“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (Romans 12:10) It is easy to “play” church and give the impression on the surface that we care about people. But do we love each other In a genuine way? Authentic. For real. No fakers! Affection means you express your love which requires time and effort and sometimes (here it comes) even money. Yep, I said it. Sometimes loving someone costs us something in every way and requires all our different resources. And this passage goes even a little deeper still—we are to “take delight [or joy] in honoring each other.” A kind word, some recognition, a symbol of appreciation… honor those around you. Be lavish in your praise and genuinely thankful for those God has placed around you. Honor those people in what they are doing for the Lord. As Christians, we are called to love everyone, but we are to have a special love for members of the body of Christ. And remember this verse: “They will know us by our love for one another.” What a great testimony to believers and non-believers alike.
There’s a story in 2 Samuel Chapter 6 where the ark of the covenant stayed at the home of some guy named Obed Edom for three months, and because of that, the Lord blessed him greatly. Did you know that when you receive Jesus, you become the ark of the covenant? It’s true. The ark was the dwelling place of God’s Spirit, but now you are the dwelling place of God’s spirit. And notice that the Bible doesn’t say that Obed Edom lived such a good life that God blessed him. No, it appears Obed Edom didn’t do anything to earn this massive blessing—he simply had the ark of the covenant at his house. It is the same for you. You get blessed because the ark is you and is with you. It’s automatic, and it’s a gift. You didn’t earn it; you got it because you believed in Jesus. So, like the ark, wherever you go those who are around you will be blessed. When you go to work, your work is blessed because you were there. Wherever you live is blessed because you live there, and the Spirit lives in you. When you start a business, it is blessed. Here a blessing, there a blessing, everywhere a blessing, blessing…
Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us that “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Imagine this for a second: what if you took every thought you have and compared it to Jesus to see whether it agrees with Him? Your thought might be “I’m ugly,” but you ask Jesus about it—He says that He made you in His likeness. You might think “I’m not smart enough to start a business,” but you show this thought to Jesus, and He laughs—He says you “have the mind of Christ.” God’s ways are “higher than your ways” and His “thoughts [higher] than your thoughts.” A thought, if you keep thinking about it, can become a way. It’s like a hiker’s path where the ground has gotten so hard nothing grows there anymore. It’s like a train of thought, a rail with only one destination. And there are low ways and highways. Stop traveling down the low ways with your low thinking. God says, “Come drive on my highways.” When that low thought comes screaming into your brain—you know which thought—call the thought police, and pull it over. Now arrest that thought. Take it captive.
“I thought about my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.” (Psalms 119:59) When we think about “our ways” we realize that our ways—the ways we learned from the world, television, friends, our parents, school—don’t work. We keep trying money our way, and we keep running out. We keep trying marriage our way and finding it has ups and downs. The world says “live together first, then get married.” Pleasure now, pay later. But God’s ways are higher than our ways. He has given us access to His thoughts and His ways through Christ. We have our Lord’s mind—the mind of Christ. The transformation here begins by taking a moment to think about our ways. It says, “When I thought about my ways, I turned my feet.” You may have believed that your thoughts don’t matter—that the private playground of your mind is a place you can ponder whatever—but your thoughts do matter, and they can turn your feet. Thinking about the wrong things takes you in the wrong direction. Thinking about the Lord’s testimonies has you going the right way. Where are you going today? Consider your ways today, and turn your feet to the testimonies of the Lord.