THE EXERCISE OF LOVE
Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Romans 13 : 8-14
“Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” - Romans 13:10 [NLT]
Unlike the laws of this world the laws of Gods’ Kingdom are light and easy to follow, as Jesus did while obeying all earthly ordinances established by God. And He says in Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me...”—we can learn from Him to obey God’s laws. What was Jesus yoked to? He was yoked to the greatest commandment, which is love! We are called to love one another and Vs. 9-10 expound on how love is the fulfillment of the law.
But how can this kind of love be demonstrated in our life? We want to love but struggle and most times fail as we are conditional in our giving of love. There are many ways to get there but I would like to highlight one that Apostle Paul achieved— in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 he explains that through the love of Christ that controls him, and he is convinced that Christ died for all. So when Jesus died, Paul died and everyone else also died— for Jesus represented him and them on the cross! This means our old life is over, ended. Only the Christ in us is alive now. What does that mean? Look at 2 Cor.5:16: “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. …. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” Paul can love each redeemed person because he no longer looks through his human eyes but through the eyes of Christ! For we are all called not to condemn but love one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34). Having this understanding and attitude will enable us to love everyone, for Christ died for all, even for the ones who are yet to know Him. Christ Himself only looked at the purpose of God in each person and loved them (e.g. Judas).
Our key verse talks of the demonstration of Christ’s love in us that does no wrong to others. Love shields us from doing harm to others as we wouldn’t want to hurt one for whom Christ died- as He did for each of us. So dear brothers and sisters in Christ, put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14) so that you can look through His eyes to love others, and others can see Him in you and be stirred up to love. Hebrews 10:24 instructs us- “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works...”
To those who do not know Christ Jesus, let it be known that He loves you and wants you to know HIM. His love is unconditional. That is why He died on the cross to take the punishment for your sins so that you can be set free from sin and eternal death to live with Him forever. He rose up from the dead for this purpose— that is to make you alive in Him so you too can experience His unconditional love. He longs for this fellowship with you. When we all become members of His big family, we too can be spurred on to that unconditional love for one another.
The Mark of a True Christian: 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. (Romans 12:9-10 ESV)
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