Most of us who are Christians would agree that love is the most often characteristic associated with God. We hear more about God’s love for us than any other topic. Have you ever stopped to think about how often you hear love mentioned in sermons or Bible classes?
We hear love mentioned in sermons about Jesus’ birth, His crucifixion, His resurrection, in His teachings, and in the teachings of the apostles. If we stop to reflect on sermons we’ve heard over the years, we are likely hard pressed to think of sermons in which God’s love was not mentioned.
If we hear so much about God’s love for us, why is it we don’t see that love reflected in our lives? Could it be we are misinterpreting how we are to reflect God’s love? Have we interpreted it as only showing love toward God rather than sharing His love with others?
Jesus, Himself, commanded us to love one another in the same way He and the Father love one another and in the same way He loves us. The love Jesus speaks of is not merely words, but an active and engaged love that includes all facets of life.
We see in today’s passage that Paul is telling the church in Rome to be devoted to one another in love. Think about that for just a moment. What does it mean to be devoted? It reminds me of being dedicated to a spouse, devoted to a team, or striving to reach a goal.
Also notice that Paul says we are to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. I wonder if we are doing this very well. I wonder if we identify what is evil, or are we carried along on the wave of modern culture, accepting almost anything as being okay? Are we allowing Satan to pull the wool over our eyes and be fooled by his deceptions?
I picture the early Christians Paul was writing to huddling together to protect one another from the culture around them. I envision them spending time in prayer for one another every day. I think they were like a small group of soldiers set up in 360-degree defensive position surrounded by an enemy force several times their size. Unfortunately, I think we’ve lost this picture and attitude, and we have taken up mingling with the enemy rather than taking care of one another.
Devoting ourselves to one another in love is no small task. It requires us to set aside our personal preferences in order to care for one another. It requires us to put the other person ahead of ourselves. It means we take loving one another seriously, loving with our whole heart.
I pray we all decide to devote ourselves to one another. I pray we love one another with every action we take. I pray each one of us decides to reflect God’s love in all we do. Love God. Love Jesus. Love one another. Put your love into action. Do everything in love.
Romans 12:9-10 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.