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A Week in Romans 12: Love

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 New International Version (NIV) As believers in Christ, we are allowed to hate only one thing: evil. What we view as evil is not found in other people. God's Word makes it plain where evil comes from, even as we have people judging other people as evil and urging us toward hate and division. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV Our command to love is clear and our obedience must be genuine. Love must be without hypocrisy (Romans 12:9 HCSB). God loved us first and we are to love Him first. When we love Him first, we prove it by next loving each other. We are to love sincerely and be devoted to loving each other, even to the extent that we love the seemingly unlovable. This is how we demonstrate our service to the Lord and claim His Lordship of our lives. Anyone who speaks against God's Word on love is not of God. Anyone who promotes hate is speaking against God's Word on love. Period. When we are encouraged to hate and not help others, we are facing one possessed by evil. Even then, we are called to pray for the vessel being used by this negative spiritual force, but we are to recognize who we are dealing with. We are definitely not to join them in their divisive quest. Those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and claim His salvation, must love their neighbors. Who are our neighbors? Anyone who needs our help and love (Luke 10:27). We don't get to call the shots on who we love. We don't get to say who else should or shouldn't love. And we definitely don't get to hate. To be blessed, we must be a blessing to others. We are to help those in need and even invite them into our lives (Romans 12:13 TLB). This is how we share the Gospel of Christ, our Great Commission. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:14 NLT

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