Read: Romans 12:9-21
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (v. 9)
Jesus summarized the Old Testament’s many laws with the great commandment to love God with all of our heart and the second like it to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40). “Neighbor” in this passage is not limited to those who share a property line with you. Your neighbor is anyone you meet or are able to impact. It’s easy to love ourselves. We readily overlook our faults and focus on the good we do. It’s much harder to love others.
If we truly grasp God’s love and the good news of the gospel, we will aim to share that love with everyone we can. Today’s passage is filled with many commands that provide examples of how we can show love, forgiveness, and grace to others. Which of these commands might God be challenging you to apply in your interactions with others today?
Before we start making excuses, let’s never forget that Jesus went all the way to death, even death on a cross, to love us. Don’t forget that God calls each Christian to be a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1)! It may not be easy to love others, but it’s exactly what God wants from us. Start by praying for others, and God will soften your anger, help you overcome excuses, and provide open doors for showing and sharing the love of Christ. —Steve Petroelje
As you pray, ask our God of love to help you to love others.
About the Author
Rev. Steve Petroelje is a specialized transition pastor who serves vacant churches and helps them assess health, pursue missional effectiveness, and conduct a pastoral search process. He is the past-president of the Words of Hope Board of Trustees.