like when they talk about eating a common meal in Acts, was that like a love feast or was that communion? And people go back and forth. And it’s like, I don’t know. It was definitely both. They definitely took communion together and they definitely ate together a lot. You know? So I’ll send out a reminder, but bring pizza rolls. I don’t know. Whatever’s easiest for mom is the winner. And they just be together and just eat together and love one another.

Okay, here’s the second thing. So if I have the fruit of love, I have a genuine love for God, the things of God, then I genuinely have a brotherly affection. That’s a genuine love. Here’s how it comes out. Also here in the second part of verse nine, I have a genuine love for truth. Genuine love for truth.

So verse nine, second part, Paul says, abhor, abhor what’s evil. Abhor what’s evil. To abhor something is to find something repugnant. It’s to hate it strongly. Like to hate it.

Like hate it. I hate mustard. My family knows I hate Heinz mustard. I hate the color. I hate the wateriness of it. I hate it. This is talking about something far beyond that kind of hate. Hate it. And here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. If you have a genuine love for God, necessarily, you have to have a hate. I mean a real disgust and hate for evil. Have to. Again, Leon Morris calls it a holy hatred. A holy hatred. I want to go to Galatians chapter five, verse 19, because Paul gives us a message. He gives us here, I think, a pretty thorough, I don’t want to say exhaustive, but a pretty thorough list of what we should hate. Galatians 5.19.

Now the works of the flesh are evident.

Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

These are not things that you and I, if we find ourselves doing them, even if we find ourselves desiring, that we should simply dislike that about ourselves.

If I find myself in a pattern of lust, or a pattern of jealousy, or dealing with idolatry, or having anger, which for some reason seems more excusable or something, I shouldn’t just recognize it’s wrong. I shouldn’t go, Lord, sorry I did that again. No, no, no. The Bible says I should have a deep sense of self-love. Unneeded, hate for that in myself. Because it’s unlike Jesus. It’s unlike Jesus. And what’s worse is we excuse that stuff. We excuse that stuff. Well, everybody gets mad sometimes. Every guy struggles with, you know, you know, lust. No. Stop creating false standards to ease your guilty conscience. If you’re in Christ, you’ll do what Jesus said to do. What did He say to do with sin in your life? He said, well, if your hand causes you sin, lop that thing off, man. If your eye causes you sin, rip it out. Better to go into heaven maimed than for whole body and soul to be cast into hell. What’s Jesus saying there? He’s saying, deal with your sin drastically or you will go to hell. Hell is a wonderful motivator to stop sinning. Stop sinning.

So when you and I, when we have this kind of passivity, this kind of slowness, this kind of neglect to deal with vices, you’re under the influence of evil and you’ll ultimately be destroyed by it. Evil is not just a kind of a nameless, faceless thing and you’re pushing it off. It is coming for you. You kill it or it’ll kill you. That’s how you have to think about your sin. You have to think about sin in your own life. You have to think about your sin like that. You have to have a radical, just ongoing warfare with things. Which we’ve talked about this too recently. You have to live with a sort of self-consciousness that most people don’t like to live with. Really an open vulnerability to be wrong, which involves letting people tell you, hey, you have some ugly parts going on here. So again, if we don’t have vibrant community where it’s a kind of, you know, a kind of community where we’re confessing sin and people are able to call us out without us like busting their head for doing it, we’re not going to deal with the sin in our hearts.

And it’s not even just like you have internal vices. You do, but we also have outside influences. And outside influences are more prevalent today than they’ve ever been for anybody. Why? Because we have these things in our pockets and we have computers and we have TVs and now they’re trying to get you to strap it on your head so you can virtually be somewhere or things getting implanted in your brain anymore. We are so influenced all the time. And here’s the word, and it’s a good word and we don’t use it anymore. It’s kind of a dead word and we should start using it. The word is worldliness. Worldliness. When’s the last time you prayed to God to keep you from worldliness?

Tim Challies, he’s an online Christian blogger, and he says this, to be healthy and growing Christians, we must maintain a close watch guarding against the least encroachment of worldliness. We must be aware of its existence and its allure. We must be aware of its ease, for while godliness requires tenacity, worldliness takes only apathy. Whereas we can easily coast into worldliness, we will not attain the least godliness without persistence. And we must be aware that either godliness will drive out worldliness or worldliness will drive out godliness. They cannot coexist. They can’t coexist. So I do want you to think about what you’re letting influence you. I do want you to think about the media you’re putting into your head and heart all the time. You’ve got to think about the media you’re consuming. It’s like you are what you are. It’s like you are what you eat. It’s the same thing spiritually as it is true, you know, with your physical body. And I think we’ve got to say, hey, hold on. I don’t think I should find everything interesting and entertaining just like the world does. I don’t think I should consume profanity-laced stuff. I don’t think I should consume things with crude and filthy and dirty jokes, which is like everything anymore. I don’t think I should consume things with crude and filthy and dirty jokes, which is like everything anymore. I don’t think I need to watch movies or shows with sex scenes and nudity. And again, that seems to be, for a lot of people, even claiming to be Christians, quite normal behavior.

