As we continue our 13-day daily devotional on Romans 12, looking at characteristics of Christians, we find some powerful words in verse 10. First, Paul tells us that real Christians should love one another with brotherly affection. This is pointing us to a family type of love. Paul is pushing us into deep affections for each other that go beyond sheer friendship. Brotherly affection is much more than that. This affection, this love, stems from being part of the same family.
In Romans 12:3-8, right before the section we are studying, Paul describes how Christians make up the body of Christ. We may all have different measures of faith, different gifts, different functions, different skin colors, different ethnic backgrounds, but we all make up one body. We have been purchased with the same blood of Jesus Christ. Simply put, Christians are family. Let’s face it: family love is different than friendship love. Friendships can be ruined by circumstances. Paul pushed us into family love, because it is supposed to be there through thick and thin. Go, then, and love your brothers and sisters with that type of affection!
Christians are family.
Have you ever thought about outdoing one another in showing honor? It is almost like a game! Honoring someone is simply acknowledging the good inside of them. We often struggle with this though, don’t we? We tend to want the attention and praise, so we have a hard time giving it to others sometimes. Paul is showing us, however, that the better way to live is to give the honor to others. In fact, he tells us to be better at it than other people! I love this. Instead of fighting for the world’s attention, get the attention of heaven, honor the Lord, by showing honor to the people around you.
Makinze and I were part of a church not long ago that actually built this verse into their Bible studies. Every week, in the men’s group and the women’s group, the weekly Bible study would end with “Honor Time.” This was simply a time when people could raise their hands and take 5-15 seconds to honor a brother or sister in the room before being dismissed. The honoring was anything from honoring a friend for simply giving them a ride to group, to honoring an older mentor for investing in their life. It seems very elementary, but I have never been a part of something that felt more honoring to the Lord. “Honor Time” felt so right. It felt, more than anything else that I have experienced, like the way church should feel.
Go and love your fellow Christians like family today. Skin color, ethnic background, race, or any other difference, should not hinder our brotherly affection. We all make up one body. We share the same blood of Jesus Christ. Take it even further by outdoing them in showing honor. When God’s Church starts acting on Romans 12:10, the world is going to know it. Lives will be changed. Christ will be glorified. Join us for verse 11 tomorrow!
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- How are you doing with loving your brothers and sisters like family?
- Do you struggle with wanting honor instead of giving it?