Sunday LinkUp – 16June2024


  • Good morning, church …
  • Happy FATHERS DAY … to all FATHERS under the sound of my voice …
  • WELCOME to all who are here … especially any FIRST-TIME VISITORS (if there are any)
    • Persons visiting from MANDEVILLE …
    • Persons joining us ONLINE …
    • and, of course, … Ms.Wilson … Let the records show that this is her 2nd Sunday servive for this year)



How SHOULD I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)  



A.  Quotation …

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death. 

B.  That’s a poem … by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 – 1861)   … Sonnet 43 (How Do I Love Thee?) …  

C.  The poem is about one person’s love for another … the speaker opens the sonnet with the question of how the speaker loves listener/reader  and then proceeds to answer by describing her love — a love that is so deep that the author believes it will continue after death.  

D.  It’s a poem about what true love … between two people … can look like.

E.  What does the love between two Christians look like?  What should love between Christians look like?  How does it manifest itself?

F.  That is an important question … because LOVE is what distinguishes us as Christians.

  • John 13:35 …  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

G.  But what does that love look like, in practical terms?

H.  Paul gives us an idea in his letter to the Romans.

I.  SPS … To take a look at Romans 14 … to see what we can learn about how Christians can (and should) show love to each other.

  • Sermon title = HOW SHOULD I LOVE THEE?
  • Keynote passage = Romans 14:1-23.


Romans 14:1-4, 5-9, 10-12, 13-18, 19-23

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.  2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.  The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.  Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?  To their own master, servants stand or fall.  And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike.  Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.  6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.  Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.  For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.  If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.  

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?  For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  11 It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’[b]    

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.  14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself.  But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.  15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love.  Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.  16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil.  17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.  

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.  All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.  21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.  

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.  Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.  23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.[c]    



  • There are many things we could take away from this chapter …
  • For me … on a day like today … the main takeaway is in verse 5 …
    • Romans 14:5 …One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike.  Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.  
    • From Barclay’s commentary on Romans 14 …

Paul introduces another point on which narrower  (weaker in faith) and more liberal people (the strong) may differ.  The narrower people make a great deal of the observance of one special day.  That was indeed a special characteristic of the Jews.  More than once Paul was worried about people who made a fetish of observing days.   

        • He writes to the Galatians: “You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years: I am afraid I have laboured over you in vain” (Gal. 4:10-11).
        • He writes to the Colossians: “Let no man pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” (Col. 2:16-17).

The Jews had made a tyranny of the sabbath, surrounding it with a jungle of regulations and prohibitions.  It was not that Paul wished to wipe out the Lord’s Day — far from it; but he did fear an attitude which in effect believed that Christianity consisted in observing one particular day


  • Paul is expounding a principle.
  • As far as us (2000 years later) applying that principle goes … we can start today …
  • Some of us may believe that TODAY is the right day to observe Pentecost.
  • Others of us were quite happy observing Pentecost last month.
  • The reality is that we might have two groups among us … those working with the Christian Worship Calendar … and those working with the Jewish Worship Calendar
  • What Paul would say is that the two groups need to accept each other … because Christianity is more than observing days (See Romans 14:16-18,19)



A.  The poem — How do I Love Thee?

B.  The title of the sermon — How SHOULD I Love Thee?

C.  According to Paul … As much as Elizabeth Barrett Browning loved whoever … but, more importantly, ENOUGH TO NOT INSIST ON MY PERSONAL FREEDOM

D.  We won’t always agree on “disputable matters” … and we don’t have to (because they are usually non-essential matters … BUT  we must always show love for each other

E.  … even if that brotherly love means we can’t exercise our personal freedom.

F.  We don’t have to win every argument/debate … BUT we must show love.

G.  When it comes to disputable matters … Showing GRACE is all about giving others SPACE to believe what they want to believe … even if you don’t agree.

H.  That is how we show onlookers that we are Christ-followers … and that is how we stay united.

As William Barclay puts it …

It is Paul’s plea that the common aim should unite us and the differing practice should not be allowed to divide us.

Let’s pray.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top