There is no Love without Action
Rom. 12:9 ¶ Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
Rom. 12:10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
Rom. 12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rom. 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
Rom. 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
To be filled to overflowing with God’s love means that his love splashes out of us and into the world that surrounds us. God’s love cannot be contained and so, as God’s holy people, those filled with his holy love, there is a direction action and reaction.
Love must be genuine. Love cannot be fake, or faked. Genuine love is the very nature of God which is poured out into his people who invite him to fill every nook and cranny of their being. That is why genuine love must be God’s holy love. The result is an attraction to that which is good and an inability to be attached to that which is evil. Holy love, by nature, repels evil.
Those filled with God’s holy love are attracted to others who are filled with God’s holy love. There is a “mutual affection” and desire that God’s best be done for one another. We want to see one another succeed and so we honor one another above ourselves.
Love in action cannot be restrained. There will be an energy, drive and zeal to serve the Lord.
Love does not prevent or protect us from the evils of the world, but instead gives us the ability to “rejoice in hope” and be “patient in suffering.” This is possible because we do “persevere in prayer,” for we have come to know that prayer is the way in which we are connected to that holy love.
Love in action cares for the needs of others who are filled with God’s love. These are God’s holy people and as a common people, we are to take care of each others’ needs.
Love in action spills out on those we don’t know and suddenly we find ourselves among strangers, practicing evangelism, exhibited in the hospitality of the Lord.
As a teenager I remember sitting up in the balcony at church, sometimes goofing off. However, I still remember my Pastor, Dr. Gordon Wetmore, preaching a sermon on Romans 12. Something about this chapter has been etched into my memory and my very being. The entire chapter holds within it the message of transformation and the hope found in a life entirely devoted to God and filled with the Holy Spirit. And none of this makes sense unless we understand the very nature of God as holy love — and that is where Paul takes us. The holy love of God which fills us, transforms us, and moves us to action.
God’s holy people must act and react differently because the nature of God must be spilled out through us. If there are those who claim to be “holy” and yet do not exhibit love, then how can they be holy? They may be “holier than thou” but are they God’s kind of holy?
The key to continuing in this life of holy love in action is found at the end of verse twelve; “persevere in prayer.” There is no love without action, but there is no love without prayer.
Seek God every day.
Abandon yourself to his love on a daily basis.
Move forward zealously, motivated by his love.
God’s holy people cannot contain his love, but will demonstrate who he is (God in us) by our acts of love.
Lord, please fill me to overflowing with you and with your love this day. Amen.