Tuesday, July 15, 2014

meditating on Romans 12:9-21 (part 2)

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly 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 God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

Hi gals. Today, let's continue to read through the checklist outlined in Romans 12:9-31 and commit our ways to match our new life in Jesus Christ.

Andrew Murray once said, "Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays." I believe this to be true. We represent God in how we treat the individuals He introduces into our lives. So, it would make sense that our response to them should mirror our devotion and honor to Him. Look at the points in verse 10...

3. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as ourself. His new life includes our deliberately doing good to others, blessing others and praying for others. In fact, Jesus told His disciples the night before His crucifixion, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another,” (John 13:34). So how did Jesus love? Well, His devotion to us is evident through His self-sacrifice. He gave everything so that we may know God forever. This form of love is one that seeks the very best for another. It is not based on feelings - or even our likes/dislikes. No, it is more about a resolve to put the welfare of another above our own. (Which logically brings us to the next guideline below.) Such devotion for others is impossible in our own strength and clearly why we need a Savior to teach and guide our every step.

4. Honor one another above yourself. When we look at Jesus’ interactions with others, we see that He willingly related with all kinds of people - sinners, tax collectors, Pharisees, Sadducees, Romans, Samaritans, fisherman, women, children. He held no regard to their social status or their respectability in the eyes of men. Rather, Jesus loved all people and honored them as valuable individuals while surrendering His earthly time and energy so that they may have the opportunity to benefit from His holy wisdom. Then, He would restore His soul by retreating away for a short while to fast, pray and meditate on His Father's Word. We must understand that being a Christian is not about ease or comfort. It is about love and sacrifice for the sake of our Father. Because of this, we must know (like Christ knew) that honoring others is not always "fun". In fact, it can feel draining at times. But honor is a certain path to our purpose in life - glorifying God. To be effective, we must also take time to be alone in His word to recharge our batteries and restore our souls. You see, honoring others is only attainable through the power of Christ who gives us strength. With His help, our new life will reflect His character to all we encounter. Here, we are called to love and respect all persons at all times while sharing His message. Please note that honoring another person does not sanction any agreement with sinful practices as an acceptable part of human diversity. On the contrary. Jesus lovingly spoke harsh words to those who opposed God's way. Rather than be concerned over His own popularity, Jesus always shared the truth because it was best. He knew that his audience would either receive His saving words or turn and reject Him forever. As His followers, we must pray for Christ's courage to equally honor others with His message and never hesitate to speak His truth in love - no matter how uncomfortable or how much it may cost us to do so. Lastly, we must never judge another personally. Our job is to lovingly inform them of God's law and Christ's saving solution for sin. The Holy Spirit will use our living testimony to present God's opportunity for others to avoid eternal judgement from sin and enjoy the Father's peaceful presence forever. Because of this, Jesus' gift of salvation is the best news we could ever share, ladies. It trumps our whole lives in importance. His loving way should be our focus always.

"God, the Eternal God, is LOVE. Covet therefore that everlasting gift, that one thing which it is certain is going to stand, that one coinage which will be current in the universe when all other coinages of all the nations of the world shall be useless and unhonored." (Henry Drummond)

My ongoing prayer for DW's ministry, is that we will each sincerely love and encourage one another to choose God first, and follow-through by committing our ways unto the Lord every single day. Let's live it, ladies, and share His love to all the world! This is the day! WOO HOO!

Blessings!

Victoria

© 2010 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this...I really needed this review of how God expects us to live. I'm a practicing Christian, but in the last few months (since I moved in with my daughter and grandchildren), my walk hasn't been as straight. I take my grandchildren to church with me and pray that my daughter will return to serving Christ. But, yesterday, when I announced "I don't lie"...she pointed out some lies. She was right...How can I be a good example to her if I'm not practicing what I preach? I justify my lies; but, in truth...there is no justification for lies...EVER. This is definitely something I need to fast and pray about, because telling the truth will impact my financial health and I'm already on unemployment...have been for 1-1/2 yrs.

    Thank you and I pray God continues to bless your ministry!

    ReplyDelete

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