Romans 12:9-10 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
The word genuine, in Romans 12:9-10, means sincere, without hypocrisy, of such integrity and such honesty, it’s value irrevocable. This genuine love is the real deal and there is no question of authenticity. Wow, that’s an amazing kind of love. It reminds me of the actions of an older couple I saw as my wife and I were enjoying a date night at Disneyland. They seemed to be in their late seventies or early eighties. The both seemed to be in their own little world as they slowly moved through the park. The gentleman with a firm grip supporting his bride’s arm as he guided her though the crowds. He would whisper something into her ear and she would squeeze his arm, lean in and one time gave him a gentile kiss on the cheek. They were making their way to some seats at one of the outdoor cafes. He pulled out the chair for her and she gingerly slid into the seat. He walked around, not to the chair across from her, but next to her. He pulled out of his backpack a bottle of water and held it up to her lips as she took a labored sip shaking slightly. A few drops fell on her face and without hesitation he pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed her chin saying something that brought a smile to both of their faces, and they laughed. He put away the handkerchief and laid out their homemade snack and she began to try to feed herself. However, he would interrupt his own bites with guiding her hand to her mouth so she could eat. There was not frustration or impatience with this man, just pure, sincere love. I am not sure if she had some condition or this was just years taking their toll, but she was not as strong or agile as he was. Though I did not know the whole story, this man, to me, let love be genuine.
See, genuine love is a choice, a choice to act in a loving way. It’s selfless and sacrificial actions that think more about others than self.
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others
1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
This genuine love is kind, caring, selfless, affirming, bold, forgiving, honest, and enduring.
Proverbs 3:3-4 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So, you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
Genuine love is not something that just happens or a force that overtakes us, but is actions we make the choice to employ. In other words, they are calculated and pull out from a deeper unselfish, generous, self-sacrificing purpose. Like Jesus…
Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
So, we should…
Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
True, genuine love is rare in our world today. Yet, we are so very capable of loving like this. How could you show this genuine love to someone today? Maybe it’s noticing another’s need and seeking to fill it. Maybe it’s letting others talk while you listen. Maybe it’s affirming another and not seeking to fish for your own complements. Maybe it’s exchanging some ‘me’ time for ‘we’ time. Maybe it’s seeking to understand over being understood. Maybe it’s setting someone else up for success over seeking your own win. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Church is a great place to learn about Jesus, the greatest example of genuine love. If you don’t have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church/Neighborhood Church (same church, same heart, just a new name). We have three campuses; our website has all the information. Every Sunday we learn from the Bible and seek to know God more. We would love