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Leslie Wittenmyer

April 13, 2024

Romans 12:9-10, New Living Translation

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight and honoring each other.”

Love is equal to spiritual growth. When you fulfill the command to love, you are allowing the full expression of God ‘s love for others to come through you by His Spirit. This allows a work in your heart and touches the people you encounter. Romans 12:9-10 (NLT) says, “Don’t Just pretend to love others. Really love them. He what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take the light and honoring each other.”


When I read the scripture a few weeks ago, it really pricked my heart. Pretending to love others does not cut it. God does not find that acceptable! Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT), “If I could speak all the languages of earth and other angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clinging symbol. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything, I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would’ve gained nothing.” What is our motive? What is the condition of our heart? Are we allowing God to do what He wants in and through us?


As I said, when you really love, it changes things. It changes you as a person, and it touches everyone around you. When you are proactive in love, you see the change of response in others, you see a change in behavior, and it’s all for the better! The Spirit of God is working in you and bringing out the best and those around you. 


Paul tells us Galatians 5:6 (NLT), “… What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” If our faith is in Christ, then we must believe all that He says is true. if we believe what He says is true, then we should be obeying the commands that God gave us. We should be walking them out in faith, trusting Him, and believing that in every circumstance, He is there to teach us, to help us, to guide us. This is done through the person of His Spirit that lives in us.


A wonderful example that encourages me is 1 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (NLT). “As A result, you become an example to all the believers in Greece— Throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go, we find people telling us about your faith and God. We don’t need to tell them about it, or they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God.” This scripture encourages me because when we fulfilled the command to love, it ripples out to others and an essence the gospel is spread.


Going back to our very first scripture, it also challenges me. It gives me a goal. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good… What is bad? Sexual immorality, purity, lustfulness, pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrel, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. (Galatians 5:19-21) What is good? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:23) I am challenged to walk in the Spirit instead of my flesh. In the Spirit, we are free, forgiven, accepted, and loved. By walking in the Spirit, those around us can know they are free, forgiven, accepted, and loved. Together, let us fulfill the command of love and see the power of God in the church as the gospel spreads.

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