Do I find myself wanting the same material possessions? And do I have the same spending patterns that it seems the guy next to me at work who doesn’t know Jesus does? Do I have the same long-term hopes and dreams for my life? And my finances and my successes and who I want to be 20 years from now?

Friends, if it seems like I’m consuming the same stuff the world’s consuming and I have the same wants and desires the same that the world does, I may just have to look in the mirror and go, oh, I think I’m worldly. I think I’m worldly.

And I think the worst part is I think we tend to kind of persecute ourselves in the church when someone’s like that. It’s like, wait, brother, don’t be a legalist on me now. We live by grace. Don’t be beating me up the head because you don’t think I can watch a movie or something. And we’ve lost this. I think we’ve lost this entirely. This zeal to run evil out of my heart. Like, hey, we don’t let our kids watch that stuff. Sorry. Hey, I don’t think I should be alone with a person of the opposite sex. Sorry. Sorry. I don’t think, you know, a female should wear that out in public. Sorry. You know? Friends, I just want you to take an honest look at your own soul and say, have I deceived myself into thinking that I have waged a war against evil and really I am a puppet and it is my master?

If I have a genuine love for God, the things that I’ve done for God, What I find to be good, beautiful, and true will be very different from what the world finds to be good, beautiful, and true. What I find to be good and beautiful and true will be different from what the world finds good, beautiful, and true.

So, questions for your own soul.

Is the media I’m consuming helping or hurting my holiness? Is the media I consume helping or hurting my holiness? Is the status and the goal I’m seeking in life, does that come from a place of love for God? Or is that for my own glory? The friends I hold, the friends I hold, do my friends push me towards holiness and goodness or not?

Do I seek comfort in the ease of life? Or do I seek comfort in the ease of life above everything else? So, that’s a good question to ask yourself on a regular basis. Is this hurting or is this helping my holiness? And yes, spiritual wisdom has to be exercised in all these things. But here’s the other half of it. The other half of it is hold fast to what is good. Hold fast to what’s good. Now, here’s what’s really interesting about this. When Paul says hold fast to what’s good, it’s the same word that Jesus uses when he talks about marriage. A man shall leave his father, and they shall what? Hold fast to one another. Now, that’s about as fast holding as you can get. Like, that’s holding fast. And it means to be bound closely. It means literally to be glued. That’s what it means. Paul’s saying if you love God, you’re going to love to be glued to the truth. Remember last week we talked about abiding. Abiding means to remain. It means to stay. So, if I’m abiding in Jesus, it means I am being glued to, I’m being bound to all that’s good and all that honors God. And Paul says it like this in Philippians 4, verse 8.

Philippians 4, verse 8.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there’s anything excellent, if there’s anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Think about these things. So, why is it? If I have a genuine love for God, I’m going to hate evil and love truth. Why is it? All right? The answer is so plain. And we’ve already given the answer. All right? The answer for how do I know if I really have a genuine love for God and grow in it was what? It was to behold Jesus. At the same time, I can know if I have a genuine love for God by loving the truth. By doing what? Looking to the cross of Christ. Looking to Jesus. Because what do I see in the cross of Christ? I see those two things beautifully met. I see a God who’s saying, no, I’m committing to truth in my personality and who I am is holiness and righteousness and morality and purity. That is who God is. So, Jesus was nailed to a tree so that you and I didn’t pay for being full of evil so that we could be made true. So, in Christ, I’m made true and I’m given a heart to love what’s true. And Jesus took the consequences for me being evil and being against God. So, I see in the cross of Christ all of God’s love for me and all of God’s truth being held up together. God isn’t bending truth. He’s not letting anyone off, you know? You’re not let off the hook because, you know, you’re evil and God’s like, well, just don’t worry about it. No, Jesus had to die and suffer for you and for me because we’re evil. But in seeing him suffer, I see God’s love for me at the same time. So, there’s no way I can have a genuine love for God if I’m not at the same time hating evil and pursuing truth in every part. In every part.

So, I just want to end asking you this question. Where do you need to grow in your love? I did not say, do you need to? No one heard me. I didn’t say that because I didn’t say that. I said, where do you need to grow? Because you need to. And I need to grow. I need to grow in just being dumbfounded and just in awe of Jesus nailed to a cross. I need to just get back into loving that man and being shaped by that. Loving the brothers. Oh, we need to love the brothers. Oh, we need to love truth. Where do you need to grow? Where do you need to grow? Where do you need to grow in Jesus? We deeply desire to see these marks, these fruits in our hearts because they mean we deeply desire Christ. We love him. Let’s pray.

Father, we know that we only love you because you first loved us.

We can’t claim any moral high ground. We can’t claim any right affection for you without you making us new in your son. So, Lord, lead us out of ourselves more. Lead us out of pride. Lead us out of selfishness. Lead us out of our desire to have worth in this world. To have our little kingdoms and lead us to the place where we are crucified, buried, raised to new life. Where we love who you are and we love being shaped by your son, Jesus. That’s our prayer. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Amen.

Preacher: Chad Cronin

Passage: Romans 12:9-10