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How to be more loving. Romans 12:9-12

November 26, 2009

‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.’ Romans 12:9-12

This morning I witnessed something absolutely beautiful. My 2 year old boy, Jack has a heavy cold and was resting. Knowing their little brother wasn’t well, my 6 year old boy and 8 year old girl took it upon themselves to serve him. They got his breakfast, placed it on a special tray with a drink and carefully placed it next to him. They got a box of tissues and a couple of his favourite toys and generally made sure he was comfortable. It was a wonderful display of love through service that brought a massive smile to my face!

And then I read this passage from Romans and in digging deeper discovered that ‘Love must be sincere’ is talking about genuinely showing care and affection to others. This follows on from my last reflection where I was massively challenged to treat those who are rude towards me as I would treat people I really love. God is really working on me here, that my love for others should be genuine and devoted. I really want to be someone who is known for being a loving, caring guy.

So how can I improve how I love others? The passage provides some direction when it says, ‘Honor one another above yourselves’ which in the greek, honor literally means to really value someone, to treat them as precious and special. It goes on to say that I should, ‘Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.’ This is talking about me maintaining my enthusiasm and commitment to serving God. And then the passage finishes with the encouragement that I should be joyful, patient and faithful. So I can increase my love of others by seeing others as precious and special, by seeking to serve, wanting to serve and looking for opportunities to serve, and through being joyful, patient and faithful. WOW!!

What are your thoughts about this passage? Are you someone like me who would like to be able to love others more readily?

Praise God for this challenge!

God bless!

Rev Mark Brown

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PS If you want to leave a comment click on ‘Comments’ below and scroll down.

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50 Comments
  1. cynthia permalink

    how to deal mt insecurity..

    • James Greig permalink

      I wanted to be more loving , compassionate, understanding and selfless to my wife and serving and thinking more of her than myself

    • I was taught to work hard, play hard and most of all to love heart. When I give my all I forget to guard my heart so many times. God wants us to give our all in what ever we do, helping others is so important. God gave his all when He gave His only Son that we may live. How can we do any less.

      Thank you for giving your all to your ministry it is truly helping restoring my strength in the Lord. Much love and God bless.

  2. This is such an awesome passage. It gave me helpful insight on how to be more loving and caring for others. Thank you for enriching my life and others with the Word.

  3. Grace Forme permalink

    When you show God to the world by word or deed you are showing love to others. Remember that God will someday ask us what we did about love while we had our time on earth.. Grace.

  4. bessie snyder permalink

    all most everymorning in my conversation with God, i know my love is not perfect so i just ask him to fill me up with his love and let it shine out of me into the lives of other people. this makes me so joyful and full of love for others. when i forget to ask, i can just tell. my joy is not the same. so keep praying for God’s love to inter twine with your spirit and he will bless you with the agape love. amen

  5. Sir, this is right up my alley. God has been working with me in the area for long time and I am glad to say He is still working with. God has patiences with a hot going to not so hot head like me. The LORD is working with me from the humbling side.

    If He can show me that I’m not as important as I think I am then I can have patiences. As a husband the Great Husband is show me how to serve my wife and showing me how I act towards Him through my son. Some of the Fruits of the Spirit are Love, Longsuffering, Meekness from expecience I know that they come from patience. And this come from serving others before self.

    Sorry if I took the long way around but I got there. Philippians 2: 3- 5, goes so well with this.

    Thank for this Rev. Mark, I will be coming back from time to time.

  6. Rellon permalink

    I needed to hear this

  7. This really speaks to me because God has really been teaching me on the subject of love. It is an often overlooked subject when we come to how we treat others. I think we should treat everyone as if they were Jesus himself. God has been showing me how true love for others will move you to move out of your comfort zone. That is where amazing faith and love reside. We often try to play it safe as Christians, but I believe that Jesus is trying to teach us that when we step out onto what appears to be shaky ground, He will catch us in His mighty, loving arms. I encourage everyone reading this to find someone who is not in your realm of people who you are comfortable with and to show them some genuine love. THis has the power to change lives and it was what our Lord was all about. God Bless.

  8. Kulaahn permalink

    This was so inspiring. I really need to grow in this area. My neighbor across the hall, will look through me as if I’m not there, but will smile and speak to my husband. He told me to speak anyway because God will judge me based on what I do. I am struggling with opening my mouth, let alone speaking. I’ve spoken to her before only to be snubbed and looked down on like a peasant. I will whisper a prayer and try to speak next time I see her, hopefully I’m successful. One day with the Lord’s help situations like this won’t bother me.

