Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 12:9

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9

Paul here moves to a more practical look at our Christian walk; in this verse dealing with love and goodness.  First, he addresses love, urging that his followers ensure their love is real and not just surface level.  It needs to be unfeigned, both sincere and not hypocritical.  It should go beyond the words we say and have its source be the very depths of our hearts.  Too many people wear a mask that covers their true feelings; those being mostly indifference.  This is not the love we are to have.  It must be genuine.  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  John 13:34.  What kind of love is this?  A love that is real and pure and sacrificial.  He loved us so much that He was willing to die one of the most horrible deaths imaginable that we could be reconciled with the Father.  Is this the kind of love we have?  Would we be willing to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Is keeping what we have more important than meeting a need another has?  We must all answer this question for ourselves, with complete and total honesty.  If we find we come up short, we must pray and ask God to give us this kind of love.  This will show the world that your Christian walk is very real.  “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35.

The other thing Paul mentions here is that we must look for and do that which is good.  This entails not only clinging to what is good but abhorring what is evil.  We must hate sin as much as Jesus did.  This hatred, when looked at in the context of this verse I believe focuses on malice and unkindness rather than evil in general, however, we are to absolutely hate that as well.  We should not speak ill of anyone, but our thoughts should be of love and our desire to help them grow in the faith.  He is exhorting us to show genuine love to others so that through this they will be encouraged to do the same.

As for the good, we should cling to it in a way we will not let go.  This word has the idea of ‘gluing’, that we will have no excuse but to hold firmly to it.  We should never depart from it at any cost.  This goodness also has the idea of how we treat others.  “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.  This is a great picture of love.

This can be very difficult in this world today.  However, submit to the Holy Spirit and let Him give you the strength to love like this.  For this is how He loves us. William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

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