Now, in Romans chapter 12, we have this great passage about the church, talking about the church being as the body of Christ and all the different members in the body, and the bible talks about how they have different roles and different functions. He also talks about having peace with one another, loving one another, just getting along with one another.
As I was studying this, I noticed that a lot of the principles in this passage that had to do with getting along in the local church, all of these principles actually carry over into marriage. They carry over into siblings getting along with their brothers and sisters. There's a lot that we can learn about just getting along with people and how to have a good marriage, how to get along with our fellow church members, our brothers and sisters physically, especially for children that are growing up in the home, in big families, a lot of siblings. They need to learn how to get along. In the church, we're brothers and sisters in Christ, how to get along.
It's all found in this passage. I want to point out 7 specific things tonight about how to get along, whether it's in church and marriage, whatever. The first thing I want to point out starts in verse number 5, where the bible reads, "For as we have many members in one body," and members there, that means body parts, he says, "all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."
I think the first thing that's going to help us to be able to get along with people in the local church and be in one accord and have peace is that we understand that different people have different roles in the church. Different people have different functions. We don't all have the same office. We don't all have the same job. God doesn't expect us all to be the same. We're all different and we need to understand that in order to get along.
Flip over to 1 Corinthians chapter 12. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 is a parallel passage with Romans 12. They both talk a lot about spiritual gifts, and they cover some of the same things. While you're turning there, let me just go through some of those gifts for you. He talked about those who prophesy. He says, "Let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith."
When the bible says prophesy, a lot of people misunderstand that to mean just telling the future, like someone who could predict things, but in fact, the word prophesy means preaching. That's actually what it means. There's a lot of scripture that can be used to prove that. One thing I could point to is Proverbs 31, when it says, "The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him." None of that is a prediction of the future. It's just preaching. It's just things that are being preached unto Solomon or Lemuel by his mother.
If you study the word prophesy in the bible, it's preaching. That's what it means. Is everyone a preacher? No. Different people in the church have different roles. First of all, we don't believe in women preaching in the local church. The bible speaks highly against that in 1 Corinthians 14, 1 Timothy chapter 2. Not only that, every man isn't a preacher. Some people just don't have that gift. The bible here is talking about people have different gifts, different talents, different things that they're naturally good at. Some people preach, some people don't.
We have the preaching class every other Saturday night. Some people are never going to go to that preaching class. They're never going to want to stand by in the pulpit and preach, because it's just not their gift, it's just not their calling, and that's fine. The bible also lists here, ministry. Ministry just means serving, whatever the service that's needed. The bible says, "He that teacheth, on teaching. He that exhorteth, on exhortation."
Exhorting would be motivating and getting people fired up and so forth. "He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence." When it talks about ruling with diligence, that's a person who basically organizes things, delegates things, and tells people, "Hey, okay, you do this, you do this, and makes everything operates smoothly, and then, "He that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness." The bible is just talking about a lot of different gifts that people have.
Some people are doing the preaching, some people aren't. Some people are the song leader, the piano player, cleaning the building, greeting people, making the bulletin, whatever the case. Everybody has different things that they're good at. Some people are good at encouraging people and showing mercy and kindness to people and reaching out to people and just being a good friend. We all have different things that we're good at in the local church and other things that are not our strength.
What we need to realize is that everyone's job is important. It's not just the pastor that's important. It's not just the song leader that's important. It's not just the piano player that's important, but you're important, no matter who you are. You will say, "I don't do much," but if you just show up here and you're a friend unto other people and you love people and you pray for them and you're friendly to them and smile at them and great them and get to know them, you're actually helping our church grow and succeed and thrive because you are making our church a friendly church.
You're making our church a place where people can come and feel loved and feel like they're part of a church family, not just coming like it's a movie theater or something, you just sit down and watch the show, leave. That's not what a church is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a body, a congregation of people that love each other and pray for each other and encourage each other and build each other up. Anybody can do that. Other people who may be cleaning the building, that's something that's done behind the scenes, but it's necessary.
Other people who organize events and they plan different social events, and you say, "Wow, social events, it's not a social club." Yeah, but you know what? People need to have a social life. That's part of life. We're not living in a monastery. We're not these ascetic people who beat ourselves in monastery and kneel on grains of rice and just pray from morning till night, that's not what we believe in. We believe in living a normal balanced life and going to work and being married and having kids and enjoying life and serving the Lord with gladness, and not just trying to just see how ascetic of a lifestyle we can live and have no fun.
By the way, people who live that lifestyle, a lot of times they end up crashing and burning. It's not sustainable to have no pleasure in life. God never said, "Hey, just never have pleasure, just live a life of pain and suffering." There are religions that teach that. There are Buddhists who do that. There are Catholics who do that. We don't believe in that as bible believing Christians. We believe that socializing is a good thing.
The bible talks about getting together and eating and drinking with gladness and enjoying fellowship, one with another. It's better for us to have our social life be with God's people than to just be socializing with the world all the time and getting all that bad influence. We need to have friends in the church, Christian friends. That is an important part of our church, the fellowship, the friends, the socializing. I believe in it.
I think that it's one of the things that makes our church a great church, is all the great friends. I think it's important to stay that way. There are people who organize things like that. Look at 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 17, it says, "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?" See, look, if everybody is the same you don't have a body. If it's just one giant eye, that's not a body. It says, "If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?" These things are all important.
"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary." What the bible is saying is some people in the church that we might not think are important are necessary.