  9. Darrell Jones Jr permalink

    Thank you. B.c i need this. I recently got into an altercation but remain calmed and didn’t swing back. I already forgave him but i know god did this for a reason because he wants me to stop smoking cigarettes. You never know. he work in mysterious ways. God bless

    • For Darrell. I quit smoking too because I knew God wanted that. I tried so many times on my own & failed. I have health issues that should have motivated me but it didn’t. God knew I wanted to do it for Him. I was a 40 yr/pack a day smoker. God lined up the circumstances in such an absolute supernatural coordination of timing & events, I did it. Been clean 3 yrs this coming Feb. You can do too if you want it bad enough for the right reasons. When you’ve failed enough on your own then an opportunity opens up and you know it’s God answering your prayers. It was so easy. Not humanly easy – God easy. God bless.

  10. doreen permalink

    lord help me to love by being honest with the folks i care about the most!

  11. Meagan permalink

    This passage ( including the previous one as well ) is truely moving and life changing! I’ve read those passages a few times before, but hearing them broken down peice by piece in accordance with each other is very touching and they make me think twice about getting upset, wanting to run away from things that upset me and encourage me to do better! Thanks Mark ❤ God bless you children, I hope he gets feeling better soon!

  12. Yes, I have the same problem…please pray for me…and I will you…thanks

  13. Lana permalink

    Bro. Mark :
    I have been having a hard time working with my boss and co-worker. My boss is so moody and mentally mean to me and I have about had it and I know I need to treat her with kindness but I am having a very hard time getting there As I do not understand why she is doing this to me. I am hearing impaired and she takes advantage of this and I know she gloats when she does. Please pray for me that I find another job and get away from the stress of having to endure this abuse.

  14. Dawn permalink

    I need this every day! I have been noticing how God changes our hearts for the better. I still stumble, but God is there to remind me to love, forgive, and move on. We are forgiven, and I think that is what is easiest to remind us of how to forgive. Jesus hung beaten for what we have done. I can only try to be that forgiving! If I forgive, I also benefit. What a freedom I get for forgiving others. I have sinned against others and, to forgive helps remind me of the beuty in forgivness. I am thankful for those whom have forgiven me. HAPPY THANKSGIVING

  15. denena permalink

    i love the way our children teach us. if only we could always look at life as they do. i have been given an amazing gift from our Heavenly Father and she is 18 years old now but this is truly where i first discovered a love that i never knew. i have been delivered from a life of drug addiction and it was that love in others that and most of all my daughter that gave me a reason to stop that lifestyle. i know wholeheartedly that Jesus was the source of that love, he used people close to me to show how much He loves me. love trumps, it is powerful, my prayer is to love rather than be loved. it is the giver that gets the reward. thank you for digging deeper as it makes me go deep as well.

  16. Dutch permalink

    Amazing verse!!! Amen to that! I love that! Following Jesus is my peace!

  17. well rev mark i take care of my handdie capped brother and he is 33yrs old our mom and dad are gone they went home to be with god back in 2002 just 35hrs apart and after they died i know it was my job and now being a born again christian i know it’s gods will i take care of him he goes to church with me on sunday day and the night time too i really love caring for him and i do love everyone around but some people are starting to tell me how to act on my walk with god i am not letting anyone do that god tells and i do what i am told to do anyway i would love to be more loving and understanding of others anyway thank you for this word it is something to think about your brother in christ cecil b

  18. Candice Smith permalink

    Every day I find a challenge before me, and today was my day to be challenged. My world has been shaken for months now, but this passage and message may be my first step towards healing. Thank you for these wonderful words today and every day…….

  19. james kish permalink

    thanks we could all use this…love affair with others as jesus wants us to do…its hard but must keep driving towards that goal…

  20. Kimi permalink

    I too, needed to read this today. I usually don’t read alot of the comments, but was “pulled in” and I am happy I did. I too, stuggle with this. Honestly, I think if we would all take a personal inventory, we all struggle with this at one time, or another, or even all the time. This process, if refining. One day, we all hope to be purged of the “slag” off the dull exteriors we carry, and become a fine piece of gold. That is the goal. My righteousness is as a filthy rag. I do, want more than anything, to be as my Savior and Redeemer did, and is, and stuggle with this daily. May I too, be purged and made clean, bright and shiny, and fitting in His eyes.

  21. Wow! Mark, I have studied this passage many times before but suddenly I too am seeing it in a different light. God is truly working on us in dealing with and loving difficult people/loving all people. Yes, I want to be known as a caring, loving, giving, serving person, just like Jesus! Yes, God, mold me and make me I pray. A-men!

  22. veronica permalink

    I needed this. Please keep me in prayer as God leads you. Thank you and be blessed as I pray for you all.

