Loving Others – Part 2 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Loving Others – Part 2 — Morning Devotions

God calls us to show the same sacrificial love to others, that He showed to us through His Son Jesus on the cross.

By Chris WittsWednesday 15 Feb 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Yesterday morning I started this topic, a fairly simple topic, I thought. But it’s suddenly becoming more and more elaborate. Loving others. How do you love others? I admit there are some people that are not easy to love or to like. And there are those that annoy us. They make life difficult for us.

Loving Others – Part 2

But that’s what we have to think differently about. We look at the New Testament teaching from Paul’s letter to the Romans, where he writes, (this is in Romans Chapter 12) – “Be sincere in your love for others. Love each other as brothers and sisters honour others more than you do yourself. Never give up. Be patient in time of trouble. Never stop praying. Take care of God’s needy people and to welcome strangers into your home.” Verse 16 of Romans 12 – “Be friendly with everyone. Make friends with ordinary people.” They’re very down to earth words, aren’t they?

It means love must be genuine. Now this word genuine. We talk about it – it literally means without hypocrisy and referred way back to an actor who played a certain role on stage. And it came to mean anyone who acts contrary to his own true feelings. He will pretend to be somebody else. Love is not like that. It applies to those who put forth the appearance of virtue they don’t possess.

Genuine Love

Eugene Peterson paraphrased the Bible in what we call the message, and his version of that verse is love from the centre of who you are. Don’t fake it. We can usually pick up someone who’s faking. Don’t try to be someone else, be sincere, and people will appreciate you for that. It must be difficult to live a lie, so don’t do it. Love must display this affection. Love one another, it says in the older version, with brotherly affection.

Be affectionate, and Paul uses words here that speak about what members of the family have the love they have for each other. And one of the words is that you might know Philadelphia. It comes from two Greek words joined together, fire loss, which means affection and Adelphia’s, which means brother affectionate for your brother. So can you see other people today is your brother or sister.

And of course, they may not be related through blood lines, of course, but can you forget about yourself for a few minutes and think about others? And unfortunately, we live in this selfish world where the focus is on self. But that’s not what Jesus said. It goes to say, well, look, what you’ve got to do is on our other people outdo one another, it says in the Bible, in showing honour – “honour others more than you do yourself,” and we live in a day to day when the opposite seems to be the case. You know, we hear about things that, well, affirmative action. Yes, that’s a good thing to do. But what about the preferential treatment of others? Do we care about others more than we do about ourselves? It goes against our human nature. I recall that when President Ronald Reagan was in office in the United States, he had a saying on his desk in the Oval Office, and it said,

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“There is no limit to how far you can go if you don’t care who gets the credit,”

And I think that’s a very good statement. Love must be generous, take care of God’s people, Paul says, or the older version – contribute to the needs of others. That’s an interesting word. It has that verb form of the word Koinonia, which means sharing with others. And on one level it means sharing in the hurts of other people to understand and try and care for other people, their heart aches. It also means opening up your wallet and contributing financially to whatever is there at the moment.

Originally, it meant for the poor believers in the church who were struggling and the Christians, the early church, were expected to care for these people.

And there are no pensions in those days to have their needs met. And that’s a true measure of the Christian faith. What are you going to do yourself to meet the needs of those who are less than you who have less than you? Rather and so there are many appeals today. There are things that we can do financially to help, and we can support God’s work around the world,

So love is not patronising. It’s not. This is what Mother Teresa said. “Charity and love are the same.” You give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand to help instead. That’s what Mother Teresa said.

Let’s Pray

Thank you, Lord. These are wonderful principles. Lord, help us to live by them, amen.