(#424) Romans 12 - What is Love?

ROM-358-180722 - length: 64:03 - taught on Jul, 22 2018

Class Outline:

Welcome To 


a Christian Church

Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church that makes a difference worldwide courtesy of the internet…Barah Ministries…a Christian Church that makes a difference locally in the Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler, AZ communities.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and we teach the Word of God from God’s perspective…not from man’s perspective. 



What is Love?


We’re studying the fifth passage of Romans, Chapter 12…we’re at Verse 10, which says…


ROMANS 12:10 

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…give preference to one another in honor…


There’s a hit single by Nestor Alexander Haddaway, a Trinidadian and German singer and songwriter, called “What is Love?”  You may remember it from the movie, Night at the Roxbury, one of Steve Ferrell’s early career movies. 




What is love?

Baby don’t hurt me

Don’t hurt me

No more


What is love?  It’s a great question…and in today’s lesson we’ll see what God has to say about love.

There are a few things about love that are certain…we all want it…in fact, we CRAVE it…we want to be loved…we want to love…also, we already possess love as a free gift from the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…in fact, we are loved unconditionally by all three members of the Godhead…and their love for us is demonstrated, especially at times when we are at our worst…Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 8…



But God the Father demonstrates His own unconditional love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners (as ungodly and unrighteous unbelievers), Christ died a sacrificial death for us.


Here’s June Murphy to tell us about God’s love for us in her song… DEMONSTRATED LOVE.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



June Murphy



Let us pray...


Almighty God and Father…


Thank you for loving us…and thank you for showing us how to love… unconditionally…and we know, Father, that what makes your love so unique is that you love the worst of us and the worst in us…thank you for a love so deep and so special that it is indescribable…


Teach us how to love like you do…unconditionally…and let us demonstrate your love, giving it others…as a gift to the worst among us…also directing it to the worst in us…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s




What is Love?


Here is the entire fifth and final passage of Romans, Chapter 12…and it extends from Verses 9 to 21…some of the do’s and don’ts of the Christian Way of Living…



Let unconditional love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil…cling to what is good.


ROMANS 12:10 

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…give preference to one another in honor…


ROMANS 12:11 

…not lagging behind in diligence…fervent in spirit…serving the Lord…


ROMANS 12:12 

…rejoicing in hope…persevering in tribulation…devoted to prayer…


ROMANS 12:13 

…contributing to the needs of the saints…practicing hospitality.


ROMANS 12:14 

Bless those who persecute you…bless and do not curse.


ROMANS 12:15 

Rejoice with those who rejoice…and weep with those who weep.


ROMANS 12:16 

Be of the same mind toward one another…do not be haughty in mind…but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.


ROMANS 12:17 

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.



ROMANS 12:18 

If possible…so far as it depends on you…be at peace with all men.


ROMANS 12:19 

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.


ROMANS 12:20 

“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink…for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”


ROMANS 12:21 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Today we’re studying Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 10, which says…


ROMANS 12:10 

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…give preference to one another in honor…


And Haddaway asks, “What is love?”  It’s easier to focus on “What is hate,” and to miss “What is love” all around us. June Murphy penned in her song, “The only hope for the world is Jesus…who IS love!”  It’s true, yet I see the embodiment of the Lord’s love all around me…all the time.  It’s what keeps my head up.  It’s what keeps me going.  It’s what fuels my determination to fight the good fight and to stay the course of the Christian Way of Living.  The Lord Knew exactly what people to put around me.


What is love?  Deacon Denny Goodall is love.  I don’t even know how many years we’ve been together, but it seems like forever.  I first met him when Barah Ministries was in my house, so it must be over fifteen years that we’ve known each other.  Denny is the son every parent would want to have.  He’s always there for me.  It’s funny…over the years people have seen his loyalty as a weakness…but I see it for what it is…a reflection of God’s love.  And no disparaging remarks from haters could ever taint the fact that if I need a picture hung, or my garbage taken out, or an encouraging word, whether I ask for it or not, Deacon Denny is always there.  Denny, Emilie, William and Elle are my family.  Maybe you don’t feel Deacon Denny’s love every time you turn on a lesson, but it is there…he is here before all of us, he leaves long after all of us leave, and he keeps complex broadcasting equipment up and running to make sure you have an audio file and a video file on line. He makes it possible for you to hear the Word of God twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. He does it alone. He NEVER misses a beat.  He never complains.  He’s a man I envy as a husband and as a father.  What is love?  Deacon Denny Goodall is love.