Now, nobody says, "The pastor is not important." Here's the thing, there are other people also that we might look at as less important, but the bible says they're necessary. See, the pastor might be the one who everybody sees and is front and center, but there are other people who behind the scenes are making this church succeed and playing an important role in the kingdom of God.
The bible teaches that there are people behind the scenes that are important and necessary. We all have a role to play and a role to fill, and so we never want to stop thinking that we're important. A few verses up from this he talked about people feeling like they're not really part of the body, and people feeling like they don't really have an important role, when really they do.
You say, "What does this have to do with getting along with one another?" When we respect other people's job and other people's role, we don't get an attitude of, "Well I'm more important. Why aren't you doing what I do? I'm doing X, Y, and Z. I'm cleaning the building. Why don't you clean the building?" Everybody does their own thing. Everybody has a different role and a different job. Part of getting along in the church is to understand that.
Look what the bible says in verse 23, "And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."
He's saying, "Look, everybody's important, we should care about everybody and some of the parts of the body that are the least attractive," He says, "are actually some of the most important parts of your body." You might think of parts of the body, maybe, I don't know, what part of the body is not attractive? Your guts, your insides, but they're performing an important role. Maybe your feet aren't the best looking feet in the world, but you need them. They get you from A to B.
He's saying, "Look, the uncomely," because comely is referring to how good they look from the outside, "some of the uncomely parts are necessary." Some people in the church that we think maybe don't play an important role. They're expendable, but it's really not true, because everybody is important. Now look at Luke chapter 10. Luke chapter number 10 and we see the story about Mary and Martha, and they're performing 2 different roles in Luke chapter 10 beginning in verse 38.
"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house." Luke 10:39, "And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
Here's Martha serving the Lord in her way, which was to be in the Kitchen, making food, bringing drinks and so forth, whereas Mary is just sitting at the feel of Jesus and listening. Martha is basically saying, "I want Mary to be like me. I want Mary to do what I'm doing." Jesus says, "No, Mary is doing what Mary is doing." In fact, what she's doing is better than what you're doing."
We want to make sure we don't get an attitude of, "Well, why aren't they doing this. I'm doing it, why don't you do it?" Having this idea that we're all supposed to do the same thing, no we're not. Not everyone has to preach. Not everyone is cut out for leading the singing. Not everyone has the job of cleaning the building. Not everybody is running a soul winning time.
We all have different roles and different gifts and different abilities. We shouldn't look down on other people and think, "Well, I'm doing a really important job, they're not. In fact, they're not doing much." We need to just worry about what we're doing and be like, Jesus told Simon, "Don't worry about what John is doing, you follow me. You take up your cross and follow me. I'll worry about John."
How does this carryover into marriage? If you think about it, in marriage there are different roles. There's a big difference between husband and wife in marriage. The husband has the role of being the provider, paying the bills. The woman has the role of being the keeper at home and taking care of the house and cooking, cleaning, raising the children, both of those roles as just as important.
Think about it, without me doing my job in our marriage, we're not going to go very far when the money stops coming in, if I'm not working and providing. That's going to be a big problem isn't it, in our marriage? What if my wife just stops doing her job? All the bathrooms are filthy and there's no food cooked, and the kids are running around naked and screaming, and the place is trashed. Her job is just as important as my job. You can't say, "You have the really important job Pastor Anderson, and her job, well, she's just doing nothing."
No, her job is just as important, it's every bit as necessary as my job. Without both of us doing our job, the children are not going to be cared for and raised. We're not going to have a good marriage. The home is going to fall apart if either one of us isn't working hard. I may be more in the limelight than my wife is, but she is just as important to the equation as I am. In order for my wife and I to get along, we have to realize that there's a difference between us. If we don't realize that, we're not going to get along.
If I start looking at her and saying, "Hey, you need to do what I do, I'm making all these money. You go make money." That's not right. What if she looks at me and says, "Look at all these that I do. I'm cooking meals, go out an apron and you cook a meal." That's not right. She needs to understand, look I have a job, you have a job. I have a role, you have a role. We're not going to be the same. I could look at her and become envious of her and say, "Wow, it must be nice to be at home all day. It must be nice getting all these time with the children." Why are you laughing about that?
"It must be nice," but you know what? There have been times, I remember when I was traveling a lot for business and just working really hard travelling and just sleep deprived, and she's going on field trips with the homeschool field trip. I was like, "Man, that looks pretty cool." She went on this whale watching things one time while I was at work all day and I'm still bitter about ... No, I'm just kidding. Anyway, I've always wanted to go in a boat on the ocean. I've never done it. I've never seen a whale except the dumb killer whales. I want to see a real giant blue whale.
Anyway, I'm just saying, I could sit there and look at her and say, "Well you, you don't have the stress that I have honey, because I have to deal with all these banking and finances and figuring out how we're going to pay for 10 people. You're on homeschool fiend trips, and I'm working my fingers to the bone." Then she could look at me, "Oh, it must be nice having a quiet minute to think. You actually drive down the road all day and you can actually think a sane thought. I've got 8 children screaming in my ear all day. Yeah, you have a long drive, but you can stop and think. Oh yeah, you're working hard sitting on an airplane, sitting in the car, going out to eat every meal."
It'd be easy for me to look at her life and think, "Oh yeah, she's got it easy. It must be nice having no responsibility. Your husband's the one who's got to make sure everything doesn't fall apart and pay all the bills." Then she saying, "Oh man, it must be nice to be the boss and be able to do whatever you want." You see, we could just go on and on right? Where I'm looking at her saying, "Well you don't understand how hard my job is." She's saying, "You don't understand what it's like being at home and ..."
