Let Your Love Be Genuine

Church Family:  Jesus loves you. His love for you is genuine and He asks us to have the same genuine love for each other (Rom. 12:9). The night before Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins He met with His disciples and gave them a new commandment (John 13:34-35). What is the commandment? That they would love one another in the same way that He loved them. And then Jesus told His disciples that if they would just get that right then all people would know that they are followers of Christ. Jesus told them that the one most important and visible characteristic of being a Christ follower is that they would be devoted to loving one another.

John the Apostle, continues with the words of Jesus in his first epistle reminding us that the love that we share together in the body of Christ is the test of authenticity for our own personal faith (1 John 2:9-10). Biblical love is an epic theme in the New Testament being discussed around 300 times. Paul talks about love 132 times. Love is a big deal to Jesus and to the Apostles and it should be for us as well.

What is biblical love? Love is serving, enriching, encouraging another person for the purpose of them thriving today and in eternity future. Love is not just a feeling but an active, voluntary sacrifice on behalf of that person.

In Romans 12:9-21, Paul gives us 21 tangible actions of genuine biblical love. In other words, this is what the love of Jesus looked like while He was walking on earth and this is what our love is to look like in our daily lives as we interact with those around us. If we love like this we will spare ourselves and our children thousands of foolish decisions and 10000s of consequences of hardships.

Genuine love of one another is:
1- Abhorring what is evil; holding fast to what is good.
2- Loving one another with brotherly affection.
3- Outdoing one another in showing honor.
4- Not being slothful in zeal.
5- Being fervent in spirit.
6- Serving the Lord.
7- Rejoicing in hope.
8- Being patient in tribulation.
9- Being constant in prayer.
10- Contributing to the needs of the saints.
11- Seeking to show hospitality.
12- Blessing those who persecute you; blessing and not cursing them.
13- Rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep.
14- Living in harmony with one another.
15- Not being haughty but associating with the lowly.
16- Never being wise in your own sight.
17- Repaying no one evil for evil but giving thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
18- Living peaceably with all.
19- Never avenging yourselves, but leaving it to the wrath of God.
20- If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
21- Not being overcome by evil but overcoming evil with good.

Which ones are absent from your love for one another?

See you Sunday, loving one another: Steve

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