“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” – Romans 12:9-13
LIGHT FOR NOW: To serve the Lord is to serve his body.
First, observe Paul’s emphasis on love in our key text, he used it thrice; “Let love be…” (Verse 9). “…Kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love…” (Verse 10). Thus, Paul’s theme of discussion in our key text was our love for one another. So, when Paul uses “Lord” in verse 11, that “Lord” in context was referring to the body of Christ, that is, fellow believers. So, we can therefore say that serving the Lord is to serve his body (fellow believers). Thus, one cannot claim to love Christ, and not demonstrate love in your words and actions towards fellow believers/His church/His body. Likewise, to walk in honour towards fellow believers is to honour the Lord Jesus and vice versa. Notice the phrase “kindly affectioned” in verse 10, that phrase being translated implies to be devoted to someone. It goes beyond the activities of service, but the motive behind it. That was why Paul said earlier in verse 9 that love should be without pretense or hypocrisy (that is the implication of the word dissimulation in Greek). So, our love for fellow brethren must be without pretense or hypocrisy. The word “fervent” (verse 11) being translated implies to be boiling over, to be zealous for or passionate about. Fervent is a word used to describe the boiling point of liquids but in this context, the word “fervent” was used to describe the demonstration of the believer’s love for the saint, which is his service to the Lord. In other words, Paul admonished believers to be fervently affectionate or loving towards one another. Serving the Lord is about and seen in our demonstration of love for the saints. In context, he explained how this should be done:
- In honour preferring one another.
- Continue instantly in prayer
- Distributing to the necessity of the saints
- Given to hospitality
Therefore, a fundamental understanding that every believer must have on the subject of honour is “walking in love“. We walk in love as God’s children. If we are products of God’s love, then we should manifest the same in our thoughts, words and actions towards others. Also recall, this love towards one another is not pretense; is not hypocrisy. We are not hypocrites, we are not pretenders, we don’t smile in front of you and plot your downfall behind you; a believer who does that has yielded to the devil and is walking in the flesh. Love is our nature; therefore, there is no place for hatred.
INSTRUCTION: Live and walk in your nature.
PRAYER: I am stirred up by your spirit to walk in the spirit; and therefore, I have no confidence in the flesh, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: Service to God is not only being in your place of service, walking in love is also service to God. Not walking in love towards brethren is a disservice to God.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: ROMANS CHAPTER 12; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4