9Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. (Romans 12:9-16)
The only way the Church can be used by God to transform and change the world is for us to be genuine in our relationship with God. The great tragedy is for people who name the name Jesus but fail to live out the relationship in a real way that reflects God’s love and redemptive work.
Just as the Apostle Paul says in his writings in the New Testament, “We need to have a real and vital relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Now, this relationship is not some trophy we place on a mantle and worship. The essence of this relationship is living, breathing, and alive. It is how we live out our Christian life that shows the world Jesus does make a difference.
Jesus can and will make a difference in our own lives, just as He can and will make a difference in the lives we encounter. If for nothing else, live in a way that your love is genuine. As the Apostle Paul says, “If you love someone, you will never intentionally harm them.” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
Love God with your heart, soul, mind, and body, and love your neighbor as yourself. This is not radical theology but a practical response to the act of redemption offered for us on the cross of Calvary.
Jesus is the example of love in action. Stories from the four Gospels illustrate by example the love Jesus had for those Jesus encountered. Love was not conditioned by race, nationality, or even social status. Jesus loves because Jesus is love. Jesus recognized people were people with the same basic needs. Love is a basic need for all. One of the many questions which need to be addressed is how do we express the same love, Jesus.
In this time of challenges, uncertainties, and doubts, we need to know we are loved and we are called to love each other. Love will conquer all if we allow ourselves to be open. I want to challenge all of us in every situation to love first and to love all. Perfect love cast out all fear. Let us the those who love and our neighbor by example.