Advice for Living Close to God

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” Romans 12:9&12

Fall Leaves

Sunlit fall colors are spectacular in the setting of the sun!

Paul gives great advice in chapter 12 of Romans on how to live as a Christian. I would encourage everyone to read Romans 12:9-21 for yourself. (If I wrote it all here, it would be the entire blog! Which may, in truth, be the way to go. I really don’t think I can improve on Paul’s writings!)

But please allow me to add my two cents as an encouragement to us all. Actually the Bible is chock full of advice on living life. From Genesis to Proverbs to Psalms to the Gospels to Paul’s letters to name just a few.

Paul starts where we should all start…with love. Because, as we have experienced God’s love for us through the sacrifice of Jesus, we should love others. Always “easier said than done”, but we can strive for that standard. But Paul adds a condition, “without hypocrisy”. In other words, our actions should match our words. We can’t just say we love everyone. We have to live it. We have to prove it!

Next, we don’t just avoid evil. We hate it. We try to erase it from our lives. Those temptations, addictions, and desires that take us away from God, make us want to hide from Him. Fight them (especially with God’s help). And as we turn our backs on “evil”, let’s cling to what is good. Jesus said, “There is only One who is good.” Matthew 19:17 And that is God! So, let’s cling to God.

Finally, Paul gives a three-part direction for successful living. We are to “rejoice in hope”. Live joyfully in the presence of God (and others) with the hope we have in an everlasting relationship with Him. We are to be patient in tribulation. Troubles come in life, period. Be patient. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 And lastly continue “steadfastly” in prayer; unwaveringly, faithfully, resolutely, earnestly.

This week let’s aspire to live the life that Paul prescribes for us as children of God, as followers of Jesus Christ. Let us live without hypocrisy, let our actions speak louder than our words. Let us be known by our love and joy and patience and prayer.

I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we try to live our lives closer to our God.

 

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