I’ve been meditating on this passage of Scripture and what it means to truly love others.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” – Romans 12:9-13
John MacArthur has some great notes in his Study Bible, which define a couple things in verse 9.
“Love. The supreme New Testament virtue, which centers completely on the needs and welfare of the one loved and does whatever necessary to meet those needs.
Hypocrisy. Christian love is to be shown purely and sincerely, without self-centeredness or guile.”
Wow … that is a high calling; one that I’m realizing I often fall short of. If you pray for the Lord to grow you in genuinely loving others in a sacrificial way … He will answer your prayers! 🙂 I’m thankful for the opportunities the Lord is giving me to practice loving others – when it’s not convenient for me, when it’s not the way I would prefer to serve them, when it’s difficult for me, when it causes me to lose sleep, money, time, etc.
Also, on a bit of a different note but very much related to these verses … I would appreciate prayer for my friends in Italy. Luigi and Felicia are very dear to my heart – they really took me under their wings when I went to Venice. (Luigi gave me my first “Italian lesson,” and I remember almost all of those words he taught me!) I’ve probably mentioned them in previous posts, seeing as how they were very much a part of my life and Felicia is the King’s daughter (the Kings are the missionaries I was serving with). Luigi had an accident about 2 days ago – he fell off a roof. He is in critical condition, having sustained a serious head injury, broken vertebrae, and a punctured lung. Every day is crucial, as the doctors wait to find out the extent of the injuries to his head. From what I understand, he is very much fighting for his life. This passage I shared talks about “continuing steadfastly in prayer.” It is such a joy to my heart as I scour Facebook searching for updates on Luigi, to see the many people, from around the world, who are lifting up this family before the throne of grace. The body of Christ is truly an amazing thing!