What is love?  Tracy Bixby is love.  She’s an invisible hero who keeps our ministry present on the internet. I never have to tell her a thing. She has a ministry and she lives it. She runs our internet prayer group, she manages our Facebook page, she gives of herself, her time, her talent, and her treasure…she comes over to be with us…she infects others, especially her parents, with God’s love, in her tender and affectionate way.  She’s all woman.  What is love?  Tracy Bixby is love.


What is love?  Deacon Larry Collins and his wife Pat are love. When I turn around they are there, because they ALWAYS have my back.  I won’t embarrass them by telling you just how, and just how much they support the ministry, but I can make it clear by saying this…if they weren’t here, I wouldn’t want to be here either.  They are always encouraging, and they do a lot of things that keep this ministry up and running that nobody hears about.  When you listen to Barah Ministries on our app, Larry is the man behind it. Pat always has a hug and an encouraging word for me at the beginning of every service, and although that may seem like a small thing, to me it’s huge.  It keeps me going.  What is love? Deacon Larry Collins and his wife Pat are love.


What is love?  Denise Jones is love.  Denise actually thinks she has sixteen spiritual gifts.  She cooks for us.  She organizes for us.  She supports us.  She evangelizes for us.  She’s looking for money for the building for us.  She’s the perfect example of what is takes to let the Lord reveal your spiritual gift to you, because she is involved in so many things.  What I admire most about her is that she left Barah Ministries and came back.  People who come back realize that this ministry is about Christ and not about the Pastor.  Denise has impact.  We’d be worse without her.  What is love? Denise Jones is love.  


What is love?  Rick Stoddard is love.  Rick is the longest standing member of Barah Ministries.  He has seen all of its ups and down.  He’s seen all of my ups and downs.  He’s still here.  He brought his mother Faye to Barah Ministries, and he is absolutely sure that his mother is in heaven because he saw her respond over and over to the gospel message when she was alive and coming here.  As I go through trials, he just laughs at me…but every time he comes to a service he starts the service by giving me a hug.  And he and I both know what that hug means.  What is love?  Rick Stoddard is love.  


What is love?  John and Monica Miller are love.  They’ll be hosting the eight annual Coeur d’Alene Bible Conference of Barah Ministries in a few weeks, but their love for me and for this ministry is deeper than that.  Without question they are two of the most accepting and encouraging people I have ever met.  I love them to death and appreciate them more than I can articulate.  I can always count on getting a perspective from them that keeps me going and I can always count on them describing Barah Ministries’ impact and my impact on lives in ways I hadn’t thought of before.  What is love?  John and Monica Miller are love.  


What is love?  Donna Chin is love.  I’m not going to say any more than that because she doesn’t really like public acknowledgement.  But she’s always calling to check up on her Pastor and that little thing, among others, is much appreciated.  What is love? Donna Chin is love.  


What is love?  John Sarazua is love.  He’s one of the most focused people I have ever met.  Always available for a favor…always available for lunch… a blast to talk smack to…and a blast to talk to about God and His Word. He’s always ready with a funny quip that elicits the gift of laughter.  Is there a fish on his shirt? Maybe.  What is love?  John Sarazua is love.  


What is love?  Phyllis June Murphy is love.  A lifelong friend and confidant…someone I can always count on to be at my side.  June is one of the priestesses of the ministry.  The other day I was telling her about a doctrinal mistake I made. She said, “I’ve been listening to you for so long that I know what you mean even when you’re saying stupid stuff…because you don’t always say what you mean.”  Her candor and her infectious laugh is what I seek when I make her the butt of my jokes.  The songs that come out of her mind and into her voice…and the words she pens…can be described no other way than divine.   What is love?  Phyllis June Murphy is love.  


What is love?  Jason Knack is love.  He has an amazing perspective about life that has helped me put my own life in perspective way too many times.  He’s down to earth, raw, real, authentic, and a phenomenal friend to the people around him.  What is love? Jason Knack is love.