In order to get along, number 1, we just have to realize that we all have our life that we're living. We all have the role and the position that God has placed us in. You know what? There are benefits to being the pastor. I like being the pastor, but there are some negatives to being a pastor. You might sit there and think, "Oh man, I wish I were the pastor. I'd love to be the pastor." Look, "If you desire the office of a bishop," the bible says, "you desire a good work." That's actually a good desire to have.
If you say, "You know what? I want to be the pastor." Then you know what I would say to you, "You know what? Be the pastor then." If you want to drink of the cup that I've drunk of, and be baptized with the baptism where with I have been baptized, go start a church and see what it's like. Honestly, it is a blessing, it is great. I like being the pastor, but it's hard too. It has a lot of positives. It has negatives, but that's life. Then being a church member has positives, has negatives. Being married, positives, negatives. Being single, there are some positive, a lot of negative. No, I'm just kidding.
Some people are more cutout for being single than others honestly, and some people are more cutout for marriage than others. Honestly, I'll tell you this though, you know what? You say, "Well, you're married and I'm single, and I wish I were married." You know what? There are some things to being single. You have more just freedom and you not having to always have to work with somebody else.
I'm saying that it's easy to envy other people, and the best way to get along, because you know what envying is often associated with in the bible? Strife. "Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." When I start looking at my wife saying, "You have it too easy. It must be nice." Then we're going to have strife. When she looks at me, "Oh it must be nice being the man, being the boss." Then there's going to be strife.
We need to just realize, "You know what? I'm happy with where God put me. If I'm single, I'm going to count my blessings in other areas. If I'm married, I'm going to count my blessings as a married person. If I'm rich, I'm counting my blessings. If I'm poor, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Whatever our role is, whether we're the pastor, whether we're running a soul winning time, whether we're the song leader, the piano player, it's cool being the piano player because it is a front and center thing where everybody sees what you're doing, but it's very stressful. It's hard. It's a lot of work. You just have to understand that we're all different, don't envy one another and just understand, in a marriage we have different roles, in a church we have different roles. Let's just all live the life that God has given us and not envy one another.
Understand that we have different roles, number 1. Number 2, back in Romans 12, all these are found in Romans 12 tonight. In verses 4 through 8, we learned that if we're going to have unity in the body, if there's no going to be a schism in the body. What does schism mean? Splitting apart. If there's not going to be a schism in the body, we need to realize, "Hey we're all important. We all have a function. We all have a job. Don't worry so much that other people aren't just like you. It's okay that we're different.
I go soul winning with people sometimes that go soul winning completely different than I do. That's okay, because we don't need just an army of Steven Andersons out soul winning. Some people, you're better at winning to the Lord than I would be. Some people, I would be better. That's why God's going to use all of us. We're all preaching the same gospel of course. We're all telling people that we're sinners that it's by faith alone that they're saved, heaven and hell. We're all teaching eternal security of the believer.
How we get from point A to point B, we might be using different verses, different illustrations. God uses our personalities to reach different kinds of people, and that's important we don't want to all be the same. We don't want to all be clones. We don't want to be all be robot. By the way guys, don't expect your wife to be like you. She's a woman, and women are just different than men. Don't expect her to act like you, think like you, logic like you. Good luck. I'm just saying, because we're different. We're different in church too.
By the way, come to church and learn to get along with people that are different. Don't be like these high school kids where it's just like, "I'm just going to gravitate toward my crowd. I'm a skater and all my friends are skaters. I'm a rapper, all my friends are rappers. I'm Country Western, all my friends are ... Remember how in school it would break out by your music?
In church, we need to get along with people that are different colors and different nationalities, different demographic, different financial stand. We're all one in Christ Jesus, and you need to learn to broaden who you can get along with and not just be one who just gets along with people that are just like you. Learn to just get along with different kinds of people in the church, we're all different.
Number 2, beginning on verse number 9, the second point is that we need to have sincere love with one another. This is whether we're in church or in our marriage or brothers and sisters. It says in verse 9, "Let love be without dissimulation." Now, take off that prefix dis, and what are you left with? Simulation. What is a simulator? Is it real? It's fake right? When it says, "Let love be without dissimulation," he's saying, "Have love that's real, that's not fake, that's not a façade. It's not simulated.
"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." These 2 verses tell us that we need to have sincere, real, heartfelt love for one another in a church if we're going to have unity, if we're going to have peace in the local church. We need to actually love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and of course we need to love our wife or love our husband.
Not only just loving in our heart, that's important to have real love inside our heart, but it also says, "Be kindly affectioned one to another." We need to show our love. It doesn't really do you any good to have love in your heart if it's never expressed. The bible says, "Open rebuke is better than secret love." We need to express our love, and this is really important in marriage. You need to express your love to your spouse. You need to tell your spouse that you love them. Not just say, "Well, I told her when I married her, and if I change my mind I'll let her now. It stands that I love her."
You should tell your wife, tell your husband that you love them often, praise them and tell them all the thing you like about them, compliment them. I'm constantly complementing my wife and that's just part of having a good marriage, and not a fake complement. I'm sure there's something that you like about your spouse. I hope so, otherwise you're in trouble and this sermon can't help you. No, I'm just kidding. You're doomed. I'm sure there's something, I'm not saying complement her for things that's she's bad at or complement your husband that he's bad at.
