Wednesday, July 16, 2014

meditating on Romans 12:9-21 (part 3)

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 jump back in and continue to study the checklist outlined in Romans 12:9-31 and commit our ways to match our new life in Jesus Christ.

5. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Let me first point out that there is a big difference in maintaining zeal (enthusiastic diligence) and spiritual fervor (earnestness, intensity) in comparison to promoting excessive, irrational fanaticism generated from a particular religious agenda. Our hearts and actions should always be measured against God's Word - not man's opinion or feeling on any issue.

What we say and do should directly reflect Jesus' love to everyone. Paul tells us in Galatians 4:18, “It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good.” This is the type of zeal and spiritual fervor spoken of in Romans 12:11. We are to ask God for the strength and wisdom to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37)

Yes, this means we are to love God emotionally. But we are also called to love Him with all our will, and with all our intellect. To "feel" deeply is an important aspect of our faith. But even more important, we must choose God's will as our own. We must dedicate our lives to think in accordance and act in alignment with His Word. This is how we serve Him with ALL our heart.

Emotions are not always reliable. Thus our feelings can be swayed by our sinfulness. So, it is critical that we truly know our King well enough to live the way He has ordered. Our new life is attainable when we think, act, honor and sacrifice like our Savior. He is our Shepherd in this walk. His path is the one to follow. His way is the standard.

The increasing frequency of Christians who abuse this particular command is alarming. For although we live in a technologically and scientifically advanced age, we also live in an age of widespread ignorance when it comes to knowing God intimately and reacting biblically to matters of today. As a people, our natural reactions are usually based on sinful desires and selfish emotions. But ladies, it is our responsibility to politically, economically, morally, legally, and scientifically ponder all matters against the truth of scripture and to react with godly passion. What He says matters most. We must study to show ourselves approved unto Him - to receive His blessing as we follow His way. To do any less and "cut corners” by neglecting to do the hard intellectual work of deep biblical study and seek Him in humble prayer is to arrogantly refuse the divine insight and holy wisdom that God graciously has provided to us in His word. Furthermore, to avoid sharing and discussing these eternal truths with others goes directly against the primary objective of our new life in Jesus Christ. The Bible is our Owner's manual. We must read our Owner's words and know Him, follow Him, believe Him in order to move forward.

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 ask God to search our hearts and test our ways on each point we are discussing in this series - especially this most critical topic on spiritual fervor. Let's come ready to choose His way over our own - even if it seems challenging... even if it feels uncomfortable. Our new life is now. Let's live it everyday as He intended and serve the Lord with all our heart!

"This little light of mine... I'm gonna let it shine!" Join me, ladies and praise the Holy Holy Holy Name above all other names! Live every moment in glory and honor of the One and Only, Jesus! Let's allow Him to come restore our souls and bring us into His path of righteousness. Come, Lord Jesus... come!!!

Blessings!

Victoria

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