Monday, September 5, 2005
Thinking about what the preacher said Sunday (Romans 13:7-14): Â
Pay everyone whatever you owe them. If you owe taxes, pay them. If you owe tolls, pay them. If you owe someone respect, respect that person. If you owe someone honor, honor that person. Â Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings. The commandments, “Never commit adultery; never murder; never steal; never have wrong desires,” and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love never does anything that is harmful to a neighbor. Therefore, love fulfills Moses’ Teachings.
You know the times [in which we are living]. It’s time for you to wake up. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first became believers. The night is almost over, and the day is near. So we should get rid of the things that belong to the dark and take up the weapons that belong to the light. We should live decently, as people who live in the light of day. Wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and jealousy cannot be part of our lives. Instead, live like the Lord Jesus Christ did, and forget about satisfying the desires of your sinful nature.
In the modern world, we all see many more neighbors than we can really know. Â Itâ€™s hard enough to love my family and friends, let alone a stranger. Â How do I love one who is near, never mind one who is far? Â How can I possibly love one who does wrong to someone else, even if I am prepared to forgive the one who has done me wrong? Â For all these things I need Godâ€™s very presence, His warm and living care for me, without which all is just words with no meaning. Â
PRAYER: Â Lord, thank you that you loved me before I was in your family; that you loved me when I was a stranger, and you took me in; that when I was hungry, you gave me the bread of life; when I was thirsty, you gave me living water; when I was imprisoned by my own bad habits, you came to see me and set me free. Â Help me to see, in every person I meet upon my own pathway, how much you want to do for them, just as you did for me.