Romans 15:5-13 – May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Many years ago, my wife Grace and I were young, married, and broke and we were new to ministry. We started having kids and we needed two cars but couldn’t afford two new cars. So, we prayed “Please God, give us a second car.”
A little bit later, someone comes up to us and says, “I have a car for you” and it has a couple hundred thousand miles on it, but it still ran great. I didn’t ask any questions about it. Did it have 4 wheels? Perfect, it met all my needs.
I go to gas it up and I wasn’t sure what kind of fuel went in it, but I’ve got three options – diesel, regular, and premium. I realize it’s not diesel, so I put regular gas in it because I’m regular and I’m broke. I start driving the car and it runs really rough, so the previous owner asks how it’s running, and I tell him “Not good.”
He asks me what kind of gas I put in it and, when I tell him regular, he tells me I need to put premium gas in it. I can’t afford that, so we ended up getting rid of the car. But that’s not the moral of the story.
This motor was built to run on a specific fuel. What happened if I put diesel in it? I’m going to seize it up. If I put regular in it, it runs, but it runs really rough. If I would’ve put premium in it, it would’ve run unbelievably well.
God built your soul and life to run on a fuel source and you also have three choices – demonic, flesh, or Holy Spirit.
If you run on the demonic, you’re going to be a bitter, angry, self-righteous person and you’re going to self-destruct. If you live according to the flesh, you’re going to have a life, but it’s going to run rough and you’ll make foolish decisions, cause yourself pain and harm, and damage others. If you live according to the Spirit, your life is going to run significantly better.
When we live life in the Spirit, we can have endurance to face people and circumstances, encourage others, live in harmony, welcome each other, serve one another, evangelize, and have hope, joy, and peace.
Which of the three sources of “fuel” are you running on? How can you move to living by the Spirit or live more in the Spirit in your daily life?
To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.