Romans 12:9, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good."
Those are pretty powerful words, aren't they? I mean, we've got sincere, hate, cling.
Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil.
Cling to what is good.
Three things. How do we go about applying them to our lives?
Applying -- that's the big thing, isn't it? That's how you get a solid foundation. That's how you get really strong roots that can't just be yanked out. To grow in faith, you have to apply these things we're learning.
Like that story about building your house on the rock, not on the sand or wherever. I think it's in Matthew somewhere -- I read it this morning. Or maybe Mark. Or maybe both.
So, the first thing -- love must be sincere.
[sincere] 1.free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness; earnest: a sincere apology. 2. Real, Genuine.
I know where we're going to find the real example of sincere. Yeah, that's right. Jesus. Jesus loved sincerely. He loved unconditionally. He still does. Because that's how Jesus loves -- He accepts us, He loves us -- He really does. He's not making a show. He's not just saying it. No, He's totally serious -- He really actually honestly loves you -- sincerely.
The second -- hate what is evil.
[evil] to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy
Maybe you hate vegetables -- or, more specifically, cauliflower. Or the colour black -- maybe you just don't like it. Or maybe there's some famous person who everyone doesn't like and you're just like, "Oh yeah, I hate him!"
But that's not what this is saying. No, we're supposed to hate what is evil. And I'm thinking that dictionary.com is thinking pretty clearly. I mean, check out the example above. To hate the enemy. I'm pretty sure that's evil, huh? You know, the enemy. The one that doesn't want us to love God -- the one whose greatest day would be for me to turn my back on Jesus. On loving him. On Eternal Life.
Yeah, the Devil. Sin. Bad thoughts.
We don't want to live in the world. I'm pretty sure that's an on-going theme in my and your lives -- living for Jesus versus living for the world. I want the decisions I make each day to reflect the way I'm choosing -- have chosen -- to life. For Jesus. But they don't all reflect that, do they? I wish. But they don't. Cuz I'm not perfect. Thankfully, Jesus is.
Which leads me to point number three. (Why do I feel like I'm writing some school paper or something? It feels like it's long enough.:P) Cling to what is good.
[cling] To hold tight, as by grasping or embracing.
You know, all those good things. Wait, you're wondering. What exactly are good things? Well, you know that verse? I'll tell you. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8
Those are the good things.
Here's a couple of things to think about -- you know, to get started or whatever. If you're stuck on something positive and hopeful and Godly and good and all that.
-- talking to Jesus
-- loving like Jesus
-- not being narcissistic (Yeah, learned that word yesterday in Diary of a Teenage Girl [Caitlin #2]. It means to think the world is rotating around you.)
-- God's promises. God can't break a promise, you know. And God's a merciful God. Let me just say this one thing -- HE LOVES YOU.
Okay, I want to say it again.
JESUS LOVES YOU.
Think about it. That's number six on my list.
-- Jesus loves you.