By Brooke Holt
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Romans 12:10-11
I have been blessed to witness and receive some amazing examples of Christian service. My stepmother-in-law loves to serve! A fabulous cook, she has used that gift to care for our family throughout the years. She also has the gift of hospitality and makes all who visit feel cared for, welcome, and wanted.
Sadly, her 12-year battle with cancer is coming to an end. What has been beautiful to watch is how my sister-in-law jumped into action to serve and care for our beloved Nana. All week she has been hosting visitors, cooking, cleaning, and ensuring that people (especially Nana) feel that same care Nana always offered. She has sought to match or even outdo Nana’s care for people. This love in action demonstrates exactly what Paul calls Christians to do, not just for beloved family members but those within the church.
If you have been reading these devotions this week, you have noticed Paul’s focus on what it means to love one another. Paul reminds his readers that love is the response to being loved by God. In Romans 5, Paul explains this process, “and hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). If God has poured out his love into your heart (and continues to pour that love out) then you become a vessel. Love in and then love out. God’s love never runs dry; thus, your love for him and others does not run dry. You have access to a continual supply.
That outpouring of love provides the means for you to love your brothers and sisters in Christ, to show them honor, and to serve God and each other. Just as Nana’s love for us propelled her into action each visit, so your love for God is to drive you to do the same. Living out this love is not a chore but an honor. It is to be done with zeal and fervency. We simply have nothing greater we can do than serving God and his people!
Go and outdo one another by showing honor and love today!
How are you doing with this brotherly/sisterly love and service? If you are lagging in zeal, ask the Lord to open your heart to fully receive his love and then to empower you to put that love into action. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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