Romans 12:10-11 Fervent in Spirit

Author: Dr. George M. Flattery

Romans 12:10-11 Fervent in Spirit

green pine tree line on lake during daytime

Thoughts About Romans 12:10-11: Fervent in Spirit

A full life includes our being passionate about some purpose or goal. That passion involves our entire person, including our intellect, our emotions, and our will. When a person is consumed with a purpose and goal, great things can happen.

In Romans 12:11 the apostle Paull exhorts us to be “passionate” about serving others. He writes: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” The element of emotion in being fervent stands out.

In this verse, Paul gives part of his commentary on the gifts of the Spirit. We must remember that we are serving the Lord even when we are serving other members of the body of Christ. Service to them is to the Lord. While serving we should not lag in diligence. In other words, we should focus energetically on the goals of our service. When our hearts are filled with love for others, this is more easily done.

Paul says that we should be “fervent in Spirit.” This could mean fervent in the “Spirit” or fervent in our spirit. Given the context telling what we should do, I like to think that Paul refers to the human spirit as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Another approach would be that he refers to the Spirit as He enables and inspires the human spirit. The net result is about the same. We work in partnership with the Holy Spirit to accomplish the will of God and serve others.

In my next “thoughts” we will continue this discussion of what it means to be “fervent in Spirit.” Your comments are welcome!

More Thoughts about Romans 12:10-11: Fervent in Spirit.

Paul exhorts us to be fervent in spirit while helping others. He could mean fervent in the human spirit or fervent in the Spirit. Very likely this is a reference to the influence of the Holy Spirit on the human spirit. The influence of the Spirit affects our intellect, emotions, and will.

How can we apply this exhortation to our lives? The answer is goal-centered. We find a need and do all we can to fill it. People all around us have real needs. With various needs in mind, many ministries have been set up. Usually, God lays the need upon the hearts of believers who then become the catalyst for meeting the need. Often, the vision comes through a single individual and spreads to others.

The persons who meet the needs become passionate about their cause. They become fervent in the Spirit. They are empowered, guided, and encouraged by the Spirit. Those who meet the need often see clearly what needs to be done, sometimes seeing this well ahead of others.

One does not have to set up a major ministry, however, to be fervent in Spirit. Every believer can be fervent in his or her service. The things that may seem to be relatively small to some people are often very big to those who receive the assistance. The main point for us is to listen carefully to the Spirit and follow His leadership.

More Thoughts about Romans 12:10-11: Fervent in Spirit.

The apostle Paul exhorts us to be fervent in Spirit in serving others. He wants us to be fervent in doing our work. As I mentioned in my last “thoughts,” we set a goal and pursue it with passion.

Today, we will highlight the “wonder” that fervency brings. Being fervent involves our intellect, emotion, and will. The term especially highlights our emotions. Our emotions, when committed to God, can become a powerful force for good. Indeed, the Holy Spirit often uses our emotions to accomplish His purposes.

We can be fervent about old things, but fervency very often involves new things. When new things are happening, it is easy to become fervent about them. Sometimes we remember days when things were new. An old song was entitled “Bring Back the New Again.” When new things are happening, we can be filled with “wonder” at what the Lord is doing.

Whether we are experiencing new or old things, we must maintain our first love. Some years ago, I met with Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade. It was not long before he passed away. He was over 80 years old and had served the Lord faithfully for decades. As we were wrapping up our conversation, he gave me a copy of his new book. It was entitled “First Love.” I thought, how great this is. Here is a servant of God acknowledging after a lifetime of service, the need for “first love.” Having our first love and being fervent go together. Both are inspired by the Spirit of God.

Another old song is “The Wonder of It All. I will conclude with the chorus to this song: The chorus says:

Feel the wonder of it all
Let your heart and your mind receive
An answer to the call
Feel the wonder of it all
Sweet Jesus
The love of God – the wonder of it all

More Thoughts from Romans 12:10-11: Fervent in Spirit.

As we have been discussing, the apostle Paul exhorts us to be fervent in spirit as we serve others. We have seen how this impacts our work and the sense of wonder that we have when God does great things among us. Today, we will consider the point that we should be fervent in our witness.

We should be fervent intellectually, emotionally, and volitionally in our witness. To begin with, we must recognize that we are presenting the truth. Our presentation of truth should lead people to believe in Jesus who is the truth. Jesus declared, “I am the way and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). When our relationship with Jesus is strong, we will fervently present this truth.

Very often God calls us not only to present the gospel but also to witness in particular ways. When we know that God has called us, we can be fervent in doing His will. The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts. As the powerful persuader, He helps us present the truth to people everywhere.

Being fervent about our witness includes being fervent about missions. Missions, at home and abroad, are not an appendage. It is not an optional sideline. Rather it is an integral part of our life as believers. Knowing this, we could pray today that the Holy Spirit would baptize us with new fervency to be Christ’s witnesses.

George M. Flattery, Ed.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211.

Excerpts transferred from a series originally posted on Dr. George's Facebook.

What's Next

We would love to answer any question you have or help suggest next steps on your journey.