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. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:9-21
I love this call to Godly living. How gracious of our Lord to give the believer guidance on how he ought to serve Him? We weren’t left to wonder, and hope we get it right, but our Lord lovingly gave us instruction in how to bear good fruit, in keeping with our salvation.
Let love be genuine – this isn’t left up to us to decipher either, just make a right-hand turn in your bible to 1 Corinthians 13. In a phrase, genuine love doesn’t seek for gain. Seek the genuine welfare of others, even to your own sacrifice. This is God-honoring
Outdo one another in showing honor – to what degree should we honor each other? It should nearly be a competition to see who can honor another more!
Be constant in prayer – God has given us a direct line of communication to commune with Him, what a privilege that we have unrestricted access to our Father in heaven, and he hears every plea! He listens to every praise, He heeds every need, and responds according to his gracious will. This certainly doesn’t mean we get every desire of our heart, or every hurt instantly healed, but it means when we’ve faithfully lifted our praises and supplications, we can be assured our Father has heard.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep – Meet everyone where they’re at, and join them as they mourn or rejoice.
Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly – show no partiality with anyone, for God, in his mercy, showed no partiality with regard to you.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all – Brothers and sisters, sow peace wherever you go, not discord. I think the church as a whole has struggled with this over the last couple of years. The church has become known more for what it’s against, than what it’s for. Stand for truth, but do so in love, with a peaceable heart. Remember, also, that you too were but a sinner when Christ called you.
These and many more principals found in this short text, and throughout scripture, are just a few examples of what our Lord has called us to. We have received a great gift, let us faithfully bear fruit in keeping with the gift of mercy and love which we’ve received!
The gospel of peace is advanced in peace, by those who wish to share, with love and mercy, that which they have already received.