Why love?

Romans 12:9-10:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

love- a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person
sincere- free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness
evil- morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked
good- morally excellent; virtuous; righteous
devoted- zealous in attachment, loyalty, or affection
honor- honest, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions

Brief History about Paul's Letter to the Romans
Paul wrote this letter in approximately AD 57. Paul is writing this letter to explain to the newly converted Christians in Rome what the basics of Christianity is all about. The message is basically letting them know that all have sinned but there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He gives them some instructions on how to be a Christian. If it would have been written in modern times, it would probably be titled, "How to be a Christian for Dummies." Not implying that newly converted Christians are dummies.

As a Christian, love must be a top priority. We have been called to a life of love. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says this, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, because you have love for one another." Having love for one another is the "mark" of a "true" Christian. We are to love everyone as Christ loves us.
OK, so Jesus gives us this commandment; too easy, right? I'm sure the disciples loved one another; they hung out together all the time. They were "tight", "boys", "pals". It's easy to love other Christians, isn't it? We are people that share the same beliefs and values. That's not necessarily true, is it? Sometimes it is hard to love our own family members, let alone our fellow Christians. Oh, and by the way, Jesus tells us to also love our enemies and pray for them! Ouch! Why did he have to put that in there? Jesus loved his enemies, did he not? As he was hanging from the cross, waiting to die a very painful and excruciating death, he was praying for the people that put him there! Remember, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)
Are we loving each other the way we should? Read the definition of love under "definitions". Are we profoundly tender with one another? Usually not. In a lot of cases, people are not profoundly tender with fellow Christians; how could they be profoundly tender with an enemy?! There are times when we get totally outdone with each other. It's usually over simple, little things that don't really matter when looking at the big picture. Even if it's over something big, we are supposed to be tender with each other. Are we truly sincere to each other? Our motives for helping, serving, donating, etc. should be pure and should always come from the heart. Aren't there times when people do things like the fore mentioned for other motives? Doing so is a form of deceit. We are deceiving others, even worse, we are deceiving ourselves.
As Christians, we are to hate what is evil. Evil is defined as morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked. If we are to hate these things, then we should never do things of this nature. Hasn't there been times when you have done something that was morally wrong? I know I have. We must have a moral treatment towards each other. We are to cling to what is good. What is good? God is good! Again, read the definition. Good means to be morally excellent. Wow! If this were a test, I just failed! Morally excellent. It's tough to be excellent at things that have nothing to do with morals. We should be morally excellent in our dealings with one another. Righteous, recognize this word? I defined "good" using a secular dictionary, not a Biblical dictionary. Even the world knows that something that is good is righteous. Where do we stand on our righteousness barometer? We are to be devoted to one another. Devoted-zealous in attachment. We know people that we zealously avoid, let alone becoming attached. This is what God wants, he wants us to be attached to one another. One of the definitions for devoted is loyalty or affection. Look at the definition of love. Don't the definitions of love and devoted have something in common? That's right, affection. This tells me that love and devotion must go together. In other words, you can't love someone if you are not devoted to them. Finally we are to honor one another. We are to be honest and fair in our actions toward one another. That means we can't tell "little white lies". We have to be honest. Honesty really is the "best policy." When you are honest with people, they do not doubt you. They may not like what you have to say all the time, but they know they can rely on it. It only takes one lie for your word to lose value.
What should we take away from this? If we want to be real Christians, followers of Christ, we have to learn how to love. In today's society, this is tough for a lot of people. There are precious people out there that have been so abused (in many different ways) that it is hard for them to love. Then there is the opposite. There are several people that are hard for us to love. No matter the circumstance, this is something we have to do as Christians. Why do we have to do this? I'll let Jesus take this one: "For he who says, “I know him”, and does not keep his commandments, is lying and the truth is not in him." (1John 2:4).

Father, teach us how to love. We want to love in the same manner that Jesus loves. Give us the strength and courage to love, not only our fellow Christians, but also our greatest enemies. Guide us Lord, for we are weak but you are strong! In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

If you have read this and you do not know Jesus, I invite you to meet him today. He will change your life forever and grant you eternal life. Please click on the Salvation tab and join us in communion with God today. We love you and God bless you!


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