Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? A favorite chapter? A favorite verse?
I think we all have someplace we turn to when we need the comfort of God’s word or a guidance during a difficult time. For me, a favorite chapter is Romans 12.
Just this week, I was reading in Romans 12 and was struck anew by the absolute practicality of the teaching in these verses. For everyday behavior and how to be a Christian in the world where we live Romans 12 is a great place to turn.
Look at this one verse:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Ro. 12:9
There is a gold mine in the simplicity found here. Take the first sentence – Let love be without hypocrisy. Let your love be genuine. Don’t love one person one way and another person a different way. Treat each with the same love God would demonstrate toward that person.
God is love, and we are called to be like Him. I John 3:18 says, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
Our love is to be genuine, not an act put on for show. Our love for others is to be done in equality not dependent on the who that person is or what they have done. I will admit there are times I’ve had to ask God to give me His love for someone I found impossible to love, but every time He has been faithful to give me the grace needed to love that person. (Note: This does not mean I embraced a person’s behavior if it was not God honoring.)
This brings us to the second sentence in Romans 12:9 – Abhor what is evil. Abhor. To shrink from. To be horrified at.
Isn’t this something we all do? Who wants to like evil? Yet, as a people of this world, aren’t we attracted to the horrific? Just like Eve in the garden, we want one bite of the forbidden. Our human nature is enticed by the evil dangled in front of us. But God asks us to abhor that evil.
However, God doesn’t leave us to do that on our own. Look at the last sentence in Romans 12:9 – Cling to what is good. Cling. To cleave to. To adhere to. This isn’t like a glue that holds you to something. This is like two sides of a wound knit together so tightly you can’t tell one part from the other.
What is the good that we should cling to? God, of course. When we cling to, cleave to, adhere to, God, we have the ability to love the unlovable with a genuine love. We have the ability to abhor evil and avoid the attraction to it. We have the ability to become more like God each and every day.
So pull out those favorite books, chapters, and verses. Study them daily. Let’s immerse ourselves in the love of God so much that we emulate Him in every part of our lives.
What is your favorite verse or chapter of the Bible. I’d love to hear.