Complement the things that he's good at, because everybody has good qualities, so make your compliment the things that you actually like about your spouse. When you're fake people can see through you when you're fake. People can tell when it's real. If your husband is totally out of shape, don't tell them, "Man, you are just, you are so ripped. You are so buff." You know what? Maybe he's bot in great shape but he's making great money. Praise him for being a great provider or he's really handsome or he's just really thoughtful, whatever it is that you do like about him. Find something to compliment, and find something to compliment about your wife.
Why would you compliment? It's just a way of expressing love. It's just a way of showing that you love them, doing nice things for people. How do you show your love to people at church, obviously it's a different kind of love at church, the bible talks here about brotherly love. Showing your love could just be as simple as smiling and greeting them, maybe giving them a card or giving them a gift, just being thoughtful, being friendly.
Just make it so that the people around you know that you love them, and just let them know that you care about them. Show some affection for the people of the church. It's important that you let people know how you feel about them. It says, "In honour preferring one another." What does it mean to prefer one another? Put other people before yourself is what that means, to prefer them. Put them above your own personal needs and put others first.
Number 3, is if we're going to have unity and peace and get along and have success in our church or in our marriage, number 3, you got to do your job. Do your job. Number 1, realize we all have different roles. Number 2, have love for one another and actually show that love, be loving, be affectionate with one another. Number 3, you got to do your job. Look at verse 11, "Not slothful in business." Right there it's showing, don't be lazy, do your job. Get it done. "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord."
Those are all 3 words, all 3 of those phrases have to do with getting our work done, being not slothful, meaning lazy in business, but then it says fervent in spirit. Fervent comes from the word fire. Fervent in spirit means that basically we're fired up. That's the opposite of being lazy, whether this is in the home or in the church. If I get up behind the pulpit and I'm lazy, and I'm not preaching my best, and I'm just slothful up here. The opposite of that would be being on fire, preaching hard and being fervent and taking it seriously and it's important.
Honestly, everyone's job, if you're greeting people and handing out the bulletins and being friendly to people at the door, be fervent. Take it seriously. Think it's important. If you're going to lead the singing, you better get up here and sing your heart out and not just be, "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Get up here and sing your heart out and do the hand motions, and whether you're playing the piano, playing the organ, take it seriously. If you're cleaning, do a good job, give it your best. Don't be slothful. Be fervent, and do it unto the Lord. Serve the Lord.
Those are 3 great phrases in verse 11 on just doing your job. As a husband, that means when you go to work to provide, you're fervent. You're not slothful at your job and failing at your job. You're doing your best at your job, so that you can bring home the paycheck to your wife and kids and support them. That's what it's all about. That's why we go to work every day guys, is to support our family. That's what we have to keep in perspective. I'm working hard so that I can bring home the bacon, literally and figuratively.
Then it says in verse 12, "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not." We got to do our job. I got to do my job as a husband. I need to give it my best. My wife should do her job as a wife and give it her best, not just another frozen dinner in the microwave. Here we go again.
No, actually doing her best at that job, if her job is cooking and cleaning, to do her best at it. If her job is homeschooling the children, to give it her best and to do a good job, and obviously taking care of her husband, and the husband does his best to make sure that his wife feels loved and is provided for and taken care of and everything like that. We need to do our job in the church, do it with fervency and be fired out about it and not lazy about our job.
Number 4, we need to have empathy for one another. Look at verse 15, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." Keep your finger on Romans 12, flip over to 1 Corinthians 12. This is that parallel passage that we were in just a little while ago. This is one of my favorite verses when it says, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
That's an important principle if you want to have peace and unity and get along well and have good relationships with people at church or with people in your home, whether it's your siblings or whether you're married. When your wife or your husband is suffering that shouldn't make you happy. You shouldn't rejoice about that. The bible talks about how irritating it is to sing songs unto those that be of a heavy heart. Somebody's down and depressed and upset and you're just, "Hey, how's it going? What's up? All right." You're all jovial. That's not nice.
When other people are sad and suffering and in pain, you know what? You should strive to feel their pain. You should weep with those that weep, and try to put yourself in their position. That's what empathy is, is when you can feel what they're feeling and you can weep with them. Also, likewise, when your friends at church or your spouse has a great success and is happy about something, you need to rejoice with them. If your husband comes home, "Oh man, I had a great day at work. I got a promotion. I got the raise and everything." "Oh great, I had a terrible day." That's not nice.
You should be like, "Oh great. Let's celebrate. That's exciting. That's great." You might sometimes be going through a hard time in your life, but when someone else has great rejoicing and when someone else has something good happen, you should be happy for them and get onboard with them. Contrary-wise, you might be really happy, and then somebody gets hit with some bad news, you know what? You need to land the plane a little bit and say, "Hey, you know what? I'm really sorry that that happened. Let's pray together. Weep with them and care about their suffering." That's called having empathy.
Some people are better at this than others. Some people are naturally more empathetic than others. Other people are just kind of just don't really care. This is something that we need to work on because God commands us to rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those who weep. Honestly, you'll get along with your spouse better if learn to mirror what they are going through. Your spouse is having a bad day, you need to comfort them and not just be all jovial, "What's the matter? Everything is great." If you have a great success, you would want your spouse to rejoice with you.
Look what it says in 1 Corinthians 12 about the church in verse 26, it says, "Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." Isn't that what the church is supposed to be? One person suffers, we all suffer. One person is rejoicing, we all rejoice. That's how it should be in our marriage where we're on the same page. We rejoice together. We weep together. We care about other people's feelings, not just our own feelings.
