“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.”
Romans 12:9 (NLT)
Paul starts in the twelfth chapter of Romans pleading with us to serve God with all our hearts. He encourages us to present our lives as a “living” sacrifice. And then he writes, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” He lists different abilities that God gives and asks us to act out on these gifts with everything we have. Whether it is prophesy, serving others, teaching, encouraging others, giving, leadership or being kind, we are to exercise these gifts with abandonment. And then he comes to the most precious gift of all. One that each of us can do. One that each of us is called to. We cannot say we know God and ignore what Paul says next. He writes, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” Love is the most supernatural gift of all. Supernatural because we cannot really love the way God wants us to without His help. All our efforts are pretending. It takes God’s supernatural presence to give us the strength, tenacity, and will power to love like He does. We are His instruments of love and as we “present our bodies a living sacrifice,” He will help us really love. Today, let’s stop pretending and start loving those God brings into our life.
Father, I am such a poser. I pretend to love others and fall so short of the kind of love You want me to have. Please forgive me. Help me, Lord. Give me the strength I need to love others the way You do. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I can let Your love, love through me. In Jesus’ name.
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