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Friday, April 21, 2017

Hope, Patience and Truly Loving Others

In review of Romans 12:12 it says, “Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.”

Bottom Line:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.

What this means to me:
I should let my hope keep me joyful, I should be patient in times of trouble, and pray at all times.

Todays verse comes from Romans 12, where Paul is telling about personal responsibility; making our lives a Living Sacrifice to God. He tells us to really love others. Genuine love like this requires real concentration and effort. It means helping others become better people. It demands time, money, and personal involvement. No individual has the capacity to express love to a whole community, but the body of Christ in my town does. We can look for people who need our love, and then look for ways we can love our community for Christ.

Paul tells us to honor others. I can honor others in one of two ways. One involves ulterior motives; so they will reward me, or work harder, contribute to our cause, or use their power for us and not against us. As a Christian, I should honor people because they have been created in God's image, because they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and because they have a unique contribution to make to Christ's church. Simply, I should put others first, above my own interests.

I’m also learning that there is a difference between entertaining and hosting. Entertaining focuses on the host; home is spotless, food well prepared, and you appear relaxed and good-natured. Hospitality on the other hand, focuses on the guests. Their needs--whether for a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or acceptance--are the primary concern. However hospitality can happen in a messy home. It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup. It can happen while the host and the guest are doing chores together. I should never hesitate to offer hospitality just because I'm too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain.

So I should expect the goodness of God to become a routine part of my life. Nothing about God is ordinary or routine, but knowing that His supernatural goodness is just waiting to rain down on my life should become the norm. He wants me to have His very, very best!

God has a specific plan that was tailor-made just for me--a divine destiny with boundless potential. His plan contains blessing that I cannot contain and the unlimited favor of God.

So I can rejoice in the hope that is Jesus Christ. I can rejoice knowing that all things work together for good. Just because I’m in the middle of my darkest day does not mean that God doesn’t see me. He knows exactly where I am and what I need. So I should continue praying; continue being patient, and know that heaven’s best will come my way in His timing.