ODJ: Love and Harmony

October 31, 2018 

READ: Romans 12:1-18 

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (v.18).

Following the death of my father, some of the children in Uganda I’ve known and worked with for years made signs for me expressing their love and condolences. The gesture warmed my heart, buoyed my spirits and reminded me what it means to have others acknowledge your losses and to walk with you through them.

I’ve served these children, their families and their community for many years. For more than a decade, we’ve laughed, celebrated milestones and mourned deaths together. Our different cultures, ages, languages and backgrounds have been no obstacle to living out Romans 12 and its exhortation to “be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep” (v.15).

In this passage, rich in instruction for how to honour others in ways that bring honour to God, we learn that our ability to love and serve is a gift from Him. Out of His love for us, He allows us to share in the joy of meeting others’ needs.

Verse six explains, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” These gifts include: serving others, leading and showing kindness (with gladness) (vv.7-8).

As an overflow of our hearts for all God has done for us, and as an expression of the love we’ve received from Him (v.1), we’re invited into authentic love (v.9) and into the delight of honouring each other (v.10). Such love, when done in recognition of all we’ve received from God, compels us to respond when His people are in need—to practise hospitality, to pray and keep on praying in times of trouble and to work hard and serve Him enthusiastically (vv.10-13).

To live in harmony with one another—what a beautiful gift God has made possible for us!

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Acts 15:22-41

Read John 13:34 and consider what it means to truly love others. 
How do harmony and love work together? How have you experienced the authentic love of God? How can you shower it on others?