Romans 13: 8-14
Friday, 22 December 2023
“Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties……… Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” -Romans 13:13-14[NLT]
Our approach towards God’s word and our attitude towards others have a great impact in our lives and that of others. The very word of the Lord that we profess to uphold based on our approach, can turn out to be an instrument of building up or of destruction of a fellow being, who is the crown of God’s creation—man. Our attitude toward God’s word is very important and if not characterized and propelled by Love, we will end up doing the work of God and forget the God of His work.
Paul before his encounter with Christ had much zeal but it was one without the right knowledge (Phil. 3:6, Rom. 10:2 and Gal. 1:13-14). Its only when we know Christ that we can live with zeal for Him. We understand from 2 Peter 1: 3 that “…His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us…” Thus, we need to learn to know the Lord better each day. God is Love and He created us in His image and likeness in order to exhibit His exact image to our fellow beings. Whenever we conduct ourselves properly under God’s command, then the expressions of love, forgiveness and compassion come from a sincere heart to Him, flowing to our brethren. Rom.13:10 tells us: “Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.“ God who searches the heart and examines mind, gives us the reward and empowers us to do more.
It is not that we just love him; we love because He first loved us. The Love of God in our lives gives us an obligation to live not according to our human nature, but to live by the Spirit of God. When we choose to serve the Lord in obedience and love, we bring into fulfillment His authority in our lives. Job knew about this very thing when he said: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.” (Job 13:15,16 NKJV)
Even though we are living in a world that is grossly infested and surrounded with wickedness, yet we should always see ourselves as children of light living in obedience to His Word and His Spirit. We are to keep ourselves from indulging in evil desires, the deeds of darkness that is not befitting children of God. Rom.13:11 reminds us “Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Hence how prepared must we be for the Lord’s coming! Because God loves us, He encourages us thus: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Rom.12:1-2 NLT) When we yield thus to Him, others will see us clothed with the presence of Christ.
Prayer: Lord God, transform me inwardly that I may experience Your love and know what is good and pleasing to You and conduct my life according to Your way. Amen.
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