The bible says, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." We care about how other people are feeling, not just, "Well things are going good for me, then I'm going to be rejoicing. I don't care if other people are suffering." If I'm suffering, "I don't care, wipe that smile of you face. I'm suffering. Can't you see I'm suffering?" We need to be more concerned about empathizing with others. You know what? As a pastor, this is important. Those of you guys who want to pastor some day, let me tell you something. There are times when I'm in a bad mood and I show up for church and I never show up for church outwardly in a bad mood.
When was the last time you saw me walk in here Sunday morning, Sunday night, or Wednesday night, (exhales), "How you doing Pastor Anderson?" "Lousy. I'm not getting along with my wife. My finances are in the toilet." That's not what I do. I walk in here when things are going bad and I have a big smile and I'm friendly and shake your hand and I put on the new man. I'm joyful. You know what? Honestly, usually by the end of the service it's real. Seriously, because sometimes you'll be in a bad mood and you come to church and I'm in church, it puts me in a good mood. I like church.
Usually, I'm genuinely in a good mood when I show up. Do you think I'm never in a bad mood? Usually, I'm genuinely in a good mood, but sometimes there are times when I'm in a bad mood, but I have to show up and be friendly and rejoice, why? I don't want to drag you down. I'm here to try to edify you. When you show up for church, you might need encouragement, you need me to show up and be there to be friendly, to rejoice with you, to try to get you, in the process, I usually get myself in a great mood, just getting you in a good mood.
That's what we need to try to do, is to be able to sometimes put aside things in our life that are causing us to rejoice too much or weep too much for the people around us, and try to be what we need to be for other people, try to help get along with them. This goes for marriage or for church. Empathy is what I'm talking about. Empathy, where we rejoice with those that rejoice and where we weep with those who weep, and not just caught up in all our emotions and everything that's going on with us because other people have needs to. We need to look on other people's needs not our own needs.
Back to Romans 12, the next verse. We just covered verses 15 and 16. Look at verse 17. It says, "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Number 5 is this, make the effort to get along.
Make an effort to get along. Go into the church and go into marriage with an attitude of, "You know what? I'm going to try to get along. I'm not just going to try and see how things go. I'm going to make a concerted effort, as much as is possible, as much as lieth in me, I'm going to make the effort to live peaceably with all men. I'm not going to recompense evil for evil. I'm going to go into this thing understanding that if someone at church says something rude to me, I'm just going to shake it off. I'm not going to reply."
This isn't a TV sitcom where there's a live studio audience that's going to laugh when you have that perfect comeback, that perfect one-liner. When somebody insults you, "Oh yeah, yo mama," and you just come back at them with some one-liner. When somebody says something rude to you, you need to just not retaliate and try to just live peaceably with all men and not render evil for evil. Make the effort to get along.
Do you really try to get along with your wife? Do you really try to get along with your husband? Do you just think, "It's her job to get along with me," or, "It's his job to get along with me." It's good to try to just live peaceably and get along. Obviously in the marriage there's a clear authority structure where the husband's in charge and the wife is in subjection.
I think that when both people strive to get along and have peace ... Obviously you can be a complete boss and be ruling without being unkind, without being angry, hateful, rude. You can be kind and you don't have to be evil. What the bible is teaching us here to be peaceful, to get along, to make the effort to not return evil for evil whether that's at church or in marriage.
Listen, there are people at church who are going to say rude things to you. There are even people in our church who say rude things. It's true. I hear people say rude things. People said rude things to me. I have all these examples in my mind that I would just love to start rattling out right now. There's so many examples of just rude things, but honestly, usually I don't think anybody means anything by it.
It's anything like, okay who's not here? Use the example so they won't know I'm talking about. Literally, I talked to somebody one time and they said, "Where is your family? Where is your wife and kids?" I said, "Oh, they're at home." "Oh, they're just sitting at home." I'm thinking to myself like, "My wife doesn't sit at home. My wife is working hard." You know what I mean? She's cooking. She's cleaning. She's taking care of 8 kids. She's putting out all these fire.
Here's the thing. Wouldn't it be stupid for me to just get all upset about that and get mad and get rude? It's obviously just somebody who doesn't know what it's like to be a housewife or a homemaker that has 8 kids. That's okay. That person who said that to me wasn't trying to put in a dig or burn me. Now, usually men can easily let stuff like that just roll off you like a water off a duck's back. When this person said that to me, I just thought it was funny. I just though it's hilarious that people just don't understand what life is like for other people.
Seriously, sometimes people can just, if they hear something like that they just, "Oh, I can't believe that you said that to me." You know what? I'm not trying to be down on women or anything because obviously men and women have different of weaknesses and strengths, there are a lot of weaknesses that men have. Let me tell you something. Women will often get bitter about stuff and not let it go more than me. Men are better at taking insults.
Men, we get together with other men, we're like, "You idiot. You moron." We were talking about today, after the sermon this morning, we're talking about how we were kids in school on the playground, all the names we would call each other. That's just how men are. We don't mean anything by it, but women aren't like that. Women don't get together, "He idiot." It's just not how they are.
When somebody says something to them that's rude or that's insulting, they tend to (growls), and get bitter about it. Look, if somebody says something rude to you, you need to just forget it, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." The bible says, "Let not the sun go down on your wrath." If you're still mad about it tomorrow, you're in sin.
