With Family-Like Affection

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.”

This word “love” comes from God, for God is love. And it means to prefer what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, upright, morally pure, honest, and faithful, etc. And for something to be genuine it needs to be the real thing, honest, unpretentious and unadulterated. So no fakery. No pretending to love God or other humans. No, “I love you,” while the person saying those words is living in immorality and in adultery to his/her spouse. And if we love God, in truth, we will obey his commands (New Covenant).

And if we abhor what is evil it means we hate and despise evil, and we want no part with it, in truth, and not in fakery. For some people who are practicing evil will feign that they hate evil, even the evil that they are committing, as an attempt to throw others off their scent and for the purpose to try to alleviate any suspicion of wrongdoing on their part. But if they do this habitually, those who know them well know when they are doing this. For they have seen this trick in action many times.

Now, if our love is from God, and thus it is genuine, and if, in truth, we hate evil, and we are not just playing mind games, then we will also hold fast to what is good, as God defines good, and not as the world does. For “good” in the eyes of the world is anything that brings them pleasure and enjoyment, some of which is bad in the eyes of the Lord. And Jesus defined “good” as God, so all that is of God, and is righteous and holy and morally pure, etc. is the good that we are to hold fast to (to cling to).

And then we are to love our fellow Christians with a friendship type love which involves proper (holy, pure) affection and caring for one another, like blood brothers and sisters should have for one another, with those same family-like affections for one another. And we are to show one another honor and respect, setting the example of what this should look like. But this is speaking of those who are of genuine faith in Jesus Christ, who love the Lord Jesus and who are following him in surrender to his will for their lives.

We, as well, are to be servants of the Lord Jesus who are not lazy, and who are not unconcerned about our walks of faith and of obedience to our Lord. But we are to be full of zeal for our Lord and for the work of the ministry, and we are to be fervent in spirit in serving the Lord. It should not be a drudgery to us. It should not be something we avoid. It should not be something we try to wiggle our way out of. But we should want to serve the Lord Jesus in doing what he has called us to do. We should find joy in it.

Now, what is our hope? Well, if our love and if our faith are genuine, because they come from God, and so we are walking in obedience to our Lord in walks of holiness and in righteousness, and not in sin, then our hope (not wishful thinking, but a sure thing) is that salvation from sin is ours, Jesus is our Lord and Savior, our sins are forgiven, and heaven is our eternal destiny provided that we continue in that love and faith and hope and in walks of obedience and righteousness, and not in sin.

Now, our walks of faith in Jesus Christ are not without troubles and hardships. We will face trials and tribulations and persecutions and people hating and rejecting us because of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. But we are to bear up under such suffering patiently. And we are able to do that, in part, because we are persistent and consistent in prayer, and in part because we are walking in obedience to our Lord in his power and strength.

And then, as an outgrowth of this, we will minister to the needs of the saints and we will show them hospitality because we love our Lord and so we love them and we care about them and we want to be in fellowship with others who are also in fellowship with Jesus Christ. But just so you know, not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is in fellowship with the Lord, but many are still living in sin and for self, deliberately and habitually sinning against God and against their fellow humans. So we need to be discerning.

I Love You Lord

by Laurie Adams-Klein

I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship you, Oh my soul rejoice!
Take joy, my King, in what you hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear

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