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Leslie Wittenmyer

March 16, 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 in honoring each other.”

Love is the number one commandment of God. So many people think that love is easy, or that it’s just a feeling. In reality, love is hard and it’s more than a feeling. So many people want the “feel good all the time” kind of love. When love gets hard, it’s time to tuck tail and run. But that’s not what God’s word says. God’s word says, “You must love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.’” (Matthew 22:37-40, NLT)


I believe there is more to life than what meets the eye. God commands us to love. In Romans 12:9-10 (NLT) it says, “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 in honoring each other.” I love this scripture because when you read it, it forces you to take a closer look at your feelings, your relationships, your heart. Jesus told us in Matthew 5:21-22 (NLT), “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Whoa! When you hate someone, you are committing murder in your heart, and in danger of hellfire! This is a scary thought.


By the grace of God, He gives us a way to avoid hellfire. Part of loving is forgiving. If we go back to Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT), Jesus talks about this very thing. He says “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” In other words, if you were seeking and praying to the Lord and you remember this anger and hatred in your heart, make it right with that person, and then come back to offer your prayers to God. Ultimately, your Salvation could be hanging in the balance. The person you reconcile with may not forgive you, but if you have done your part, in giving and receiving forgiveness before that individual and God, then your heart is clear. Just remember, don’t pretend to love others! Don’t pretend to forgive others! Really love them! Really forgive them!


When our Savior, Jesus Christ, went to the cross, He took on the punishment for our sins. He didn’t go halfway, but poured Himself out entirely for us to have forgiveness of sins. He sacrificed His entire self because He loves us, and we are worth it! So, as Christ has forgiven, may we forgive. As Christ loved, let us love. 


As Paul prayed, so I pray for you: “I pray that God, the source of Hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace, because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13, NLT)

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