Some might make you a little mad. If somebody says something to you and your reaction is to get mad, hey, that's just human. That's just human. What you have to do is control anger. That's called temperance, not having a bad temper. You control anger and you basically then forgive and forget and tomorrow you're not mad about it. Listen to me. If you're mad about it tomorrow, you're in sin.
By the way, this goes in marriage too, because the bible says, "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." God commands husbands not to be bitter against their wives. God calls husbands to forgive their wives. God calls all of us as Christians to forgive one another, forbear one another, pardon one another. These are things we need to do to get along in church or in our marriage.
I didn't say if people say rude things to you, when people say rude things to you, you need to let it go. People will insult your clothing. People are going to insult your vehicle. They're going to insult your lifestyle. They're going to insult your job. People are going to say things, and they don't usually, honestly, I don't think they mean anything by it.
Sometimes my wife would say, "Could you believe what someone just said to me?" I would say, "That person is young and inexperienced, and that person didn't mean that." That's not what they're saying, because a lot of things are just said by people that just don't mean any of it. You know what? okay, look, I've said some insensitive things in my life. Believe it? I've said insensitive things to people. I've said things that were very downright rude to people. I'm not proud of that. I'm just saying that it's just life.
I said something rude to the free sample lady at Trader Joe's. My wife was like, "What are you doing?" She's like, "I have to show my face at this store again." I was just kidding, but she didn't think it was funny. It was just a joke. She handed us a sample, she was like, "Oh, you want to try?" I'm like, "Oh, okay. I started eating." I was like, "Oh, this is really." She was like, "Yeah, we just heated it up on the microwave," and I went, "Microwave." I was just kidding. My wife's like, "You don't joke with women about the food that they make. It's not funny." I was like, "Oh, I don't eat out of the microwave." It was a joke. That woman is still bitter about it, every time I go back. No, I'm just kidding.
Honestly, people are going to say things to you. Let me just think of something good. You're going to tell you you're pregnant, and you're really not, like, "When is the baby due?" "I'm not pregnant." That's pretty bad. "Oh, okay, is this your son?" "No, it's my husband." You say it like, "Oh you 2 are sisters, right?" "No, this is my daughter." The mother loves it. The daughter is like, "What are you doing? You think I'm that old."
Things like that are going to happen. People are going to say stuff like that that's just going to insult you. It's just rude. Honestly, you have to make the effort to get along, and you have to just not render evil for evil. You have to just forgive and forget. I've said plenty of insensitive rude things to my wife over the years, and she said plenty of insensitive rude things to me. We just have to learn to just not return fire, to forgive and forget, to let things go.
In a church, especially amongst ladies, people are going to not say the right thing about your hairstyle, your clothes, your body type, your marriage, your children, the list is endless, your cooking, your food, somebody eats your chili at the chili cook-off and made a face about it, I saw that face that they made, or whatever. You need to just learn to just make the effort to get along.
Number 5, was make the effort to get along. Have a goal of saying, "You know what? I'm going to get along with people. I'm not going to let people who are rude and insensitive and thoughtless, I'm not going to let them cause strife. I'm going to get along with that person." There are some people that are hard to get along with, but there's always somebody who can get along with the. There's always somebody who is smart enough to get along with them and to just understand.
I've been around people who just constantly say rude things. You just learn that's how that person is. You just think to yourself, "That's how that person is." You just go into it, expecting it. This person is going to say rude things to me and I'm not going to care because they don't mean anything by it. It's not a big deal. I'm just going to let it go.
"I know that my chili taste good. I know that my hair looks good." This is for the ladies. "I know that my outfit looks good. It's not from last fall. I'm not wearing white after Labor Day, or whatever, I don't care what everybody thinks about my appearance, if I still look a little pregnant or whatever." It's like, who cares? Get over it. We need to make the effort to get along.
Then verse 6, look at verse 19. I just like how everything is just laid out in this chapter. This is a great chapter on getting along. It's just amazing how it all goes for church, but then it all goes for your marriage too. Look at verse 19. It says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath." Number 6 is this, don't lose your temper. We just talked about that with making the effort to get along. A big part of making the effort to get along is not losing your temper, controlling anger.
He says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath." What does it mean to give place unto wrath? Understand that wrath has its place. There is going to be a time when you get angry legitimately, but you need to put off anger, put off wrath. Let not the sun go down on your wrath. You don't blow up and lose your temper. We need to be slow to anger, slow to speak, slow to wrath. "The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." We need to control anger in our lives and not blow up and lose our temper.
This is a big part of getting along in marriage, is not losing your temper. We've all lost our temper in marriage, unless you're just some perfect person, whatever. You make me sick. No, I'm just kidding. Anyway, we've all gotten angry. Nobody is perfect. Maybe you are that one person who never gets in an argument, never gets in a fight, but honestly, most people, one time or another, lose their temper and get angry. It's something that we all need to work on. I think it's one of the best things you can do to improve your marriage, is to not lose your temper.
This isn't all men either. Women lose their temper too. It's both husband and wife that can lose their temper. We need to all not have a short fuse, and just be ready to blow up. Sometimes, a sentence will come out of somebody's mouth, it's not even out of their mouth, and you don't even know that the end of the sentence is going to fix everything about the first half of the sentence, and you're already blowing up, (makes sounds). You need to slow down and listen to what people are saying and not have a short fuse and just blow your top at a drop of a hat.
