Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” It is impossible to be a Disciple of Jesus and be a hypocrite at the same time. Either I have genuine love or I don’t.

Most of the time people are quick to say, “I love you,” but are reluctant to show it when the opportunity arises.  Recently, we had people in our church sick in the hospital and the only people that went to see them were people that I took with me. When opportunity arises, so should our faith.

Someone might argue that they didn’t have the opportunity to get to the hospital, or I didn’t have a ride, or I had to work….  Remember Ecclesiastes 9:11, “time and chance happen to us all...” and no excuse will be acceptable before God as to why you didn’t make the most of your LOVE OPPORTUNITY.

In Matthew 5:22, Jesus tells us to “love our enemies.” One might argue  that “I get along with everybody.” I would check my heart if I were you. A person that has deep convictions concerning the Word of God always has enemies.

Why would God tell you to do something, and not give you the opportunity to do it? In other words, an enemy is currently in your presence, and God is waiting for you to be on the offensive and have purpose in your heart to deliberately do something nice for that person.

It is the “goodness of God that leads people to repentance” (Romans 2:4) and not your good looks. I know some of you stand in the mirror and marvel at yourself, but remember it’s not about you when it comes to advancing God’s Kingdom. Jesus said “if I be lifted up,  I will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32). 

We have been going to the nursing homes for more than 25 years to minister to the shut-ins, and it is amazing how many excuses I hear as to why people don’t want to go to the nursing home: “I don’t like the smell,” or “I don’t like being around old people,” or “you always go on Saturday and I watch college football that day.”

I bet Jesus wasn’t exactly enjoying Himself while He hung on the cross for you, either. We must understand that love always requires a sacrifice, other wise it is not love. “No greater love ahs any man than this,  that he lay down his life for a friend” (John 15:13). 

Let’s say that you really have a phobia about going to the hospital to visit the sick; are there other opportunities?  It appears to me that people have phobias about a lot of things in America. Can you say “tithes and offerings?” This is one of the newest phobias in case you haven’t heard about it.  t’s also referred to as “selfishness.” Sorry, I didn’t mean to get off point.  

     Does God give me opportunity to do things that perhaps I would like.  First of all, let me address the lazy people. How do you know you don’t like something that you never tried.   Secondly, and more importantly, anything you do for God, you also do to God. 

Matthew 25:34 says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

If you don’t like hospitals, feed someone. If you don’t like giving your food away, give your pastor a bottled water. If  you don’t like doing that because you think your pastor has enough people kissing up to him, go to the prison and share a scripture with an inmate. If you don’t like going to prison and shopping is your thing, then by all means, go to the mall and pretend you are buying something for yourself and give it to someone less fortunate.  Bring your Kleenex if you have to, but don’t just sit there and do nothing when love and opportunity is all around you! “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).

Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

There should be no difference between the way God loves you and the love we have for one another. If there is, then that means you have yet to receive the love of God, and therefore it is impossible for you to give love to someone when you don’t have true love within yourself.  Ask God to forgive you and open your heart to receive God’s love.  Let us all repent of our hypocrisy, and “let love be without hypocrisy.”

 

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