What is love?  Tony LoGrasso is love.  Tony will always be one of my heroes.  He is the definition of toughness.  He has that World War 2 generation silent toughness that is so absent in Baby Boomers.  Little did we know, when we met, that we would make a lifelong connection.  What is love?  Tony LoGrasso is love.  


What is love?  Joel and Deanna Perkosky are love.  Joel is a musical leprechaun of a man…Deanna is his tempest in a teapot, his musical and life soul mate…and frankly, I just love them. That’s all I have to say about that. J  What is love? Joel and Deanna Perkosky are love.


What is love?  Harold and Cindy Christensen are love.  They are fast becoming favorites as they hold down the Pacific Northwest for Barah Ministries.  I love the way they use the lesson at Barah Ministries to challenge their own long held beliefs about God…and they are willing to change their views. They are always fun to be around…and it is a blessing that their kids are going to school at Arizona State so we can see them more.  What is love? Harold and Cindy Christensen are love. 


What is love?  Tom and Dawn Monte are love.  They are two of the newest member of Barah Ministries.  Tom will be building our church.  He’s a man who can be trusted…especially trusted with the little things.  He takes care of a lot of little things that are very big things to me, and he can always be counted on when I need him most.  What is love?  Tom and Dawn Monte are love.  


What is love?  Pastor John Farley is love.  We are the most unlikely of friends.  After all, what are the chances that a geek from Rhode Island and a geek from the ghettos of Chicago would become Pastors and eternal friends?  What are the odds?  Sometimes you have to say, “Only God could make that happen.”  What is love?  Pastor John Farley is love.  


There are other names you may not know…Cliff Spier…Stacy Snow… Clinton McCallum…Brian, Debbie and Kevin Cramer…Justin and Laura Coker…Ray Metzler…Kara Joy Leonard…Monique Burchell…Norbert… and Maria…and a host of other “closet listeners” around the world…some of whom I may not have mentioned here…people who hear us on the internet…people who contribute to the advancement of the ministry…they are love. And I just want you to know how much I love and appreciate all of you as fellow believers in Christ and as supporters…in whatever way…of the ministry and of this Pastor.


What is love?  Barah Ministries is love.  Let’s take a five-minute break.



Five Minutes



What is Love?


Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 10…


ROMANS 12:10 

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…give preference to one another in honor…


Why do we love?  First John, Chapter 4, Verse 19…



We love unconditionally, because God the Father first loved us unconditionally.


God owns His believers in Christ.  That ownership allows us to love like He loves.  Let’s listen to June Murphy sing about God’s ownership of us in her song, YOU OWN ME.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



June Murphy



What is Love?


Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 10…


ROMANS 12:10 

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…give preference to one another in honor…


The Greek actually says let your love for each other, believers in Christ, be tender and affectionate toward one another.  The second part says preferring one another.  This is an absolutely delicious description of the love those of us in the unity of Christ are commanded and requested to have of one another.  And I believe with all my heart that any pettiness we adopt for any reason that interferes with that kind of love is an abomination against God.


My life is in a valley…and if you know anything about valleys that are carved into mountains, they are the place where the sun is obscured.  Often, they are described as “shadowed valleys,” like in Psalm 23, Verse 4… 


PSALM 23:4a

Even when I walk through my very own death shadowed valley…I cannot fear…because You (Lord)…with me!


Where are you in your life?  Are you in the sun or in the shadows?  When the sun is obscured, believers in Christ are warmed and illuminated by unconditional love for others, if we bother to notice those around us.  God surrounds us with love…with PEOPLE who love us.  He doesn’t want us to count only on His love…He wants us to SEE His love manifest in others, and He surrounds us, in the midst of Satan’s kingdom of death and darkness…with people who love us…with people who appreciate us…with people who are for us and not against us…with people who manifest His love so that we can clearly see it.  This love is easy to miss when we’re not looking.  We are loved when we are forgiven.  We are loved when we are blessed with grace after a mistake.  We are loved when we are at the receiving end of generosity.  We are aware that we are loved when we see it demonstrated.  My Mom used to say, “None are so blind as those who refuse to see.” It is an offshoot of Jeremiah, Chapter 5, Verse 21…



‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people…you who have eyes but do not see…you who have ears but do not hear.’


