If you are like me, you look forward to the encouragement from God’s Word when you read it. Sometimes though, like today, God can use his Word to convict as well.
Romans 12:9 is one of that passages that can hit you like a ton of bricks. It says, “Let love be genuine.” This is a short verse and easy to skip over. When I looked at it in more detail I saw some things that I need to work on.
First, the text literally says, “the love must be genuine.” The emphasis is on the kind of love as a whole that we should express. It is not some general statement about love, but the love of the Christian faith, the love that separates it from all others, the love of the Christian faith is to be genuine, or unhypocritical.
It reminds me of what John said in 1 John 3:18 which says, “let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Biblical love is not a mask of words to hide behind, but it should lead to action. Lenski says it this way, “Where love is so highly esteemed as it is in the Christian Church, counterfeit love is often passed out as the real gold coin, and the lack of love attempts to hide itself behind the mask of love and of words that are supposed to have the sound of love.”
Ouch! It is so easy to talk in a way that implies genuine love toward others, but true love includes action. God did not just tell me he loved me, he proved it in his actions.
Father, today is a great reminder for me. How am I doing in expressing the genuine love of the Christian faith toward others? Do I mask a lack of activity with words or do I express your love to others through action. Help me to think about this truth and live it out daily. Thanks for proving your love to me!
Following Jesus with you,