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How do you love?



Do you love well?  both your fellow man and your God?


What I mean is … if you were to take a personal inventory, how would you fare? [look at the following items Paul references**]


Looking at Romans 12.9-21, I notice how counterculture are these principles--and yet, we are meant to love Jesus and also love. like. Jesus. by living this way. There is a reason the 'he gets us' ad campaign shows the unnatural/well, supernatural love of Jesus demonstrated for those you and I might just not 'get'--those we might look right past.


Yes, you and I are the called out ones who are meant to love differently, even sacrificially.


As for your relationships with others, Paul says:

-Love sincerely. Don't just pretend. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

                 

-Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

I love that take on verse 10. How often do you and I honor others? What a thought.


As for your relationship to God:

-Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.    


-Be joyful in hope, patient in trouble, and keep on praying. How faithful are you in prayer?  Do you give up when answers do not come readily? Do you continue to trust God, and experience his peace--even in the middle of a trial?      

                     

-When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Hmmm...Are you a generous person?  


-Bless those who persecute you. v.14 Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.


-Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Hmmm... Do you enter into the joy of others and celebrate with them?   On the other hand, are you willing to share others' pain--to sit with them, listen, be silent and love, maybe even offer to help?     


-Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!


-Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  

                    

-If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.     

               

-Paul writes, "Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

Are you willing to let the Lord ‘settle the score’?  Or do you carry within yourself the very real desire to ‘get even’?  

                                                 

-Rather,

   If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. Be gracious toward those you oppose, and to those who oppose you!


-Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12.9-21


I find this to be an immediate ‘check’.  As I type, my back is against the wall, and I need God to come and do the miraculous in a family member's life--to mercifully do the thing that only he can do. And yes, I am crying out to God, praying continually as Paul taught and also giving thanks, just as he taught the Thessalonians. Remembering always that God is good and his will is good as well. And in my difficult situation, I am endeavoring to love well.


How are you doing?  As a child of God, is it natural for you to love, to forgive easily, to give generously, to live at peace with everyone?  If not, give yourself again to God, and ask him to help you live and love as he does, as he wills, and as he would have you.


Then, by God's spirit, you can say, 'I love well.' Amen.


And how worthy is He of our love? song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVumVrkbq4s


Christine


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