“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: Our love for one another is not and should not be a hypocritical love, but a fervent love.
In our previous study, we began explaining our key text and we saw that serving the Lord is to serve the body. Having seen that the theme of our key text is love for one another, then the context was referring to fellow believers. Recall, the word “kindly affectioned” (verse 10) which is from the Greek word “philostorgos” implies to be devoted to someone, this word is a word that speaks of the motive behind an activity or an action and not just the action itself. Hence, in verse 9, Paul’s words let us see that love should be without hypocrisy or pretense. So a fundamental fact every believer must comprehend when honour is concerned is walking in love. Recall the scenario in Jesus’ hometown in Mark 6:1-6 which we saw in previous studies. Their attitude of dishonour in Mark 6 stifled the power of God. And in verse 3 of Mark 6, Mark described their attitude of familiarity and eventual rejection of Jesus’ ministry as the result of being offended at Him. Subsequently, Jesus could do no mighty work there; Jesus explained their attitude as dishonour in verse 4, “But Jesus said, a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and amongst his own kin, and in his own house”. Thus, it suffices us to say that familiarity breeds offences, and offences breed dishonour. This therefore implies that whenever the believer is in offence, he cannot walk in honour. Hence, a believer who is offended will definitely live and conduct himself in dishonour towards the person or persons he is offended at. And by living or conducting himself/herself in dishonour or offences, walking in love is not possible.
You are born of God, you are born of the spirit, you are born of the Father whose nature is love, and you have His DNA at work in you; so love is your nature and therefore, acting otherwise (in hatred, offence, malice, envy, jealousy, gossip, etc.) is pretending to be who you are not. Paul in Romans 12 lets us see that our love for the brethren should be without pretense or hypocrisy. And that is why when you yield to offences, then your love towards the person you are offended at becomes a pretense or hypocrisy; thus, you will smile before him or her in public, and plot her/his downfall in private; you will come to church to worship God and if that person you are offended at is the one handling the microphone, you will wish he should fumble so that he/she will be mocked at, and if what you wished did not work, then you begin to gossip that person; and unknowingly to you, you don’t know that you have yielded to the devil, you have yielded to the flesh. You can’t come to God’s place of worship and turn it to a place of gossip; we are worshippers and not gossipers. Never let offences have power over you because if you allow it, you will do the unthinkable. Be instructed, learn to forgive, because it is your nature; walk in love in your conduct. Hallelujah!
INSTRUCTION: Walk in love.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your word that has come my way, I declare today that I don’t take these instructions for granted and therefore, I let love which is my nature swallow up hatred, anger, malice, envy, jealousy, offences and all works of the flesh, in Jesus Name, Amen.
QUOTE: The proof that you’ve understood the concept of walking in love is not being able to give the exegetical analysis of it; it is reflecting the exegetical analysis of it in your conduct.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 5; EVENING: 1CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13