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. Don't you love how deeply we have been able to study this wonderful passage in Romans 12? Let's jump back in it today and seek His guidance. Our goal: to commit our ways to match our new life in Jesus Christ! WOO HOO! Today, we will be looking at verse 15.
11. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. One of the hardest things to do in life is to willingly take the focus off ourselves and selflessly direct our attention onto others for the sake of Christ. Why? Because we like to be the center of attention. We like everything to be about us. However, it is impossible to live a new life of love and devotion toward our neighbor without first establishing an inner attachment and deep affection toward their favor. So, we must be willing to turn over the focus. We must learn to love others and give them our full attention while relating to them as Jesus would relate to us - sacrificially. For without this form of genuine consideration and daily concern for the well-being of others, we would not be able to rejoice with those who rejoice or mourn with those who mourn - all the while giving glory to God and acknowledging Him first.
There should be no division in the body, but its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:25a-26)
Rather than become envious when others receive a blessing, or feel relieved and stay distant when someone else endures hardship, we must learn to empathize with others. We must get up close and personal in situations and lovingly share Jesus' eternal hope in all matters. This is how we learn to relate sincerely (as He would) with one another. This is where our new life in Christ is able to become most evident and most impactful to the world around us. This is where His glory is best exposed through us - when we choose to live in obedience with a teachable spirit that showcases His heart. Rather than feed our old sinful hunger for attention, as Christians, we are newly equipped in Jesus Name to live humbly and submit over our lives to reflect His image... His grace. And what is grace? It is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. And His grace is sufficient. His grace is enough for every earthly experience. His grace is all we need to focus on and share.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
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. Our new life offers us the opportunity to showcase His compassion and care for one another as we live selflessly in His grace. Praise be our God who loves us enough to save us from our sin and give us the freedom to live NEW! Our Savior has indeed blessed us with a hope and secure future. Let us be sure to respectfully share this good news in every moment and praise His Name forever and ever! Amen!
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