Romans 12:9-13 ESV
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
God is love. Love comes from God. Therefore if we love with this love, in truth, and we aren’t faking it, our love will be genuine. And it will align with the word of God and with God’s divine character and will for mankind. It will take on the character of God in how we treat other people, too. Therefore, it won’t be selfish, but it will consider the welfare of others above oneself.
But this is not the mushy-gushy kind of feeling we call “love” which can come and go depending on how we feel. Genuine love is shown true in our actions, but they will be the actions of God-like character. And so this is something we have to be very deliberate about in denying our flesh and our own selfish wills and putting on the will and character of God.
Abhor what is Evil
When we love with the kind of love that comes from God we will abhor what is evil because we will have the heart of God and so we will love what he loves and we will hate what he hates. And he loves honesty, faithfulness, moral purity, uprightness, holiness, righteousness, and godliness. And he hates lies, adultery, idolatry, sexual immorality and all that is evil.
So, if we love what God loves and we hate what he hates then we will follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his ways, and we will cast off our sinful practices, and we will walk in holiness and righteousness by the grace of God and in his power and strength. We will no longer make sin our practice but righteousness and obedience to our Lord will be what we practice.
Hold Fast to What is Good
If we hold fast to what is good we will continue to adhere to our Lord’s commands (his instructions to us in the New Testament). We will stand strong on what we believe and we will not vacillate between opinions or beliefs or actions. We will not be persuaded to abandon our faith and godly practices and values of honest, decency, and love for others.
And this will be the case even when we are opposed, and even when others abandon and reject us, and even if we are mocked and called crazy or strange, and even if we have people yell at us and tell us that we are wrong because we are in the minority, and because we are not like the majority. We will do what is right even if no one else does because it is right.
Love One Another
Again, this love is based in God’s divine character and will for our lives, so this love will be morally pure, upright, holy, honest, fair, trustworthy and unselfish. It will not be based in wanting others to like us and so we do what will get us liked, but it will be based in godliness and holiness and doing for others what is for their good in the sight and will of God.
So if we love one another with this love we will not deliberately nor habitually sin against others to do them harm, and we will not get even with people who treat us hatefully, but we will forgive them and do good to them in return. We will also not sin along with others or be tolerant of the sins of our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we will help them out of their sins.
Fervent in Spirit
We have a lot of people these days professing faith in Jesus Christ who are not living what they profess. Many of them are believing lies which are telling them that Jesus does it all and we do nothing – no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to Christ as Lord. But that just isn’t biblical and it is totally selfish, and in reality, it is about gratifying the flesh.
We are called to holiness, to live lives separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Jesus in character. We are called to obedience and faithfulness and to the forsaking of our sins and to the honoring of God with our lives. And we are called to his service to do the works he planned in advance that we should walk in them.
Rejoice and Be Patient
Trials are a part of life. We will all suffer something or other at various times in our lives, some people more than others, but pain and suffering goes along with being human and with living in flesh bodies in this sinful world. And suffering is for our good, to humble us, to make us pure and holy, to mature us in our walks of faith, and to make us more like Jesus and less like us.
We are to rejoice in the Lord and be thankful to him no matter what our circumstances are, though. Our circumstances should not be what set our attitudes and our moods. Our faith in Jesus, our love for him, our acceptance of his sovereignty over our lives, and our thankfulness for our salvation and for the hope of eternal life with him should be our norm.
Constant in Prayer and Giving
Prayer is a two-way communication between us and the Lord. And if we are in Christ, by genuine faith in him, then he is living within us by his Spirit, and thus we have Jesus with us always. So, we should have an open door of communication between us and the Lord continually so that he can talk to us and so we can talk with him anytime of the day or night.
And one of the things he will talk with us about is loving others and doing good to others. And he will prompt us to speak with someone or to pray for a person or to send someone an encouraging note or poem or song or to take a meal to someone who is sick or to help someone to move, or to have certain people over for a meal at our homes, etc.
Satan is our enemy because he is the enemy of God. So, he is going to come after us in so many different ways using so many different techniques to try to conquer us because he doesn’t want us loving others, and he doesn’t want us praying constantly, and he doesn’t want us rejoicing even in tribulation, and he doesn’t want us to love even our enemies.
So, all the things we just read about in this passage of Scripture he is going to try to dissuade us from being and doing. So we are going to have to be very determined to follow Jesus and to hold fast to his word and to love what he loves and to abhor evil. And so we need to be praying that our Lord will help us to obey him and to live for him always.
Jesus, Rescue Me
An Original Work / September 18, 2011
Based off of Romans 7:7-8:39
Jesus, rescue me today.
Listen while I bow and pray.
I need Your help to obey You;
Live for You always.
Meet me in my hour of need, Lord,
As I pray to You.
Help me walk in fellowship, Lord,
Living in Your truth.
Jesus, how I long for You to
Change my heart anew.
Father, God, my heart’s desire
Is to live for You this hour
In Your Holy Spirit’s power
Living in me now.
Teach me to walk in Your love, Lord,
Guiding me each day.
Help me to show love and kindness
To the lost, I pray.
Father, teach me to love others
As You love always.
Holy Spirit come in pow’r.
Revive our hearts in this hour.
Change our hearts to be like You, Lord;
Live for You each day.
Help us to forsake our sins, Lord,
As we humbly pray.
Teach us how to live for You, Lord,
Obey You always.
Holy Spirit come in power,
Revive us today.