Love Must Be Sincere, Romans 12:9-21
Our Scripture today begins with "love must be sincere." That is a powerful statement as we can look around in our world and see what people call "love" lacking in sincerity. We are not to pretend we love someone, it is to be done in honesty and with pure hearts. The Apostle Paul gives us quite a list to ponder in what makes love sincere in our lives. Let's highlight a few of them today.
"Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other." This kind of love is not selfish or demanding, it is a love that reaches out, trusting that God will not only meet our own needs but the needs of those we are reaching out to!
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Serving the Lord takes energy, fortitude, a deep heartfelt desire to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. Life can sometimes get us down and rob us of spiritual energy, but our love for God and one another is to energize us to stay on fire for Jesus and to have the power to serve faithfully.
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." These few words remind us that as we are faithful in prayer the end result will be joy and patience! Why? As we take all that concerns us to the Lord, in turn the Spirit encourages our hearts by pouring the love of Christ into us and empowering us to stand firmly in the Lord's love no matter what comes our way. Our hope is in Christ. He is the anchor that steadies us in the storms we encounter. As the Lord does this for us, we can have peace in the midst of our "affliction" and know that God will lead us forward according to His plan and care for our lives.
Ponder on these thoughts today. The devotion for Monday will continue to consider these verses before we move on to Romans 13.
Remember tomorrow after the sermon we will share the Lord's Table together at the end. Before you listen to the sermon, have your communion elements prepared.
Have a blessed and wonderful day serving Jesus!