Friday, February 8, 2019
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.
Can you see some parallels between this passage and the Sermon on the Mount? Paul says, “Love must be sincere.” Jesus says, “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them.” In other words, be genuine in your service; don’t be a hypocrite or do good only for show or a pat on the back.
Paul says, “Hate what is evil.” Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Jesus puts in a positive way what Paul says in a negative way. Some of us will hate what is wrong in this world but struggle to see the good in people. Or perhaps the other way around. It’s hard to be realistic about humanity’s potential for wrong while at the same time be ready and eager to see the good in another. But I think we need both the abhorrence for wrong and desire to do good.
Paul says, “Cling to what is good.” Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the others, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Jesus says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Paul’s words. Jesus’ words. We read in Paul’s letters what we also hear from Jesus. May these words enter down deep into our souls – to grip us in their truth and convict us to be transformed by faith to serve our God with sincere and devoted love, honoring one another, never flagging in our zeal for Christ, service with hope and joy, patience and faithfulness, caring and sharing with others as we are able. Let us do all these things and more by the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ.
This morning, Lord, as I begin my day, I pray to live according to your will. Let me keep these words of Paul and Jesus in my heart in all I do. By your Holy Spirit, guide my words and actions to give glory to your name, for I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.