Romans 12:9-10 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Can’t you tell when somebody really loves you? Love is not something that you here it’s something that you experience. Love is like a blanket tossed over you when you’re cold. Love is like an invitation to come in when you have nowhere else to go. Love is action.

One of the worst things that can happen to an individual or an institution is when they lose their love. The apostle Paul says, “if I lose my ability to love I am nothing!” You can’t give what you ain’t got. God is love and when we are connected to him we are able to express his unlimited and unconditional love. Without that God connection we are just pretenders. Without love we are just tinkering cymbals and sounding brass.

As Disciples of Christ, we have two great commandments: Love God and Love people. If we don’t get these right nothing else means anything. If ware going to be effective as followers of Christ we have to follow these instructions:

1. Don’t pretend to love others. Really love them. People know when you are not genuine. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Do you take the time to read people’s eyes when you ask them how they are doing? As a verb love is defined as unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.

2. Hate what is wrong. This does not mean hate what is wrong in the person but hate what is not beneficial for the well being of another. When you see something that is not ethical or just as it relates to the treatment of another person you should do something about it. That’s love!

3. Hold tightly to what is good. There are some values you were taught or caught in terms of how to treat people that you have to hold on to. We live in a competitive and cut throat world but you have to hold onto what is good. 50 teen-agers jumped on 2 or 3 employees at Kroger the other day but some of their parents turned them in. They knew that what their kids did was not right. Don’t hold on to something that’s not good.

4. Love each other with genuine affection. This past Sunday was our 13th church anniversary. I hugged each person I could as tight as I could because at that moment I realized how much I loved and appreciated each soul God had entrusted to me. We should show genuine affection to the people who mean the most to us every day.

5. Take delight in honoring one another. Honor is recognizing the worth or value in a person. We should get delight out of recognizing the good in one another by showing love and gratitude. We have to honor one another by discovering the love language of the people we say we love.

Stop pretending you love people. We need to learn how to love people and use things and stop using people to get the things we really love.

Dear God,

Help me to really love your people like you really love me. Take away my pretension. Use me as a pure vessel filled with your unconditional love. Help me to treat people as I would want to be treated.

In Jesus Name,

Amen