How can we be devoted to one another? The Bible calls us to be devoted to one another in brothery love. This is a reflection of the love that God has for us, and it is a commandment that we must follow. We can only do this with Holy Spirit’s help and it’s a command that we get so much benefit from. Learn more in the message How to be devoted to One Another
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How to be Be devoted to One Another
Read Romans 12:10–21 NIVUK Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
v. 10 Be devoted to one another in love.
What does being devoted look like?
Being devoted to something means being focused on that particular thing almost exclusively. When you are devoted to a cause, you work to achieve its goals. When you are devoted to a person, you place their needs above your own. Vocabulary.com
When we are devoted to one another, we are:
1) Practicing the same love, compassion, and generosity that God showed us,
2) Demonstrating one of the primary messages of the Gospel which is to serve and help others.
Why does devotion to one another matter?
The first clue is the word itself…
φιλόστοργος — philostorgos
Wonderful word — Remember the different greek words for love?
agapeo — the love that is a decision
philo — the love that is an emotion
ersos — sexual love — not in the New Testament, but in the Septuagint.
storge — love of family ie — love that we get benefit from.
We get benefits from being devoted to one another.
What benefits do we get from being devoted to one another?
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)
“A man reaps what he sows.” –Galatians 6:7 (NIV Truncated)
5 benefits from being devoted to one another
1. Being devoted to others with our finances blesses us.
Where you spend your money affects your happiness.
A 2008 study http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320150034.htm done by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School, examined if where a person spent their money affected their happiness.
A total of 630 Americans were interviewed and asked to report their income, their monthly spending including all bills and money spent on themselves, their general happiness, and gifts given to others or charities.
Regardless of a person’s income, people who spent more money on others or charities reported higher levels of happiness than those who didn’t.
Acts 20:35 (NIV) In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
2 . Being devoted to others helps your health.
A study http://hpq.sagepub.com/content/4/3/301.short?rss=1&ssource=mfcled by Doug Oman of the University of California Berkley found that elderly people who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44% less likely to die over a five-year health period than those who didn’t volunteer.
Another study http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/16905215/Social-support-and-ambulatory-blood-pressure:-an-examination-of-both-receiving-and-giving. found that people who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t. This suggests that helping others may have a direct physiological benefit as well.
1 Peter 4:9 (NIV) Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
3. Being devoted to others brings us closer together.
According to the book, The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, when we serve others it not only helps others feel closer to us but also helps us feel closer to others. “Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and charitably.”
Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
Since God is the giver of all gifts (Psalm 24:1), we need to realize that our possessions are really not our own and that we are merely caretakers (Matthew 25:21) of God’s provisions.
4. Being devoted to others promotes more gratitude in our lives.
Whenever we give the gift of helping others or are on the receiving end of that gift, we often experience feelings of gratitude.
According to a study http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/6Emmons-BlessingsBurdens.pdf done by Robert Emmons from University of California Davis and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami, college students who counted their blessings experienced more gratitude in their lives which in turn caused them to be more optimistic, exercise more, and feel better about their lives overall.
Hebrews 12:28 (NIV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
5. Being devoted to others, helps them be devoted to us.
A study http://www.pnas.org/content/107/12/5334.full.pdf+html?sid=5f35f0fa-fea9-40e3-880d-e6acf26b4acd done by James Fowler of the University of San Diego and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard found that when people give to others, it encourages others to do the same which multiplies the effect of giving.
Titus 2:7a (NIV) In everything set them an example by doing what is good.
If we want to be devoted to one another, the next question has to be:
How do we be devoted to one another?
That’s another great question. I am so glad you asked.
How to have DEVOTION for one another tool
D — Don’t undervalue Honour. v.10
E — Enjoy life with each other. v.11
V — Value the journey. v.12
O — Offer your home. v.13
T — Take the punch. v.14
I — Identify with what each other are going through. v.15
O — Obliterate pride. v. 16
N — Nourish peace. v.17–18
Let’s unpack that, shall we?
D — Don’t undervalue Honour
Honour one another above yourselves. v.10
We show devotion to one another by honouring each other. We honour someone when we affirm them to their face and behind their back. We honour someone when we listen to them. When we give each other our time and attention we are honouring each other as important. We express honour when we give a vital role in each other’s lives.
“Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle” (Romans 12:9–10, MSG).
Have I been treating others with honour?
E — Enjoy life with each other
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. v. 11
We serve the Lord by serving each other. When we show devotion to one another we serve each other. When we serve another we’re not passive about it.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
Have I been passionately devoted to others?
V — Value the journey
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. v.12
When we are devoted to one another, we help each other face whatever brutal reality we need to face. Often the best thing we do is be present. We don’t need to have answers. It’s usually best when we don’t.
Story this week — “Holy and Sacred”
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)
How can we be joyful in hope, patient in affliction? We stay faithful in prayer.
Prayer is a steering wheel, not a spare tire.
Have I been joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer?
O — Offer your home
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. v.13
“Offer your home” is to offer your all.
When we devote ourselves to one another the nearest and dearest to us is what we offer each other.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9–10 (NIV)
Have I been withholding from loving others like Christ loved me?
T — Take the punch
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. v.14
When we devote ourselves to one another we don’t persecute each other do we? Guess what? There will be times that we are offended, ignored, hurt, unappreciated. Most murders are done by someone the victim knew.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19–20 (NIV)
I was talking to someone this week who was feeling unappreciated. I listened to his grievances and asked him “Can you do anything to control what others do?” He said, “Well, no” “But you believe we reap what we sow? If you plant an apple seed, you’ll get an apple tree?” “Well, yah” “How much do you show appreciation to others? That’s all you can control.”
Do I bless and not curse others?
I — Identify with what each other are going through.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. v.15
When we devote ourselves to one another we adjust our emotions to fit their reality. This is where real friendship comes into play. I believe it’s easy to fulfill all the one another commands when we consider each other as friends.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
Do I rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn?
O — Obliterate pride
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. v. 16
When we are devoted to one another there is no room for pride in ourselves.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Do I live in harmony with others?
N — Nourish peace
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. v.17–18
When we are devoted to one another we live at peace with one another. We seek peace and pursue it. We don’t the sun go down on our anger. We are people of peace.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Do I seek peace and pursue it?
D — Don’t undervalue Honour.
E — Enjoy life with each other.
V — Value the journey.
O — Offer your home.
T — Take the punch.
I — Identify with what each other are going through.
O — Obliterate pride.
N — Nourish peace.
Prepare for reflection…
Take time to reflect on God’s devotion to you and realize that can empower you to be devoted to one another. Ask God for a memory of when someone showed devotion to you. Remember how it made you feel. Ask God who and how you can show devotion to this week.
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10)