Let love (agape)be without hypocrisy (sincere, genuine).
Abhor (hate) what is evil (wicked, worthless, guilty);
cling (unite or join to) what is good.
Be devoted (dearly love, very affectionate) to one another in brotherly love (Philadelphia);
give preference (esteem more highly) to one another in honor (value); (honor one another above yourselves)
not lagging (idol, lazy) behind in diligence (do quickly, do one’s best, eagerness), (never be lacking in zeal b
but fervent (enthusiastic) in spirit, (But keep your spiritual fervor)
serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope,
persevering in tribulation, (patient in affliction)
devoted to prayer, (faithful in prayer)
contributing to the needs of the saints,
Romans 12 begins with “in view of God’s mercy” or in view of the wrath we deserve and the grace, goodness and love we receive in Christ… we should offer our lives in service to God.
Beginning in verse 3, this passage talks about how we work together as a body of Christ.
Verse 9 begins a section on Christian conduct.
In verses 9-13 Paul lists a series of mostly positive commands that characterize the Christian walk
· Let love be without hypocrisy (or love sincerely or genuinely; don’t just pretend or go through the motions)
· Abhor what is evil, wicked, worthless
· Cling to (unite with or join to) what is good.
What is the good that we should cling to? Paul outlines the good we are do to each other:
· Be devoted (dearly love, very affection) to one another in brotherly love
· Give preference or esteem more highly one another in honor (value)
· Contribute to the needs of the saints
· Practice hospitality
Paul also tells us that the good we should cling to is an attitude of the heart:
· We are to be diligent and do our best (not lagging behind, lazy, or idol)
· We are to be fervent or enthusiastic in spirit
· Those things in combination are the way we are to serve the Lord
· We are to rejoice in hope
· We are to endure, persevere or be patient in affliction or tribulation
· We are to be devoted to or persist in prayer
1. This passage tells me I need to dearly and sincerely love my brothers and sisters in Christ, giving them honor above myself. How am I doing that? How can I do more of that? I need God’s help!
2. This passage also tells me I need to give to the needs of the saints and practice hospitality. I need God to show me needs that I can meet. And I need God to show me how to practice hospitality during this season.
3. But then Paul tells me I need to be diligent, enthusiastic in spirit, serving the Lord. God wants me to be whole-heartedly and passionately serving Him. How is my zeal? What, if anything, is robbing me of zeal?
4. Lastly, we are to rejoice in hope (in God), patient in or enduring affliction, and devoted to prayer. How am I doing? Is my hope in God or in a certain outcome? Am I trusting in God during the hard times? Am I on my knees as much as I should be?
Lord, I want to serve you whole-heartedly and I want to love your church well. But I often prefer my comfort over other people’s well-being. And I sometimes feel beaten down and want to retreat and not persevere. But help me to love people dearly and sincerely, giving honors above myself. Show me people at Trinity who have needs and help me to generously meet those needs. And Lord, I’m happy to practice hospitality… help me do that… give me specific people to invite into my home or into my world. And help me to zealously, diligently and fervently serve You. You have done so much for me… let my heart and my time reflect my gratitude to You. And when I remember how good You are and how powerful, it is easy to rejoice in hope. But when my hope is not rooted in You, I can’t rejoice, because everything else disappoints. Help me to persevere and be patient when things are hard. Don’t let me retreat, but help me to stay on my knees, knowing you will help me and help us. Thank you for the call to live this way. It is a high bar. Do a good work in me Lord. I love you!
Posted on Wed, January 27, 2016
by joel king