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Sunday AM Remix – 9.25.11

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

* Question: Do you know why good people don’t go to heaven? Because there are no good people.

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 10:10-12 (ESV)

Today, we are going to spend some time talking about what it means to be a loving church.  Jesus says that people should be able to tell you are a Christian by the way you love.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (ESV)

* TRUTH: People will know that we are Christians not by the fish on the back of our car or the Jesus is my Homeboy shirt that we wear, they will know we are Christians by the love that we share!

* We cannot truly love others without the power of God.

At Harvester, we want to be a loving church. In order to do this as a church we must be loving people individually. Paul writes about what this looks like in Romans 12:9-16. We learned on Sunday that first part of Romans reveals Gods love by showing us How God saves people. The second part of Romans reveals Gods love by showing us how saved people are to act. Let’s take some time to look at this a little closer.


1. SINCERE with our LOVE.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 (NIV)

* Don’t let you love be hypocritical by saying one thing to someones face and then another, when they aren’t around.
* Don’t wear a mask, be authentic.

“There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” Proverbs 6:16-19 (NLT)

* TRUTH: The more you love, the more you hate sin!

* QUESTION: How sincere is you love for others? How sincere are you when you talk with people?

2. ATTENTIVE to others people’s NEEDS.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. . . Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:10, 13 (NIV)

* Sadly the English language only has one word for love, and we use it to describe everything. However, in the Greek there are 4 words for love.

Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē) means “love” (unconditional love)

Éros (ἔρως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing

Philia (φιλία philía) means friendship or brotherly love

Storge (στοργή storgē) means “affection”

* The Words BE DEVOTED combines the Greek words Storge & Philia and is defined like this – To lovingly love with all brotherly love.

* REALITY: God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others.

* QUESTION: How well are you sharing the things God has blessed you with? Why is it difficult or easy to share these things with others?


“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 (NIV)

* Spiritual Fervor means to be on fire with the Spirit. However, many of us have lost our fire.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)

* THOUGHT: The most loving people tend to be the most energetic.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men . . .” Colossians 3:23 (NKJV) 

* TRUTH: If you have passion in your heart … it has to come out!

* REMINDER: We serve for the Lord, not for the people we serve. Often times this is forgotten. However, when we serve for the applause or appeasement of people, when we don’t get that, we often quit in disappointment.

4. POSITIVE, PATIENT and PRAYERFUL when Trouble hits.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV) 

“Rejoice evermore” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

*FAST FACT: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 is the shortest verse in the Bible. – Shorter than “Jesus Wept” by two letters when looking at the Greek.

* DEEP THOUGHT: Many of us get depressed because we try to make Earth Heaven.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4 (NLT)

5. WISE with our TONGUES.

* SAD REALITY: Only the Christian Army is the one who shoot it’s wounded. Typically, its with their mouth.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14 (NIV) 

* Bless means to speak well of.

* QUESTION: Are you more likely to bless with your words, curse with your words?

“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.” James 4:11 (NLT)

6. SYMPATHETIC to each others FEELINGS.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15 (NIV)

* REALITY: It’s easier to mourn with mourners than it is to Rejoice with Rejoicers.

* QUESTION: When was the last time you celebrated another persons success or promotion.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

7. COURTEOUS with everyone and CONCEITED about nothing.

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” Romans 12:16 (NIV)

“Let us not be conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:26 (NIV)


A few years ago Tony flew to Hawaii to speak at a conference. The way he tells it, he checks into his hotel and tries to get some sleep. Unfortunately, his internal clock wakes him at 3:00 a.m. The night is dark, the streets are silent, the world is asleep, but Tony is wide awake and his stomach is growling.
He gets up and prowls the streets looking for a place to get some bacon and eggs for an early breakfast. Everything is closed except for a grungy dive in an alley. He goes in and sits down at the counter. The fat guy behind the counter comes over and asks, “What d’ya want?”

Well, Tony isn’t so hungry anymore so eying some donuts under a plastic cover he says, “I’ll have a donut and black coffee.”

As he sits there munching on his donut and sipping his coffee at 3:30, in walk eight or nine provocative, loud prostitutes just finished with their night’s work. They plop down at the counter and Tony finds himself uncomfortably surrounded by this group of smoking, swearing hookers. He gulps his coffee, planning to make a quick getaway. Then the woman next to him says to her friend, “You know what? Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m gonna be 39.” To which her friend nastily replies, “So what d’ya want from me? A birthday party? Huh? You want me to get a cake, and sing happy birthday to you?”

The first woman says, “Aw, come on, why do you have to be so mean? Why do you have to put me down? I’m just sayin’ it’s my birthday. I don’t want anything from you. I mean, why should I have a birthday party? I’ve never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?”

Well, when Tony Campolo heard that, he said he made a decision. He sat and waited until the women left, and then he asked the fat guy at the counter, “Do they come in here every night?”

“Yeah,” he answered.

“The one right next to me,” he asked, “she comes in every night?”

“Yeah,” he said, “that’s Agnes. Yeah, she’s here every night. She’s been comin’ here for years. Why do you want to know?”

“Because she just said that tomorrow is her birthday. What do you think? Do you think we could maybe throw a little birthday party for her right here in the diner?”

