Every good business or successful company has a creed, motto, and/or a set of core values. You can walk into most companies, even fast food establishments and see them posted on a plaque or framed in a picture on the wall. It is something that these companies stand behind and put value in, something that the company as a whole is supposed represent. It’s not an employees manual that has a micro view of what our jobs and task entail, but it gives a macro overview of what our goal is and how we get there. Sometimes it’s a set of values, while others seem an approach to service. Nonetheless, a set of instructions to keep in mind and in heart while working or serving in their organizations. As the body of Christ, we are given an employee’s manual, aka The Bible, and as we look at Romans 12:9-12….. and further, we will see a set of instructions that teach us to be true Christians, with a goal and purpose:
Romans 12:9-12 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.
As we read in these verses and the next, we can definitely see a fine line between the way the world thinks and the way God has purposed us to think. Paul lays out a foundation for our relationships with others, how we are supposed to interact and what that is supposed to look like.
He starts out by talking about love. Now we live in a world that seems to care so little for right or wrong, that shows such a carnal and glamorized view of love. But here, Paul tells us to love genuinely, and that a genuine love feeds and thrives on what is pure and good, but is also detests and despises evil. That we should love each other with pureness and seek out the good in our fellow-man with love. The church should pour out this love to all mankind in hopes and belief that God will use this action and lifestyle to draw men unto Him. He expresses to “outdo one another in showing honor”. This reminds me of a deodorant commercial a while back ago that was about this guy that was called the “ONE UPPER”, and like it sounds, he would always try to outdo whatever it was that you said or did. I think we should strive to honor our neighbors and the body of Christ the same way, in love, and I think in doing that it honors God.
In the next part of the verses he begins to characterize our Christian walk, and it will continue on pretty much up to verse 21. As we look at verses 11 & 12, we see a call to be diligent and zealous, fervent and passionate in our service to Him. But not just live with an enthusiastic heart, but understand that amid the trials and obstacles put in our way, we remain steadfast and bold in our approach at serving Him and serving others. We are to be diligent and ardent in our prayer life, seeking God’s guidance in our life through the Holy Spirit.
Let our core values, our motto, our creed be that of righteousness, of holding fast to what is good, and showing a true love for those around us that is feed by the love of God. Again, I challenge you to read these verses daily or weekly, memorize them and let them speak to you.
Let’s see what can happen in our lives, all of us!
Next month: Trial 5 (Romans 12:13-21)
Thanks, Pastor Zack