WEEK SIX, DAY FIVE, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION
WEEK SIX THEME: LOVE
DAY FIVE THEME: LOVE IN THE CHURCH
SCRIPTURE: ROMANS 12:9-13 (CEB)
“Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic — be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home.”
THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!
SOAKING IT IN: These few verses are loaded with “Be-ness” a different set of “BE – ATTITUDES”! It is as if these scriptures sum it all down into a few verbs that define what Godlike love looks like. The first part is a full sentence that leads to the verbs of living out this sentence. Love EACH OTHER (all folks – everybody) as MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY!
This one thought requires a lot for us to wrap our minds around. The scripture says to “love each other” … that is without boundaries – “each other” encompasses a whole multitude of possibilities. Sick people, rich people, dirty people, stylish people, people with issues, people who have everything…. and the list goes on and on. In our churches or our communities and certainly the whole world there are all kinds of God’s people.
Ultimately to love is to break down all barriers and simply love – action verb – LOVE. We are not to pretend to love or love only on the surface and grimace on the inside. We are to LOVE, treating everyone with the same compassion and empathy we would toward a family member.
I think that is where the true test comes in. If this person I am “leary” of were my own family, how would I want others to treat him or her. When someone is in our family we have more information – we know their insecurites and their shortcomings and we make allowances for them because they are our family and we can’t help but love them – we know them deeper than what is on the outside, we know them even on the inside and we want all things good for them no matter what their struggles may be. We take the time to get inside their skin and understand at least where they are coming from. We have relationship and relationship opens doors for understanding and care and love and growth and God’s Kingdom.
That is the same attitudue Romans 12:9-13 would have us adapt for all people that come across our life’s path. We must guard against evil – hate evil and hold on to good – but all within the same boundaries of family. If a child behaves badly – they may be put in time out or spanked – but not forever. Love for that child had not ended and they are just tossed aside. There is a time when the correction is over and the living and loving goes on.
God’s people love first, developing deep and meaningful relationships that can grow from such love not divide out and bring strife against one another. Once we establish love – family love – for others, then the verbs just keep on coming: honor each other; be enthusiastic (on fire in the Spirit); serve; be happy in hope; stand your ground; devote to prayer; contribute to the needs of God’s people; welcome strangers into your home.
All these verbs and verb phrases show God’s Kingdom people who do not let the day catch them lazy and who are always about building their place in exuding the love of God that they have received so fully and abundantly. Just like the simple children’s song says – If you are happy and you know it then your life (face) will surely show it! People who grasp the immense love the Father has given them cannot sit still and watch others and only have hope for them – they must – WE MUST – get verbing and spreading the precious love that they/we have received.
Pass it ON! The best stewardship ever – loving all others out of the abundance of God’s love for us!
Keep receiving God’s love and then keep on PASSING IT ON!
Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us! THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD! God’s Kingdom is all around us if we will only open our heats and minds and eyes and enjoy loving each other with God’s love.
LET IT BE SO!