Genuine Love

Recently, my son asked me what does “genuine” means. I immediately thought of the word “genuine” as real, true, not fake …like a piece of jewelry. Growing up in the Philippines, I first learned the word “genuine” not in the Bible nor at school. I often saw this word plastered across the windows of pawnshops in the neighborhood where I grew up. Pawnshops here in the Philippines accept jewelry to be pawned, but only accept “genuine gold” or “genuine diamonds”. While silver, pearls and other stones will most likely not be deemed to have little or no value at all.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-10 ESV)

“Let love be genuine” means “Let love be without hypocrisy”. It means accepting a person just the way that they are and loving them despite their failures or shortcomings. Not finding fault, but loving without conditions. How do we share that kind of love to others? How is that true love generated through our lives?

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)

Having a pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith is the requirement to produce genuine love. But how can we have a pure heart if mankind have fallen short of God’s glory?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

Pure means free of contamination.  Untainted & unadultered.  We can only have a pure heart only by being cleansed by Jesus blood on the cross. If we love God whole-heartedly, we can love others radically, without reservations nor prejudice. Genuine love can only flow through a heart cleansed by God through Jesus Christ. In other words, don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.

“…Abhor to what is evil; hold fast to what is good”

Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 97:10)

Our genuine love for God is the mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ. When we love God and follow his precepts, we allow God to change us from glory to glory. We learn to hate sin and strive to live completely for the Lord. Our aim to live wholeheartedly for the Lord enables us to do good to others, producing genuine love.

In 1 Corinthians 13 we are told, that, “if we have not love, we are only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” In other words, without showing or manifesting the love of Christ to others, our service to others is futile if not accompanied by love. If the greatest gift God gave us is to love, why do we often fail to show that love to others?

Who has the Lord put in your life that you could show that genuine love to? Maybe someone you know is going through a difficult time and God could use you to help carry their burden. Perhaps you lack the courage to reach out to someone you know who is in need. Whatever the case may be, we can choose to love others the way Jesus does, but we have to make that choice. Are we willing to take that risk? I encourage you, to step out in faith and watch the Lord use you to touch someone else’s life, today!

All Glory to God!

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