Romans 12:9-13 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Not everyone who proclaims to love others really does. Not everyone who gives the appearance of caring about others genuinely cares. And, not all that appears to be real love really is genuine love. For, the word “love” can be interpreted so many different ways. And not everyone is who he says he is, either. For, there are many liars and deceivers out there in our world.
But, this word translated “love” here in English, in the Greek means to prefer what God prefers. It is a love that prefers what is moral, upright and good. So, if we love others with this kind of love, we are not going to lie to them, cheat on them, take advantage of them, or willfully do harm to them. But, we are going to look out for what is truly in their best interest, which is what is God’s best for them, not necessarily what they think is best for them.
Evil vs. Good
Also, not everyone who proclaims to be a believer in Jesus Christ truly believes in Jesus as Lord (owner-master) of his life. Not everyone who professes faith in Jesus has died with him to sin that he might live with him to righteousness – all in the power of God’s Spirit who dwells within those of us who have truly believed in Jesus for our salvation from sin (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). For, many people have made false professions of faith in Jesus while by their actions (by their lifestyles) they deny him.
Many who profess to be Christians still conduct their lives by what is in their evil hearts. They are living outside of God’s boundary lines, outside of his commands, and they are doing what they want to do regardless of what God’s Word teaches. Thus, in reality, they are outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ, too. They are still walking in darkness, for they refuse to admit the light of Christ into their lives, because they love the darkness more. So, they end up closing their hearts to the light, so that they can still live in sin.
The disciplines in their lives are all inclusive and wide-ranging. They are careless and irresponsible; not strict, but pretty loose. For, their life’s controls (regulations) are united together with a wicked and evil heart. So, they are holding on to the controls (to the reins) of their own lives. For, they want to manage their own destiny. They don’t like anyone telling them what they can or cannot do. Thus, they are not willing to exchange their own sinful lifestyles for submission to Christ as Lord of their lives.
They are often very determined people, perverted, dishonest, and corrupt. But, much of this is hidden, secretive, masked and covered up, so it is not easily discovered. Still, they have crossed over the line of moral decency in order to live for self-indulgence. They have turned their backs to God. They have rejected the Lord, and they are treating the Lord with contempt and with disrespect. So, they are ignoring the Lord, and they are disregarding his Word, and many of them have betrayed the trust of those closest to them, too, for they make an appearance of good, while they make a practice of evil.
So, they end up blocking the truth and the voice of the Holy Spirit from reaching deep into their hearts, for they have rejected the right way to go the opposite direction, in the way of the flesh, to do what ought not to be done. Thus, they are not dressed in robes of righteousness, for they have not truly put on Christ. What they have put on, instead, in the daily practice of their lives, is leading them on the broad path that leads to destruction, because they have rejected the narrow road which leads to life everlasting. For, they have not truly been cleansed of their sins, because they refuse to give up controls over their own lives and to submit their lives to Jesus.
We, as followers of Jesus, thus, are to abhor this type of evil in our own lives. This should not be a description of our lives. If it is, then we need to repent of our sins, and turn our lives over to Jesus to walk with him in his ways. We need to reject all that is evil in our lives, and we need to hold on to what is good in the sight of God, which is what is holy, righteous, moral, pure, honest and trustworthy. For, Jesus didn’t die that painful death on a cross so that we would have our hearts just stirred at times, but never truly changed. He desires a fiery love that won’t ignore his sacrifice (1).
Romans 12:14-21 ESV
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Bless our Persecutors
Many of these who make a profession of Christianity as their religion of choice and/or who profess specific faith in Jesus Christ, but who are blocking the light of truth from coming into their own lives, because they prefer the darkness, are also strongly opposing the truth of the gospel and those who are spreading the truth so that others can be saved from their sins.
And, many of these opponents of the truth are of the beast, which is of Satan, who is the true enemy of the cross of Christ, and who is the one behind all who reject Christ and who deny him by their lifestyles. And, these who are of the beast are also of a New World Order, i.e. a one world totalitarian regime and a one-world religion that brings all religions together into one.
So, in order to attain their unity goals, they have to get rid of all which divides us as a people, and the gospel definitely divides good and evil, righteous and unrighteous, saved and unsaved. So, they have been on an all-out campaign globally to destroy the gospel and its messengers. And, they are inching their way closer to accomplishing their goals.
So, first they attacked the gospel “where the rubber meets the road,” so to speak. And, they are hitting the gospel with their lies right at the point of decision, when someone must decide the course of his life, either to follow Jesus or to not follow Jesus.
So, right at that juncture in the road, where the gospel teaches that we must turn from our sin and we must walk in obedience to our Lord and to surrender to his Lordship, they have attacked. It is at this juncture, where people turn from sin to follow the Lord, that these beasties are attacking with their lies, inserting them in at this point in order to deter people away from the truth of the gospel, and so they will continue on in their slavery to sin, while believing a lie that heaven is guaranteed them no matter what.
But, they don’t stop there. They are also campaigning strongly to prove that the truth of the gospel is a lie, and that the lie is the truth, so they are also working hard to find ways to discredit the gospel and its messengers in order to shut them up and to destroy the work of the ministry so that the spread of the gospel will be stopped.
But, our response to all of this should be to bless those who persecute us. And, this doesn’t mean we give them false compliments, either, to try to make them feel good about themselves. For, the word “bless” literally means “good word” or “good reason,” and it means to speak reason which confers benefit (2). For, it is no blessing if we lie to people. And, the word of reason which confers benefit is the truth of the gospel of our salvation from sin. But, we need to speak the truth in love, not in hate.
And, we are to overcome evil with good by not trading tit for tat, i.e. by not getting even with people when they do evil to us, but by doing for them what is for their good, to meet their legitimate needs. And, everything we do needs to be out of love, not out of selfishness, not out of pride, but thinking about what is truly for the good of others, for their benefit. So, this does not mean we compromise truth or our morals in order to live in harmony with others. For, we are not to be overcome by evil, but we are to overcome evil with good.
Praise Be Told!
An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.
He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.
He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.
By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.
He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.
Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.
Friday, May 24, 2019
(1) Lyrics: larnelle harris – much too high a price lyrics
(2) Strong's Greek: 2127. εὐλογέω (eulogeó) -- to speak well of, praise
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Let Love Be Genuine
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