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What’s love got to do with it?
I heard a song on the radio this past week and it got me to thinking.
There are some songs that we have heard so many times over the years that we quit listening to the words, or we find that we never really paid very close attention to them in the first place.
That was this week.
I was listening to the oldies station and Tina Turner came on the radio.
She was singing “What’s Love Got to do with it?”
I still can’t tell you the words to the whole song, but I have heard the chorus a thousand times:
Oh whats love got to do, got to do with it \\ What`s love but a second hand emotion \\ What`s love got to do, got to do with it \\ Who needs a heart \\ When a heart can be broken
She goes on to sing:
What`s love got to do, got to do with it \\ What`s love but a sweet old fashioned notion
We know that love is more than emotion and we know that love is not an outdated notion.
But that doesn’t answer Tina’s question does it.
Just what does love have to do with it?
How important is love to the things that we do?
I think the obvious answer is, “Love has everything to do with it.”
Love is what it is all about.
From the beginning of time until Christ returns, and even after that, it is all about love.
The entire Bible from start to finish is about God’s love for us.
Tina was just looking in the wrong place.
The apostle Paul answered her question when he wrote his letter to the Romans.
Paul spends 11 Chapters explaining the love of God, the gift of His son to us and what it means to us and then he goes on to tell us what we should do because of His love.
Love is what it is all about.
Turn to Romans Chapter 12.
In Chapter 12 of Romans Paul explains what the believer’s reasonable service to God should be.
He then exhorts believers to use their individual God-given gifts to the benefit of the body of Christ.
And after listing various gifts, Paul begins, in verse 9 and following, to explain how those gifts are shown in Christian love and what that should look like.
Romans 12:9-13 (NASB95) \\ 9 Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
\\ 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; \\ 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; \\ 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, \\ 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
\\ \\
As Christians we are bound to use our gifts within the context of love.
Paul knows that any good gift from God has the potential to be misused when it is given to man.
We have a tendency to take credit for the gifts that God has given us.
Or we get puffed up and forget that God gave us our abilities.
Paul knew this and reminds us that everything we do should be based in love.
Paul is teaching what loving relationships look like, both among Christians and of Christians to unbelievers.
In verse 9 Paul gives a general command about love and then follows it with examples of how that love will show itself.
Verses 10 and 13 are directed toward other Christians
while verses 11 and 12 address our  love to God.
The remaining verses in Chapter 12 speak to our relationships to others.
Let’s look at these a little closer:
In Verse 9
Paul states, “Let love be unhypocritical, abhor the evil, uniting with the good.”
Love that we show to others must be sincere.
It cannot be feigned.
As Believers we are to be a reflection of the love that has been to shown to us.
We are encouraged to be sincere and unhypocritical in love, faith and wisdom, elsewhere in the New Testament.[1]
2 Corinthians 6:6 (NASB95) \\ 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,
1 Peter 1:22 (NASB95) \\ 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
1 Timothy 1:5 (NASB95) \\ 5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
James 3:17 (NASB95) \\ 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
This type of love is not merely based on outward actions toward one another.
Believers cannot simply act like they love each other, you must strive for genuine, unselfish love that is vigilant in looking after, providing for and honoring others.
If love is not sincere and unhypocritical, it is not love.
Love is at the foundation of Christianity and if we are to reflect the love that we have received it must be genuine with no hint of pretense.
If you are faking love you will be found out pretty quickly.
Our patience is pretty thin without love.
Our willingness to do for others goes away when we are not serving with a heart filled with love.
Paul finishes verse 9 with two commands that relate to pure love.
Paul commands Christians to “abhor the evil, uniting with the good.”[2]
This appears to be a direct quote from Amos 5:15.
Amos 5:15 (NASB95) \\ 15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate!
Perhaps the Lord God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
The Psalmist says, “Hate evil, you who love the Lord…”[3]
  The Old Testament is full of references that advise the faithful to hate those things which are evil (Ps.
119:104, 119:128,119:163, Prov.
8:13, 13:5, 28:16).
This was not a new concept to Paul’s readers.
The word that Paul uses, ἀποστυγοῦντες, has the connotation of utterly hating or shrinking away from evil.[4]
This verse makes me think of how most people feel about snakes, especially me.
I don’t dislike snakes, I absolutely hate them.
The only good snake … they have no use or value in my book.
I don’t care that they eat rodents and other pests.
I would gladly trade all the snakes for a few mouse traps.
I don’t just hate snakes, I don’t want to be anywhere near one.
That is the image that Paul paints for us here.
Don’t just hate it, get away from it as fast as you can.
Christians can’t simply ignore evil, it must stir up such emotion in the soul so as to alert us that everything about it is wrong.
Not only are we to abhor evil we must turn from it.
There is something about evil that tempts us to prove that we can get close to evil without it having an effect on us.
However, as believers we must separate ourselves from it completely.
The Bible tells us to Run from it.
Joseph, remove the TV.
1 Corinthians 6:18 (NASB95) \\ 18 Flee immorality.
Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
This is the lesson that Joseph taught us.
\\ \\
1 Corinthians 10:14 (NASB95) \\ 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
\\ Run from anything that separates us from God or that wants to claim more importance in our lives than God.
1 Timothy 6:11 (NASB95) \\ 11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
\\ Flee from bad doctrine and false teachings.
I don’t care how entertaining a preacher is on TV, if he is teaching bad doctrine, turn him off.
If they are not preaching the gospel turn them off.
Paul told Timothy that If people are preaching that godliness is the way to wealth, run from them.
That is still pretty good advice for us today.
It’s not enough, though to just run from evil.
We also have to run to what is good.
We should cling to what is good.
Grab on to the good and don’t let go.
Paul presents this imagery in Chapter 6 when he states that believers are united with Christ.
We are not only directed to unite ourselves to good acts, we are reminded that we are united with, Jesus Christ.
After this simple command Paul continues through the rest of the chapter showing believers how Christian love should present itself.
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