Wednesday, April 27th
Let love be without hypocrisy …. give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord …. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Romans 12:9A, 10B-11, 14-16
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Being ones who genuinely love others is the focus of today’s Scripture. It boils down to whether we are caught up in “regarding others” or in “self-regard.” Our passage helps us see the contrasts between regarding others and self-regard: preferring others or preferring self, serving the Lord or serving self, blessing others (goal of mending) or cursing others (goal of hurting), mainly focused on the joy and sorrow of others or mainly focused on our own joy and sorrow, pursuing common ground (same mind) or promoting our agenda , relating to anyone (no one beneath you – humility) or having nothing to do with certain others (some are beneath you - pride), and finally, esteeming and valuing others for who they are and what they bring to the world or thinking you are God’s gift to the world (wise in your own estimation).
Obviously, regarding others is what love is all about. It is self-regard that messes everything up. When self-regard is strong in us, even that which might be considered as love for others, regard for others, and doing for others becomes twisted. Underneath it all is our need to derive something for ourselves from others in return. This is what our passage is calling us away from when it says, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” Genuine love is all about the genuine regard of others over the regard of self. This is pure or unconditional love – it is the “agape” love of God.
So, if we want to love others genuinely so that all that comes from us to them is an expression of regard for them and not ourselves, we must experience a supernatural transformation from God. This is why we are Christians: so that through our relationship with God we can know his unconditional love on a daily basis, we can be transformed by the experience of God’s love day by day, and we can impact our world with the outward regard of genuine love that flows daily from us for the sake of God’s kingdom and glory.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I see that it all comes back to pursuing you fully. Help me seek you with all my heart and help me go forward in a full relationship with you. I know that being a genuine lover of others and being used significantly for your kingdom will follow. I love you and worship you, Lord. Amen!
Posted on Wed, April 27, 2016
by Alan Porter