Watch Your Behavior!

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Romans 12:9-21 (vv. 9-13) NKJV

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.‭‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

What is the first thing you notice about a person? Is it the clothes they are wearing? Their hair style? The way they walk? Could it be their smile? My godmother once told me that the first thing a woman notices about a man is his shoes; are they shined? Are they worn thin? I would surmise that when we go beyond the superficial of the outside, what we begin to take notice of is the behavior of a person.

Paul writes to the church in Rome to introduce himself and encourage and edify them through the great principles of the gospel that he preached. He especially wanted his readers to be aware of the profound theological truths found in the word of God, including but not limited to the redemptive work of Christ which has been made available to anyone by faith in Christ alone.

He makes it abundantly clear in chapters 1-5 that the grace of God is not earned but graciously given to anyone who believes (5:10-11). Believers, therefore, do not have to be concerned about being recipients of the promise of eternal life. Having reassured his readers of their personal security, he can now, in chapter 12, focus on how believers should evidence their security to the world.

What we find in verses 9-13, even the entire chapter is not an exhaustive list, but enough to give his recipients a better understanding of how they can live in such a way that their pattern of life resembles God’s own righteousness. They are to become imitators of the morality of God the Father that was exhibited through Christ the Son. The New Living Translation of verses 9-13 makes it clear how believers are to behave themselves; “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. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”

What is the first thing people notice about you? If you are trying to give them a path to follow and a desire to get the eternal glory promised to every believer, I encourage you to re-read the entire twelfth chapter of Romans, then use it as a pattern to help you to watch your behavior!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of the Evangelical Church of God, both in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company/J Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096) and is the producer and host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to ‘Friend’ the Matters of Faith YouTube Channel. Email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at

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