“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 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 set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:9-21 NKJV
The door is open. The Lord in His infinite mercy and wisdom, has opened to those who call themselves followers of Christ, a golden opportunity to go and tell. The society we live in is in upheaval at the very time the economic underpinnings of the same nation are crumbling as well.
There will be many who will and are experiencing genuine pain, as poverty is creeping into the lives of many. Because of this, we who have been shown mercy, have the golden opportunity to show mercy, and those of us who have experienced the grace of God have the opportunity to show that grace to those in opposition.
In these midst of these perilous times, many horrible decisions can be made, and those who stand for life are in a position to help, guiding those in trouble to life giving options, rather than those that end in death.
I tell you the truth, many out there in the greater world are angry these days, as there is already great suffering. Some of those might even have a gripe against the people of God. As it may be tempting, we are to live according to the commandment given us by our Lord.
“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””
Mark 12:29-31 NKJV
We demonstrate the first most greatly when we demonstrate the latter, especially with those in opposition. I was reminded of this as I read through Romans twelve this morning. I pored over it in light of all that has happened this weekend, and the potential of all that could happen in the weeks to come.
On the surface, it would seem as if all the things the Lord is calling upon us to do seems impossible, but the Lord has given those who are His the power of the Holy Spirit. Because of the Lord’s presence in us, we have the power to love, far beyond the measure of what is human.
These in opposition proclaim love, but do not know of true love. We do. Our Savior Jesus went to the cross and suffered a brutal death for our sins, for my sins, that I would not have to pay the penalty in hell. Let us go forward showing that divine love.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”
I Corinthians 13:1-8 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us be the ones to show this world what true love is, as we go and tell of the great story of the Gospel, and the many little stories of the Lord’s redemption of sinners like us.
Let us love most those who call us names, who revile us, who wish evil upon us. Let us be mindful of their needs in these times, that we be able to bring blessing and refreshment to those who are without a Savior. May we be the ambassadors we have been saved to be, as the world we are living in is careening toward the abyss, and the Lord is about to move.
May we be found working, leading people to Jesus, when the great catching up happens, so that there be such a great cloud of witnesses to carry on.
Pray for the Lord to help you in your weakness, to give you power in love and represent Jesus.
Have blessed and loving Sunday!