Is anger always sinful? No, there are times when anger is legitimate. Jesus got angry. That proves that it's not a sin. Let me say this though, most of our anger is illegitimate, and most of the time, when we get anger, it's just us blowing our top and having a bad temper. Yes, there are times to legitimately be angry, but we need to be slow to anger and not just be on a short fuse, ready to blow up, ready to lose our temper. It's just an exercise in self-control. A big part of it is being prepared big part of it.
People ask all the time, "Why do you think it's so important to not be fooled by pre-tribulation rapture? Why even preach that?" Some of pre-triburs, they'll come at you with, "What are you doing to prepare for the tribulation then if this is so important? Are you stockpiling food? Are you stockpiling water? Are you stockpiling ammunition?" Honestly, they're missing the point when they ask those kinds of question.
What they're missing the point is, that first of all, the reason it's important to stand on it is because it's the truth and the other is a lie. That's enough of a reason right there to care about it, just so that we can read the bible and understand it. God wants us to understand the book of Revelation or it wouldn't be in the bible. If you're a pre-tribur, you don't understand the book of Revelation. It doesn't make any sense if you're pre-trib.
You have to understand that the rapture is not coming before the tribulation. It comes after in order to have a grasp of the book of Revelation. I've talked to many people who said, "Before I understood that doctrine, I didn't like reading revelation. Now I enjoy it because it makes sense to me." That's enough of a reason right there. What you don't understand is that just knowing that the tribulation is coming is a huge benefit, even if you don't have any water or food or ammo stockpiled.
Look, and this is the illustration I've used before, if I knew that there is a guy right outside that door waiting to jump me the moment I walk out that door. As soon as I walk out that door, he's going to jump on me and attack me and start punching me and assaulting me. Wouldn't I like to know that before I walk out that door? Even if I didn't have time to prepare a weapon, even if I didn't have a lead pipe or a gun or a knife or a chainsaw or anything, even if I don't have a weapon to use, you'd still want to just know and just be ready for it mentally is going to be a huge advantage.
The bible talks about people being offended when these things happen and they're not warned about the tribulation that's coming and then they're offended because it catches them unawares. It's just better to just be prepared and to know it's coming. People don't understand the value of this. Honestly, sometimes in your marriage you have to do this, where your just realized, "My wife is a certain way, and this is what's she's going to do. This is what's she's going to say. I'm not going to blow my top when she says it or does it."
It's easier when you just think about it and know it's coming. You know what? I'm going to go to church and there's that rude person at church that always says insensitive, rude things to me, and that's what she's going to say or that's what he's going to say, and you know what? I'm not going to blow up. I'm not going to get mad. I'm just going to smile and walk away.
Honestly, I've noticed in my own life that I've had a much easier time controlling my temper when I think it through first and say, "You know what? I'm not going to lose my temper." If this happens, I'm not going to ... It's when you get caught off guard, you're just going along and then your husband says something, and you're like, "What? Oh!" You just blow up because it's not like you're ready.
I'm always telling my wife, "Just think about it honey, the kids are going to do stupid things. Just be mentally prepared for it to happen, and then you won't blow up because you just go into it knowing, they will destroy. They will wreak havoc. There will be chaos." It just helps to know. My view on prepping, I don't think that it's wrong to prep. I don't think it' wrong to have extra food, extra water, medical supplies. I don't think that that's sinful or a lack of faith. I do think though that some people get wrapped up in that, where you cross the line of laying up treasures on Earth and trying to worry too much on physical security rather than having your security in the Lord.
I have mixed feelings about it. One hand, there are verses in the bible about foreseeing the evil, preparing yourself, but then there are a lot of other verses that talk about, "Don't take any though for tomorrow. Don't worry." I think what the big thing is that God is saying, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Don't worry about it. By taking thought, you can't make one hair of your head white or black, you can't add a cubit to your stature. There are things that are out of your control. Seek first the kingdom of God, all these things will be added unto you."
Honestly, I'm going to spend my time preparing myself spiritually more than anything else. I'm just glad I know it's coming. I'm just glad I know that the tribulation I coming, because then I can be prepare when it comes and I know what's going to hit me. You know what? I do think it's smart to have a basic food supply, but you know what? I'm not a hardcore prepper by any stretch of the imagination. I take a balanced approach, because honestly, I see both sides in the scripture.
It's up to you, personally. You might say, "You know what? I'm not prepping at all. I'm just trusting the Lord." That's your opinion. Other people might say, "I'm going to have some supplies for the Ebola outbreak or for whatever kind of catastrophe takes place." There's both sides to that, but honestly, the big thing that I emphasize with the tribulation is just knowing that it's coming and just be spiritually prepared. That's going to help you.
The reason I bring that up, is just because when it comes to not losing your temper, just being prepared for people that you know say things you don't like. Maybe at work, you go to work and there's that guy at work that gets you under your skin and you blow up, just think about it in advance. "I know that guy. He's a jerk. He's a pain in the neck. I'm going to blow up, I'm going to stay cool."
I'm telling you, that has been revolutionary in my own life, when I just mentally prepare to not lose my temper with people that I know are that type of people. With certain people, you just know you're going to get around them, and you just get your reaction figured out not just in the moment. I hope that makes sense. I hope that helps you.
It says in verse 19, "Give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." When it comes to getting along with people in this chapter, starting in verse 4, let me just give you a quick review, verses 4 through 9 taught us to realize that different people have different roles.
