Scripture for Week of January 12-18

Romans 12: 9-13 (NIV)

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.

14 replies
  1. tracy henders
    tracy henders says:

    I hope it isn’t too late to reply to last week’s devotion….. in verses 3 and 6 he says these things: for by grace given me….., in accordance with the measure of faith….., according to the grace given us…….., let us use it in proportion to his faith… . I’m not understanding what that means exactly. Anyone want to elaborate for me??/ anyone….. Bueller?

    • Cal Cheatham
      Cal Cheatham says:

      Great question Tracy. God has given you some measure of faith. You may have more or less faith than others, but you can pray for more and you have a sufficient amount to use the gift(s) that God has given you to the fullest extent possible for you. I haven’t seen anyone moving a mountain yet, so maybe we haven’t achieved a mustard seed size faith (smile). The point is that God has given each of his children a gift and a measure of faith with which to serve the body of Christ–the church. Like the many members of our body that work together so that our body functions as it should, so each of us using our God given gifts work together so that the church of Christ functions as God desires..Unfortunately some members think they can do everything and others do not feel they have a gift or that their gift is not important. I hope Pastor Joey will expound on this really important issue of the measure of faith in a future sermon.

    • Kim
      Kim says:

      Tracy,
      I may be wrong but my understanding of those phrases is that our Christian life is a journey and God reveals things to us through his word, others, and experiences. Our proportion of faith and according to grace given is based upon what God has revealed to us through our study of the word as well as how our faith is grown through our walk with him. It is important to keep in mind that we are different stages in our journey so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t handle a situation how you think “so and so” would handle it. I know in my life, I am able to give more grace today than I could when I was 20 because my measure of faith is greater due to my walk with Christ. I hope this helps – like I said, I could be wrong but this has been my understanding of this scripture.

  2. Art Fulks
    Art Fulks says:

    I got to the end of the text where it says, “practice hospitality’, and was reminded of a Canadian missionary who told me of his experiences both north of the border and in the southern United States. He stated that Christians in Canada generally have small front porches and large living rooms. In the south, he found large front porches and small living rooms. Upon asking for further explanation, it began to identify with his findings.

    In the northern culture (even in the U.S.) I found that people are somewhat reluctant to let you past the front door of their lives. But once they trust you, they truly want to share all of life togther. In the south, I have experienced just the opposite. Many people are very friendly when they meet you…and may even go out for coffee or lunch. However, when it comes to really sharing life together, most southerners tend to be much more closed.

    I guess that is the difference between ‘church’ culture and true biblical community. I have to keep pressing through to what Paul is encouraging here and not be satisfied with a culturally comfortable model that was never the goal.

  3. Joey Rodgers
    Joey Rodgers says:

    When I read this passage in light of the previous few verses that includes spiritual gifts, It reminded me of Paul’s words to the believers in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 13). Paul concludes – it is wonderful and amazing that God has given every believer a spiritual gift to accompany His Divine calling, but if our primary motivation is not the love of God, then we have missed the point (for the love of Christ compels us – 2 Corinthians 5:14). This means that it is Christ in us living through us as evidence by the agape love of God which supersedes everything. If we are not genuinely moved by the love of God, then we are a just a clanging cowbell that the world is either annoyed by or never hears. It is His love in me shining through me that matters most. This does not mean that our gifting and calling are not important – they are. Instead, it means there is a higher calling of surrender and intimacy with God that manifests itself in the expression of His love through our lives that ultimately defines the quality and vitality of our faith and His grace. Let me say it in another way. While our gifting and calling might have influence upon another person’s life; it is the love of God in me living through me that will have the greater impact on others for the cause of Christ. It is His love in me and not my gift that makes the difference.

  4. Gary Wood
    Gary Wood says:

    As the first part of Romans 12 tells us, we are to choose each day to be transformed into being like Christ…not like the world. Compare this week’s verses to what it might look like if it were written by a secular world view leader:
    9- Try being sincere, but if it feels good, just do it. 10- Use people to get what you want, but don’t make it appear that way. 11- Always be self-confident with the goal of having other people serve you. 12- Be happy. Patience is way over-rated. Go get what you deserve. 13- Convince other people to help you achieve your goals. Networking helps.

    I am so thankful to have my Pastor and the Bible to help redirect my thoughts and actions to focus on Him, and not on me…

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    For me, this is a hard one, but I think obedience is the key in allowing God to live through us and bring about this “sincere” love for others, which is revealed throughout Scripture:

    “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22).

    In light of this, it is very important to examine my life—daily, hourly, by the minute, even—to see if this “sincere” love is manifest. This is difficult because in order to demonstrate this love, one has to actually sacrifice something of him or herself—whether you’re tired, angry, hungry, etc. (and, believe me, there’s always an excuse not to be obedient); however, the Spirit will prod and convict you—but yours is the choice to actually follow Him.

