Love above Reproach
Bible Nugget 0318 [Rom 12:9-10, 16-21 KJV]
9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
The message of this nugget is directed mostly to believers but unbelievers will benefit as well. The above verses instruct us how to live a life above reproach so that believers can maintain healthy relationships with one another and with the world. The fact is that a spirit different from the world’s spirit governs a child of God. The Spirit of God dwells inside our hearts and is the best guide to handle everyday challenges the world throws at you, either from believers or unbelievers. Just as love is the key to pleasing God, love should be the overriding motive in our relationships with one another as brethren and with the world. A child of God ought to be driven by love; true love that can cover the sins of the offender. The offended is superior in character than the offender as long as he does not behave as the offender. A heart full of love does not defame, strife, bear grudges, keep malice, backbite or slander another person. These are things people in the world do to gain control of one another.
Even in our relationship with the world, true love beyond what the other person expects is a better way to relate because as v19-21 says, it is better to trust God to vindicate you from your enemies or persecutors. Just show love and let God do the rest. Place the thought of the sacrifice of Christ in your mind, and you see that your love to the person who is or has offended you is small. Such type of love is in the sight of God judgment if the other person does not repent. You can show love without compromising your faith. Jesus in his earthly ministry showed the love of God to those who did not deserve it. The Vice Chancellor of the University I attended used to say, “Jesus ate with sinners but was not mistaken for one”. The person may think you are foolish or mad, but he or she is wrong. The Apostle Paul speaking to the Corinthian Christians said:
2 Corinthians 5:13-15
13For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Has anyone offended you and you find it difficult to forgive? Or are you tired of showing love because the other person does not reciprocate. I am not saying be blind to the evil that people do to you. Take the issue to the Lord in prayer if it is very difficult to forgive the person. He will remove the pain from your heart. The act of forgiveness is love itself, so if you have forgiven and the person does not change, then coals of fire from the Lord is what the person deserves. Also remember, after taking these right steps, that you need to forgive yourself and do not allow the burden to linger on because it is an avenue of Satan taking advantage of your joy and peace.
Prayer Nugget 0318
1. Chose to forgive and confess your sins to God. Ask God to give you the ability to forgive even the most tormenter of persons who has hurt you.
2. Pray as follows: “Oh Lord, I forgive _________ (mention the person’s name) who hurt me. I release them totally from my spirit in Jesus name.
3. I receive divine ability to love beyond measure. Grant me a life of love, peace and joy in Jesus Name.
4. Oh Lord, let the love of Christ constrain me in every aspect of my Christian conduct. Beautify my heart with divine love even against those who do not deserve it in Jesus Name. Amen.