Don't expect everybody to be just like you. We're all different. God made us different. God wants us to be different. We don't have to all be the same. We don't have to all have the exact same opinions or the same exact life that we live or the same exact job in the church. We all do things differently. We have different roles. Let me stop and say this though, soul winning is not a gift. It's a command. A lot of people would say, "Soul winning is not my gift." It's not on the list of the gifts. Is it? No. It's not on the list because it's for everybody.
God can use every man, woman, boy, and girl to give the gospel unto someone. It's not just for a select few. All of us are commanded to go out and preach the gospel to every creature. It's all, it's man, women, young, old, I've done whole sermons on that. I'm not going to prove that tonight. You know that's true if you've heard the preaching and read the word. It's the truth.
Soul winning is not a gift, it's a commandment. "It's not my gift." You know what? God will use this stammering tongue, God will use the shy person, God will use the foolish person to confound the wise, and God wants to use all of us to be a soul winner, but there are other tasks in the church. I like what Brother Jimenez preached on our church camping trip. He said, "The church is like a fire department where everybody puts out fires, but then everybody has another ob that they do. One guys sweeps the floor, another guys washes the truck, another guy cooks dinner. Another guys making the beds, but all of them put out fires."
That's the way the church is, we all win souls to Jesus. We all preach the gospel to every creature. That's all of our job as spiritual fire fighters, but then we all have other jobs that we do, whether it's preaching the sermon, playing the piano, cleaning the building, play the organ, run a soul winning time, read the scripture, whatever, greeting people, being friendly, prating for people, reaching out to people. Those things are all important.
Think about it. What about a firefighter who never fights fires? That's not going to work, is it? "NO, no, no. You guys go ahead. I'm going to stay behind and just make sure everything is tidy and clean." No. What about a firefighter who says, "Well, I just put out fires," and then he won't lift a finger at the fire house? That's not going to work either. We need to do both.
Number 1, we need to realize that people have different roles. In our marriage, we realize we have different roles, husband and wives. Number 2, verses 9 through 10 taught us that we need to have sincere love one for another. Verses 11 through 14, number 3, we saw that we needed to all do our job. Do our job, work, stay busy, don't be lazy. Number 4, we saw that we need to have empathy, one for another. That was in verses 15 and 16. Number 5, we said, make the effort to get along. That was in verses 17 through 18. Then number 6, don't lose your temper. That was in verses 19 through 21.
Then you say, "Well you said you have 7 things." One of them is not in this chapter, okay. 6 out of 7 is pretty good to get out of one chapter, okay. There's one more thing that's not in this chapter and if you want to get along with people, you want to have peace and unity, and you want to be of one accord, and you want to have a good marriage and get along well with people at church, don't be easily offended.
They bible says, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Okay, there's your scripture on it, Psalm 119. Find it yourself. There's 176 verses, you'll find it. It's in Psalm 119 somewhere. "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." You're never going to get along with people if you wear your feelings on your sleeve. You need to not be easily offended. A big part of this is not looking it everything through a negative lens.
A lot of people, whenever anybody says something to them that could go either way, they interpret it negative, when in reality we should give people the benefit of the doubt and not be easily offended and interpret it positive. Let me give you some example of this. What if I said to my wife, "Honey, man, the spaghetti really came out really good tonight." "What do you mean tonight? What was wrong with it last time?"
You see what I mean? I'm giving her a compliment, or like, "Oh why, you look amazing today." "What, so I looked like garbage yesterday?" Instead of just interpreting it as it's a compliment, he's telling me I look good, he's telling me that the food was good, just interpreting it through a negative lens. "You know what? Over the years of our marriage, you've really become an amazing cook. You've really gotten a lot better at cooking." "What was wrong with my cooking when we got married then?" See what I mean? That you just interpret compliments, negative.
Same thing if the wife says something to the husband and says, "Man, you've gotten a lot better about providing. You're really doing a great job." My wife would probably say these are all insults. Right honey? You think that's an insult. Yeah, but see, I hear that, if my wife say that to me, I wouldn't be insulted. I'd be like, "Oh great, she sees the growth." I look at that as progress.
"Oh, your cooking is getting better. I'm a better provider." "Man, you are better looking than when I married you." I'd take that as a compliment, not like, "Well, was I ugly or something. Was there something wrong with me?" It's how you look at it. You just need to look at things in a positive light. When people say things to you, look at it through a positive lens not through a negative lens. That's called giving people the benefit of the doubt and understanding that they mean it as a compliment not as an insult.
Don't wear your feelings on your sleeve and be easily offended and you're just ready to just jump down people's throats and get all upset. Just take things for what they are and always get people the benefit of the doubt. Those are 8 things to get you get along at church and get along in your marriage or get along with your siblings or get along at work. A lot of these same things could carry over.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much Lord for you word. We thank you for these principles Lord. Help us all to put these into action and I pray that every single person, maybe all 7 points weren't really something that they needed Lord, but I pray that every single person would take a couple of these points and decide to work on them and maybe say, "I'm going to try not to lose my temper. I need to work on anger and not being an angry person. I need to work on being so easily offended. I'm going to be prepared for insults. I'm not going to render evil for evil. I'm going to make the effort to get along. Maybe I'm going to be more fervent about doing my work at home or doing my work at the job. Maybe I'm just going to stop envying other people."
Lord, whatever the points are, I just pray that they would sink in and that they would all make the effort to get along and have peace and harmony and unity in our churches and in our home so that we're fighting the battle with the enemy, instead of just fighting with each other about petty, unimportant things. We ask these things in your name, in Jesus' name.