Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Invitation to Christ’s Hospitality
“Love must be sincere”. vs 9
The book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul and the primary theme is the basic gospel, God’s plan of salvation and righteousness for all mankind, Jew and Gentile alike. In Romans 12, Paul begins to explain the practical ways to live to those who have been changed by the Gospel.
Verses 9-13 we read a brief series of instructions on living like a Christian with others. In these five verses, Paul lists thirteen behaviours that the Christian should adopt. Paul lists love first among the thirteen desired behaviours.All around us people are searching for peace, justice and hope – and these are all things that are only ultimately found in Jesus Christ. God intends to use His church and our presence in this world, as a means of revealing His character and the power of the Gospel. The Gospel is made visible through our sincere love for one another.
Primary Command: (vs. 9a) – Love is a primary verb, while the commands that follow are all supporting verbs. The primary command is that we are to love one another sincerely and genuinely without hypocrisy. The list of commands that follows helps us understand what it means to live out this kind of love (1 Pet 1:22, John 13:34).
Love good over evil, love must be discerning and move us to action (vs. 9) - Genuine love must take notice and take action. We must hate what God hates and love what God loves and in both cases we must speak the truth in love to those around us. In doing so we show the character of God and the power of the Gospel (Gal 6:1-2, Psalm 97:10a, Eph 2:10).
Love other believers, love must be loyal and selfless (vs. 10) - We are joined together in the family of God and we are called to love one another as dear family with brotherly affection (1 Pet 1:22, 1 Thess 4:9). And our love should be accompanied by honour for each member of God’s family (Rom 12:3).
Love fervently, love must be earnest and passionate (vs. 11) - We must be faithful; we must not grow lazy or allow our passion to diminish. God’s calling is significant and we should serve Him with eagerness and with all of our hearts (Eph 5:15-17, Gal. 6:9-10).
Love through tribulation, love must be a godly perspective (vs. 12) – God was always at work in Paul’s suffering and persecution. However, Paul exemplified joy and endurance and called all believers to the same. We must remember the hope of the Gospel and heed the call to endure (Rom 5:1-5; Phil 4:4).
Love in need, love must be generous and tangible (vs. 13) - We must display the character of God and show our world an example of the love of Christ. We must recognize that living for Christ means being willing to give of what we have to those in need.
In all these instructions we see that the Christian life is all about faith working through love (Gal 5:6). Let love be genuine!
Our loving and gracious God, we thank You that You have offered us forgiveness and the gift of new life in You. Thank You that Your love is perfect, it never fails, and that nothing can separate us from Your love. Help us to love You and to choose to love others. We love You Lord, and we need You today, and every day, In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor. 13:13
St. Thomas MTC, NY
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church