    I think this is also important in the Church body, which should be the easiest and most visible place for this sincere love to be demonstrated: I think it’s crucial for us to examine ourselves through God’s Word individually and corporately to see if this is true.

  6. Doug Barclay
    Doug Barclay says:

    These 5 verses remind us that our life is not about us. Being devoted to one another and honoring others above ourselves is generally not our default position. It’s not easy to put our personal preferences aside for the benefit of others. But that’s what teamwork and family is all about – being there for each other in good times and bad. Love can get messy, it’s not always pretty, it can be time consuming and inconvenient, it can be costly and require sacrifice. But isn’t that what Christ did and gave for us? Should we not extend love to others as Christ so generously did for us?

    I’m meeting today with a friend, Rickey, who has gone through some very difficult times. He was incarcerated for 5 years because of a drug addiction – released about 4 years ago. As he was getting his life back in order, he was sent back to prison for violation of parole (he was accused of doing something he didn’t do, arrested and released, but he didn’t report this to his parole officer). He recently completed another year of incarceration and is starting over again. Most of his family and friends gave up on him. Through all his disappointment and trials, he remains focused and committed to pursuing God and seeking His direction. Rickey is so grateful for the blessings he has. If I would have experienced what Rickey has endured, I don’t know where I would be. God is teaching me to see people as He sees them and view circumstances as He views them.

  7. Mark Matson
    Mark Matson says:

    “I Can Name that Tune in Four Words” ….sound familiar…..I loved watching that game show many years ago…..
    When I read these verses I am drawn to summarize not only these verses but really the entire Bible in four words…..
    “LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE”…..I mean is that not really what it is all about…..To me Paul in writing this takes the Big and makes it Small…..the General to Specific…..the Vague to Clear…..He gives us a great picture of what we are to do in order to be the love of Jesus and then to express those qualities as we go about our daily lives to impact others for Jesus……Of course, we can’t LOVE PEOPLE like we are commanded to in scripture without first LOVING GOD with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength….in order to do that it takes an intimate relationship in and through Jesus…..we LOVE GOD like we are suppose to, LOVING PEOPLE will be a natural outpouring of faithful and obedience living….

  8. Pastor Lee
    Pastor Lee says:

    “Love must be sincere (genuine).”
    I find that complicated. Have you ever found yourself “loving” someone but not liking them? Did someone just pop into you head? Now, liking someone is not a prerequisite for loving someone. When we learn to lead with our love, we CHOOSE to love people (not a feeling or emotion!). Genuine love is the foundation and basis for the authentic behavior of a Christian. The test of our love is then found in verses 10-13. Let’s be challenged to pass the test with flying colors!

  9. Joey Rodgers
    Joey Rodgers says:

    Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Do not burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Do not quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 from The Message

  10. MH
    MH says:

    As I read this Scripture I realized that Paul has given us a blueprint for what divine love should look like. As I understand it he gives 12 commands-not suggestions. It is hard to love everyone as God loves them. Some people are unloveable in our eyes. Only through a transformed life is it possible. I think that is at least one reason that we are instructed to be steadfast in our prayer life, seek the best for each other, help each other and let the Spirit motivate our service. Phil 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.” 1Tim 1:5 says, “Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Phil 2:3

  11. Tracy Bush
    Tracy Bush says:

    Happiness is at the top; happy that I’m getting a promotion, happy that we’re going to have a baby, happy that our dog had puppies, happy that we made new friends. Joy is much deeper; joy is at the bottom. “be joyful in hope…”

    It’s the object of the hope that determines the kind of hope you have. And Christ is a solid place to put our hope. Jesus isn’t fluffy-pillow lay your head down and fell better hope, He is center block bedrock hope underneath my feet. It doesn’t float, it’s sinks down to the very bottom of whatever it is you’re in. And it’s the kind of hope you can stand on and build up from. It’s the kind of hope that you can know today….that there is a bottom, it’s not a constant free-fall. There is solid rock and his name is Jesus. And I’m going to stand on Jesus, and I’m going to put my hope in him. I hope is in Jesus, and Jesus is God.

  12. Dick Bowley
    Dick Bowley says:

    Romans 12:12 is one of my favorite verses. “Be Joyful in Hope, Patient in Affliction, and Faithful in Prayer” When I had the opportunity to experience leukemia, God gave me that verse to keep me focused on Him, not my challenges. A friend wrote this in calligraphy and it sits on my desk. I love the verse because it encourages me in the good times, and it encourages me in the tough times! It encourages me all the time!

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