Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Does Holy Living Look Like, in Christ?

Rom. 12:9-16 NLT    
   9  Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.  10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.  12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.  13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 
  14  Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.  15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Paul writes to believers at Rom about the life of a local congregation in The Body of Christ. He writes about it to us as well, because of God's holy inspiration and preserving of the Written Word of God we call The Bible. Scan this brief passage and take not of all the character traits that God wants to build up in you and me. True love-- the word means unconditional regard for another more than for self. Fidelity to recognized good (as recognized in the written Word of course). Love that exhibits affection-- true affection without pretense. Relating to one another in such as way that we actually show 'delight' at the joys of others and honor them at all times. We are called to shun laziness and enthusiastically embrace industrious commitments to whatever tasks God permit to be placed within our hands. Confidence in our Hope through faith in Christ should exude from within us before others. In hard times, patience and persistent confident prayer will characterize our conduct and attitudes. God's Spirit will help us to be generous with others who are in need regardless of our own scarcities. In fact we will be eager to share with others, to invite them over, to listen to them, to pray with them. We will look forward to serving them and it will bring us joy to do so.

Even in the face of evil or persecution, we will not reply in kind but with prayer for our persecutors that God will teach them truth and save them from the coming judgment. We will rejoice that their persecution gives us opportunity to demonstrate Christ's grace, truth, peace and unconditional love. By God's great grace we can live harmoniously with others. Harmony is not sameness. Harmony is different tones that blend together in such a way that make a more beautiful sound than the original melody. Our differences bring harmony and enhance beauty into the life of the body of believers. When we humble ourselves before the Lord then we realize that we can serve anyone without regard to their status in contrast with ours. Because the God who loved us in our sins, changes us to love them regardless of theirs. This is that Holy Living Looks Like. Do you suppose someone who needs to is seeing this in you today?
Your servant in Christ's Love

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