Read Romans 13:8-14
Paul continues speaking on the pattern of obedience to our leaders and seeking to live peacefully with all. While the previous passage spoke of being obedient to the law in our obligations to political leaders and others, here he speaks of going beyond the laws of God and man.
How do we do so? By loving our neighbors as ourselves, “for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (v. 8). How can Paul speak of love as an ongoing debt? It is so in the sense that it can never be fully repaid or completed. To whom are we in debt? To Christ, who, by paying our debt of sin, has reconciled us to God, and who has tasked us with take his message of reconciliation to the ends of the earth (Matt 28:19-20).
Paul speaks of love here not primarily as an emotional or physical urge, but as an attitude of wanting the best for someone else. When viewed in this way, there is always someone to love and a way to show your love to them. The fact that we have loved someone yesterday does not lessen our responsibility to love them today, or tomorrow, or forever. Thus, love is greater than any spiritual gift or act we can do (1 Cor 13:1-3), and love is eternal (1 Cor 13:13).
What would our church look like if we had such an attitude? What would our town (or nation) look like, if the churches would live like this? If you determined to live tomorrow with the aim of loving everyone you met, what would your day look like?
Pray for yourself, that you would follow the example of Christ and be more loving toward others, and pray for others to do so as well. Pray for our church to be more loving, as well as for the other churches in our town, and in our nation and world. Finally, can you think of any practical ways to show your love to others?
Written by Greg Goss