All of the instructions that Paul gives in the second half of Romans 12 are anchored in the words of verse nine, "love must be sincere". If we truly love the way God intends us to love then all actions will grow from that foundation in our lives. God's kind of love through us is the root that supports every good deed in our life. It grows out of a genuine desire to serve the Lord. Loves fruit develops out of our relationship to Him and His perfect example of love.
In today's passage Paul directs us to share with God's people who are in need and to practice hospitality. We were born into God's family when we became believers ( Romans 8:16 ). This family does not share a physical heritage, but a supernatural bloodline based on Christ Jesus. He shed His blood for us bringing us into fellowship with God. The bond we share in Christ is eternal. Because of this we should consider one another, contribute to needs of one another and share in the necessities of the saints. Paul told us earlier in Romans 12 that we were called into one body and each of us belongs to one another ( Romans 12:5 ). So it only makes sense that if one of us suffers the entire body suffers along with that one. Recognizing this will enable us to share with one another and provide help when needed.
When questioned about the greatest commandments, Jesus told the disciples something similar. He told them the greatest commandments were "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. 'There is no commandment greater than these." ( Mark 12:30-31 ). Putting one another's needs at the forefront of our attention gets the focus away from one's self. It is easier to notice the needs of those around you when you are not immersed in your own needs. The secret to accomplishing this love for one another is; loving the Lord with everything. Sincere Love is the root that supports every good deed. Loving our neighbors as much as we love ourselves come about by loving and seeking the Lord with everything. He is the one who enables us to love deeply and sincerely.
If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, how much more should we love and care for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul gives us short instruction on this point because it should be a natural response to the love we have for one another. "Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality" ( Romans 12:13 ). We have been called into a royal priesthood and we are a chosen people ( I Peter 2:9 ). Once we were not a people but now we are a holy nation and we should live and conduct our lives in alignment with who we now are through Christ Jesus. We were called to belong to His family, caring and loving one another.
Today, I pray that you will consider the needs of the saints. Be willing and ready to help those in want. Share in their burdens, encourage them in all things and love them deeply as Christ has loved you. May God's love shine through your lives today, amen.