Romans 1:8 - A labor of love, it is trying to understand something and then work with that understanding. Love, the behavioral glue that binds together the believer to other members of the Body of Christ, that is how God designed the new creation in Christ to operate. Love is the attitudinal adhesive God intends to keep the Body of Christ functionally smoothly and operating efficiently and effectively. Love is the bond that both unifies and edifies the members of the Body of Christ.
Maturity is all about the degree to which you participate in the increase of the Body of Christ unto the deifying of its self in love. The degree to which you participate in that which brings unity to the Body of Christ and edifies the believer to that degree you can consider yourself to be mature. We serve others today motivated by appreciation in the fact that God loves them, we are intricately joined to them, just as we are joined to Christ.
The law had apprehension as a motivation factor. Our labor of love under the Age of Grace has had the apprehension aspect removed entirely. We are to serve others today based on how God expressed his love to others through Christ and what he accomplished for them, who he made them and us to be in our savior by joining us to our savior.
Christian living is not about doing, it is about believing something, and when we believe something and we continue to take in God’s Word, it should change who we are, not change what we are trying to do and trying to become. Every believer has a part to play when it comes to that which edifies and unifies the Body of Christ, but attitude is that which instigates action. Faith does not come in gallons and tons, faith is not something “do I have enough faith, have I believed firmly enough?” Faith is simply taking your stand where God takes his stand.
Romans 1:9 - Achieving God’s goals for our ambassadorship is learning to distinguish his goal, from his desire. It is a critical distinction, because it can spell the difference between success and failure. His goal is any specific result reflecting his purposes for our ambassadorship, that does not depend on people or circumstances beyond our ability.
The only person who can block his goal or render it uncertain or impossible is us, and if we adopt the attitude of cooperation with his goals, his goal can be reached. His desire is any specific result that depends on the cooperation of other people or the success of events or favorable circumstances we cannot control.
God’s basic goal for our life, is character development. The tribulations we face are actually a means of achieving our supreme goal of maturity, because persevering tribulations is the doorway to proven character, which is his goal for us. Perhaps the greatest service performed by trails and tribulations in our lives is to reveal wrong goals.
By preparing our minds for action, we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind, by filling it with God’s truth. We need to practice threshold, first-frame thinking, evaluate every thought by the truth. People may not always live what they profess, but they will always live what they believe. If our behavior is off, we need to correct what we believe, because our misbehavior is the result of our disbelief.
Romans 1:10 - We cannot base our self-worth or our personal success on our desires, no matter how godly they may be, because we cannot control their fulfillment. When a desire is wrongly elevated to a goal, and that goal is frustrated, we must deal with all the anger, anxiety, and depression which may accompany that failure. Dealing with the disappointments of unmet desires is a lot easier then dealing with the anger, anxiety, and depression of goals, we would do well to distinguish goals from desires.
When we begin to align our goals with God’s goals for our ambassadorship, and our desires with his desires, we will rid our life of a lot of anger, anxiety, and depression. We can know on a moment-by-moment basis if our ambassadorship is properly aligned with his truth. God has established a feedback system which is designed to grab our attention, so we can examine the validity of our goal. That system is our emotions. When an experience leaves us feeling angry, anxious, or depressed, those emotional signposts are there to alert us that we may be cherishing a faulty goal.
Any goal which can be blocked by forces we cannot control (other then God’s goal) is not a healthy goal, because our success in that arena is out of our hands. When we feel anxious in a task, our anxiety may be signaling the uncertainty of a goal we have chosen. We are wishing something will happen, but we have no guarantee that it will. We can control some of the factors, but not all of them.
When we base our future success on something that can never happen, we have an impossible goal. Our depression is a signal that our goal, no matter how noble, may never be reached. Depression often signals that we are desperately clinging to a goal we have little or no chance of achieving, and that is not a healthy goal. Feelings of anger should prompt us to reexamine our ambassadorship, and the mental goals we have formulated to accomplish God’s message of reconciliation.