Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
We are called to ground ourselves and all we do in genuine love – love for God and for one another.
Romans 12 begins with a call to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice in service to God. The writer, Paul, reminds us that we may all have different gifts, but all of them are important to God. After this call to service, in verses 9-13, Paul goes on to talk about very specific ways a follower of Christ should live. Live with devotion to others, be enthusiastic in service to God, always be in prayer, connecting with the Lord. But first and foremost, Paul tells us to live in genuine love. All of the behaviors that follow must come out of real love for God and for each other.
The first verse of Romans reminds us of God’s mercy to us. His mercy, His love, define what sincere love should be – sacrificial, without a selfish agenda. Only through accepting the depth of God’s love and offering ourselves back to Him can we genuinely love God and others.
Paul shows us some very specific ways a Christian believer should live. Do you think more of others than of yourself? Do you serve God with passion and excitement? Does God’s love for you inspire you to real love for others?
Father God, thank You for the great mercy and love You have shown to me. Let the sacrifice of Your son inspire me to sacrificial service to You. As You have loved me, help me to offer sincere love to others – to see how I can respect them, help them in their need, to live and love generously. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Submitted by: Dianne Novak