Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Have you ever heard someone say “I wish Christmas could last all year!”
No I’m not referring to those who wish to get presents every day. Rather I am talking about people who love the way they and others are treated at this time of year. There just seems to be more love, kindness, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, and so on. Certainly people find this to be very desirable, and wish it would continue all the days of the year.
Well, not only CAN it be possible to enjoy these attributes, but it IS commanded of us to do so every day by the Lord God Himself. He means for us to treat people with these acts of “Christmas kindness and love” at all times.
Our love for people must be sincere, as His love is, (V.9). We must be kind toward one another with brotherly love, giving preference to one another, (V.10). We are not to be lagging in our commitment to this way of life, but fervent in spirit as we are serving the Lord when we do this, (V.11).
Rejoice in hope and be patient in our own tribulations, remain prayerful at all times, (V.12). Look after the needs of others, both in and out of the church body, (V.13), wish those who persecute you well, and do not curse them, (V.14).
Share the happiness of those who are joyful, and be a comfort to those who are down and distressed, (V.15). Make the effort to be of the same loving mindset as others. Do not think nor act pridefully; avoid consideration of your own opinions too highly. Instead associate with the humble minded, (V.16).
Do not seek revenge on anyone who may have wronged you, and have regard for the good things in the eyes of all people, (V.17). And finally, as far as it is possible, live in peace with all people, (V.18)…
Now then, aren’t these things the qualities we all enjoy being shown to us, especially at this time of year? Don’t you wish these things would last the year ’round? Well then, make it so by treating others this way yourself every day, even those who don’t practice them always!
I am here, like many of you, to try to please my God first and foremost. And… in doing so in these ways, I will be obeying God AND receiving more favor from a number of people as well. No, not everyone will be responsive to this kind of treatment. But more people than not will react to kindness with kindness of their own.
Dear Lord, help all who call themselves your children respond to others the way you would have us respond in your instructions above. Let us show love towards others, not just at this time of Christmas, but at all times of the year. Give us strength to zealously follow after these things, regardless of what mistreatment we may receive from others. Be with us always and forgive us when we fail you. For it is in Jesus’ name we pray…Amen!
Refs: ~”The Holy Bible, NKJV, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.” ~biblegateway.com~