  23. I really did need to hear this after the kind of week I have been experiencing. It is a wonderful reminder for me. Sometimes I really grow weary in well doing and start to get unloving towards those in my life that need my love and understanding the most.

    Thank you

  24. Thank you so much for these words. I just realized that it is presumptios to think one has arrived in loving other, when you just a few hours ago got angry and treated someone you love very unlovingly. May God grant me that I will love more and more everyday. Love can never be enough in you. We need more and more of God’s love. To attain that we must spend time in the presence of God and so be changed. God bless you abundantly in this day.

  25. Mark, What awesome timing. As we celebrate Thanksgiving with so much to be thankful for. This is a time when we should be opening our doors to those less fortunate or in need or just alone. I have an open door policy and we alway have someone other than our imidate family join us for dinner and fellowship. This year I am blessed with two others. A lady we pretty much adopted over the years and this year a young man with such a difficult past who was let down once again by his mother not showing up. How heartbreaking. We welcome him with open and loving arms. Though it will not take away the pain, we can at least engulf him in the love of Christ at Thanksgiving and all the days to come. Showing Gods love is opening your heart to others. After all we are techinicaly ALL family

  26. Valerie permalink

    Please pray for me, Im having trouble with my boyfriend, im now to the point im giving up, i lost my patience……….. coz i feel being patience sometimes people take advantage bcoz they knew u love them so much so feeling geting no respect even they already hurted u always….. I dont know what to do coz i know now im angry but i worry the other day i will forgive him again….. and it will be over and over again…. im getting sick and tired…… Please pray for me to do things which i know the best and right thing to do. please God give me strenght.

  27. Kathy permalink

    I have a difficult time loving my daughters boyfriend who is the father of her children. I know the Lord is working in this area in my life because it is the Holiday Season and I have to make a choice to invite him or exclude him. He is abusive towards my daughter verbally and she feels stuck in the relationship. I can’t help her she has to make the choice to get out. So my prayer always is that God will show me how to love this guy.

  28. Jeffrey permalink

    We have a guest coming for dinner today that is hard to love. He has not been loved unconditionally by his family, was abandoned by his parents and raised by his grandparents. I have been trying to reach him for many years and his heart is still hard. I think I will read this scripture today at Thanksgiving dinner. I will continue to love this young man – because Christ loved me when I was lost.

  29. Kim H. permalink

    I totally needed to here this. I am dealing with this situation now. However I need help. I had a friend who really turned on me. It really hurt my feelings. And to make matters worse, she is like family to my husband so when she sees us she barely says hi to me but gives my husband & ste daughter the biggest hug, in my face. So now I have alot of animosity towards her. I know that I shouldn’t and I would like to work it out but how. I thought about pulling her to the side and speaking to her but I know my flesh will try to take over. I’ve thought about writting her an email but again I feel my flesh taking over. I would really like to resolve this soon because I see her at church almost every Sunday. Any suggestions?????

  30. mayls permalink

    I totally agree with Rom 12:9-12. Just before reading this passage today, since Sunday afternoon I was out of the house to be with my pastor-mentor who is admitted in the hospital. It was found out that she had a mild stroke. God gave me an opportunity to look after her and I realized that my presence was badly needed. I also witnessed that there were other members in our church whom she had mentored went to show their love and care for her too.

  31. Lupe meza permalink

    Wow! Thank u for sharing this on this day. I pray I will do as the word says. Love sincerely ! A must do….

  32. Tim permalink

    Love is very powerful share it with the world and you make a difference. Amen!!!!!!!

  33. marites permalink

    This is absolutely right! This happened to me..thou the other person treats you mean..I continue to respect and give love in return just as Jesus did. Now that person treats me nice..

  34. I love this passage!!! The closer I get to God, the more I want to love everyone around me! I don’t know if I have ever been so happy or contented since I was a child! I’m so happy to be receiving your emails! God bless!

  35. Dorothy Napier permalink

    Mark, God is awesome. What a light bulb moment, it really hit me at a time when everything is going crazy. Thank you so very much. There is a word from the Lord.

  36. I have enjoyed your emails so much and this one relly hit home with me . Thankyou so much. Keep on doing what God has called you to do.

  37. Nsikan permalink

    Absolutely awesome passage. May God help us all to apply this in our lives.