Let us not be like that as Christians in the matter of love.  God’s will is that we are tender and affectionate toward one another…in fact, preferring one another.  The apostle John was the “lover” among the disciples, and here’s what he had to say in First John, Chapter 3, Verses 13 to 18…



Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.


John is warning us that the world hates Christians.  This is not news. 



We know that we have passed out of spiritual death into the resurrection life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love unconditionally abides in spiritual death.


Reflect on the first half of this lesson.  The thoughts of tender affection and preference described there likely would never have never come from an unbeliever.



Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer…and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.


Hatred of other believers in Christ is the spiritual equivalent of soul murder.  Satan is described by the Lord Jesus Christ as a “murderer from the beginning.”  We are to demonstrate our love rather than accepting the kind of love the world has to offer…conditional love.  As Christians, we abide in death when we turn our backs on God’s advice.



We know unconditional love by this…that the Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life for us…and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.





But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the unconditional love of God abide in him?



Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue…but let us love in deed and in truth.


A life of love is spent giving one’s life for others.  Focus on others first, and then on yourself.  It is the kind of love the invisible hero, God the Holy Spirit, supports…the Spirit has no desire to be in the limelight….He doesn’t want or need the credit.


The true test of love is shown by how vulnerable we are willing to be with others.  What is love?  It’s how willing you are to show the hurt, to experience the hurts of life without becoming bitter.  It’s how raw and authentic you are willing to be.  It’s how truthful you are willing to be.  It’s loving all of these characteristics in others.


 I wish you love.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


What is going to happen to you when you close your eyes in this life?  Is there a heaven?  Is there a hell?   The bible says both exist…Genesis, Chapter 19, Verse 24 talks about heaven…



Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven…


So how can you get to heaven?

Many people believe that religious rituals are their ticket to heaven. They embrace religious beliefs that tell them how to live a spiritual life. The religion claims there is a God, or there are many gods…but the religion does not tell you how to have a personal relationship with Him. And, despite all of your religious rituals, your religion does not guarantee that following those rituals will get you into heaven.


In John, Chapter 4, Verses 13 and 14, the Lord Jesus Christ is talking to a woman at a well…a Samaritan woman whom the Jews wanted nothing to do with…after a brief conversation, the Lord says to her…


JOHN 4:13

“Everyone who drinks of the water of this well will thirst again…”


JOHN 4:14 

“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him (the water of the Word of God…the gospel message) shall never thirst…but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life (the resurrection life).”


It is the Lord’s will for you to come to heaven to live with Him when you close your eyes in this life. Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9 says…



The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of, but instead He is patient toward you unbelievers, not wishing for any of you to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all of you to come to repentance (a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).


First Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4…



This is good and acceptable in the sight of the God who is our Savior (the Lord Jesus Christ)…



…who desires all men to be saved and for all men to come to the knowledge of the truth.


The truth of how to get to heaven is this simple…it’s a nine-word conversation…Luke, Chapter 23, Verses 42 and 43…


LUKE 23:42

And a thief being crucified next to Jesus was saying, “JESUS, REMEMBER ME WHEN YOU COME INTO YOUR KINGDOM!”


LUKE 23:43 

And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, TODAY you shall be with Me in Paradise.”


Or if you prefer…it’s a five word conversation with God the Father… “Father…I believe in Christ.” Simply believe…and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  Once the Lord saves you, no matter how hard you try, you cannot lose your salvation…John, Chapter 10, Verse 28 says…


JOHN 10:28

“…and I (the Lord Jesus Christ) give eternal life to believers in Christ, and they will never perish…and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”


On the other hand, if you reject the relationship offer of this God who does not want you to perish, He will honor your rejection…and you will live in that place called hell for the rest of eternity…by your own choice… Matthew, Chapter 13, Verses 49 and 50…



So it will be at the end of the age…the angels will come forth and take out the wicked (unbelievers) from among the righteous (believers in Christ)...


MATTHEW 13:50 

…and will throw them into the furnace of fire…in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Is there an “afterlife?” Yes there is.  Do you want yours to be heavenly?  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


Here’s June Murphy to describe being saved in her song…BORN AGAIN.




June Murphy



Let us pray...


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