A cute kind of smile crept over the fat man’s chubby cheeks. “That’s great,” he says, “yeah, that’s great. I like it.” He turns to the kitchen and shouts to his wife, “Hey, come on out here. This guy’s got a great idea. Tomorrow is Agnes’ birthday and he wants to throw a party for her right here.”

His wife comes out. “That’s terrific,” she says. “You know, Agnes is really nice. She’s always trying to help other people and nobody does anything nice for her.”

So they make their plans. Tony says he’ll be back at 2:30 the next morning with some decorations and the man, whose name turns out to be Harry, says he’ll make a cake.

At 2:30 the next morning, Tony is back. He has crepe paper and other decorations and a sign made of big pieces of cardboard that says, “Happy Birthday, Agnes!” They decorate the place from one end to the other and get it looking great. Harry had gotten the word out on the streets about the party and by 3:15 it seemed that every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place. There were hookers wall to wall.

At 3:30 on the dot, the door swings open and in walks Agnes and her friend. Tony has everybody ready. They all shout and scream “Happy Birthday, Agnes!” Agnes is absolutely flabbergasted. She’s stunned, her mouth falls open, her knees started to buckle, and she almost falls over.

And when the birthday cake with all the candles is carried out, that’s when she totally loses it. Now she’s sobbing and crying. Harry, who’s not used to seeing a prostitute cry, gruffly mumbles, “Blow out the candles, Agnes. Cut the cake.”

So she pulls herself together and blows them out. Everyone cheers and yells, “Cut the cake, Agnes, cut the cake!”

But Agnes looks down at the cake and, without taking her eyes off it, slowly and softly says, “Look, Harry, is it all right with you if…I mean, if I don’t…I mean, what I want to ask, is it OK if I keep the cake a little while? Is it all right if we don’t eat it right away?”

Harry doesn’t know what to say so he shrugs and says, “Sure, if that’s what you want to do. Keep the cake. Take it home if you want.”

“Oh, could I?” she asks. Looking at Tony she says, “I live just down the street a couple of doors; I want to take the cake home, is that okay? I’ll be right back, honest.”

She gets off her stool, picks up the cake, and carries it high in front of her like it was the Holy Grail. Everybody watches in stunned silence and when the door closes behind her, nobody seems to know what to do. They look at each other. They look at Tony.

So Tony gets up on a chair and says, “What do you say that we pray together?”

And there they are in a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon, half the prostitutes in Honolulu, at 3:30 a.m. listening to Tony Campolo as he prays for Agnes, for her life, her health, and her salvation. Tony recalls, “I prayed that her life would be changed, and that God would be good to her.”

When he’s finished, Harry leans over, and with a trace of hostility in his voice, he says, “Hey, you never told me you was a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to anyway?”

In one of those moments when just the right words came, Tony answers him quietly, “I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning.”

Harry thinks for a moment, and in a mocking way says, “No you don’t. There ain’t no church like that. If there was, I’d join it. Yep, I’d join a church like that.”

* Don’t we all want to be a part of a church that loves one another in a way than compels people to be a part of what God is doing?

* QUESTION: What are you willing to do, to help FBCH become a church that is known for its love?


As Bob mentioned on Sunday, the take-away from this weekends Sermon is not that we would have more information but that we would have better evaluation.  Will you take the risk and do a deep evaluation of your heart and be willing to share with your group the things you are doing well and the areas you need some prayer, encouragement and accountability?

1. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the outward signs of love instead of the inward commitments that love require. As Christ Followers, our love for others should come out of our love for God. What would it look like if we lived out Deuteronomy 6:4-8?

2. Romans 12:10 says, “BE DEVOTED to one another in love.” We learned that Being Devoted in the Greek literally means to be lovingly loving with all brotherly love.  In the last 6 months what events, situations, excuses have kept you from Being Devoted to others?

3. Have you ever lost your passion to serve? What drained your passion? How do you keep your passion to serve well and faithfully? What does it mean to “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” as stated in Romans 12:11. Reminder why we serve Colossians 3:23

4. When your life is squeezed like a tube of toothpaste, what tends to come out reveals the real us. When your life is squeezed by stress, circumstance, and situations, what do you think others see being revealed by you?

5. Our words can both build people up and tear people down. The words we use say a lot about us. How might your family and the people closest to you describe your words to them and to/about others?  What is the lesson for us to learn from James 3:1-12?

6. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” What is your typical reaction when someone prosper? Why is it difficult to celebrate with our friends success?

7. Whether it is intentional or not, sometimes we get uncomfortable around people who may be different from us. When you heard or read the true story from Tony Campolo what were some of the feelings that stirred within you? Are you allowing yourself to be used by God in a way like this? Why or Why not?

8. What are you willing to do to help FBCH become a church that is known for its love?


Love The Lord – Brewster

Come Thou Fount – Williams

The Wonderful Cross – Smith

All The Way My Savior Leads – Tomlin

We hope that you found Sundays Message and following Small Group Questions helpful. If you missed this weeks message, I encourage you to get it here.  While you are there, browse around our website … we think you will like it and find it to be a great tool in inviting friends to FBC Harvester.

As always, I hope you make plans to join us at FBC Harvester next weekend! If distance is a problem, you are always welcome to listen to any of the teachings from our worship service from our website. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us here. We would love the privilege of helping where we can and seeing God do amazing things in our lives together.

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