  38. Mary Kate permalink

    Rev. Mark. I am reading this tonight on America’s Thanksgiving Day. This is indeed a powerful scripture reading. Tonight we had the Blessing of having my stepson come to visit and meet his brother for the first time (my son is 6 years old) and visiting with his sister who is 9. We haven’t seen him in such a long time due to financial differences. I have to admit that my heart was hardened because of this strain he has put on my marriage as well. My children have always talked on the phone with my stepson. I have never stopped that communication. In September, my son asked his brother “You say you love me but you never come to see me. You never met me. Why?” That hit him hard. He called and asked me to Thanksgiving dinner. I have thought about this moment for a long time and told him my door is ALWAYS open. God has worked some miracles in my life. He has matured as well. This scripture just has totally opened my eyes of this. I am so thankful that communications is open again and we have started a new relationship with one another. Thank you so very much for these verses. God is so working in our lives. We can learn so much from our children…we just need to listen to them…from the mouth of babes. God Bless everyone today on this Thanksgiving day. May every day be a Thanksgiving day to all.

  39. terry permalink

    It is my desire to serve GOD with love and sevice to others. My heart desire to do this is a great feeling, but I haven’t made the move to go forward and do so. I’m not happy with seems like nothing else. But I’m affraid to move forward and just trust HIM.

  40. MaryMarthaKay permalink

    “Cling to what is good” ….. cling = to hold fast or adhere to something, as by grasping, sticking, or entwining

    “Keep your spiritual fervor ” fervor = intensity of emotion; intense heat; a boiling.

    Rev. Mark this is just an awesome passage! The Lord has been dealing with me in this area for awhile now. He reminds me often. So I will try to express the thoughts I have. The two quotes above from this passage speak volumes to me! Your children were serving their younger brother and were “focused” on serving his needs thus sincerity prevails. But sometimes … as older adults … we tend to “focus” on the “little errors” of our loved ones ways. When we have been around our loved one for years we tend to know all their faults, and sometimes those faults interfere with our “focus” on serving them, with sincere love. Sometimes we “focus” on the negative effect of the error of their way as it affects us or others just because we are aware of the error, and this totally keeps us from “clinging to what is good” and “keeping our spiritual fervor”. So we have to stay totally FOCUSED on the positive traits of our close loved ones otherwise we will focus on the negatives of the error and fail at sincere love. It is so much easier to sincerely love a stranger because we know not their faults or errors. Which brings me back to “forgive them 70 times seven. ” In conclusion if we FOCUS on clinging to the LORD in an intense burning relationship we will not be looking at our loved ones errors. The key is what we focus upon.

    ….. Mt 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

    God Bless you Rev. Mark!

  41. Rachel permalink

    Wao, I loved the message. It gave me a new refelation on what love is. Sometime we take for granted this gift that good gave us freely. It remides me that this is something I should practice where it want, like it, feel or not. Its a must I change my attitude. God bless you for daily feeding us with his word. Your messages bless me.

  42. a great passage.
    to be able to love others more readily… is to see and listen to them… to prioritize their needs above your own.
    when we love and honor someone, they are first in our thoughts, in our eyes, in our lives.
    difficult to do. a real challenge. especially when the person we love does not do the same for us. that is why…
    “Love must be sincere” ~ when we love, it must be Genuine, True
    “Hate what is evil” ~ avoid letting fear overcome you
    “cling to what is good” ~ fight with faith and trust
    Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

  43. Becki permalink

    This is a real challange for me. I have been verbally/physically abused my entire life but I know that God has been dealing with me about this. I’m glad we get to leave comments and would love prayer from anyone that would care to pray for me. I know that I cannot be forgiven if I don’t forgive others. I’d like to know, what do I do with the hurt? I can forgive but where can the hurt go that is still there? – I am so thankful for this email everyday and I look forward to it.

    Thank you so much!

    • Velvet permalink

      Becki, I am just like you. The best thing to do is when you feel that way, instead of getting angry and lashing out at what was done to you, go to a quiet place and pray and then take a nice long walk. Not only does it help to always let God know how you feel, it also helps to get out and breathe the fresh air that he gives to you by waking you up each day! God is amazing Becki, just keep praying, and praise him when you don’t have an episode, pray when you do have an episode! Pray Pray Pray! I can not stress that enough. God hears you! Everything will be alright. Just ask God to give you the strength to be a better person in that area! God bless you!

  44. I believe in this awesome passage, My family has always showed this kind of love. KEEP up the good work

  45. Carman permalink

    Thanks. I am working on this bible truth!

  46. Velvet permalink

    Rev Mark, you are a God send. Right now as we speak I am ready to cry so hard. It is wonderful people like you that keep God in my life and let me know that he loves me and cares for me, just by speaking and giving me his word. Thank you so much for blessing my eyes with such wonderful verses that than bless my heart. I know that I will find my salvation and that God will continue to bless me and love me, even when I don’t deserve. God bless you!

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