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The Christian Life

Treasured Commands- How To Apply God’s Commandments

By Steph Nickel

Are you familiar with God’s commandments? Do you know how to apply them to your life? In this post, Steph breaks down each commandment from Romans 12:9-13.

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Applying God’s Commandments

When we think of the commands of God, we often think of what we refer to as the 10 Commandments given to Moses. And it’s definitely a good idea to study them and ask God how they apply to our life.

But today I want to speak of the 12 commands given in Romans 12:9-13. I am in the process of memorizing this portion of scripture. You may want to do the same.

It reads like this: “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. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (ESV).

Let’s break this down, directive by directive.

Let love be genuine

god's commandmentsThis is not a case of “fake it ’til you make it.” God commands us to love authentically. To love with a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love, we must ask the Lord to fill us to overflowing. This kind of love is something we can never muster up on our own.

Abhor what is evil

There is a lot of talk on social media these days about recent events motivated by racism and hatred. While these events should drive us first, to our knees and then, to speak out and take action as God directs, we must also abhor the evil that is more subtle. Is God being slandered and dishonoured in our circle of friends and acquaintances, in our families, in our own lives? If so, we are to see it for what it is and address the issues.

Hold fast to what is good

Do we clutch to what is good? Are we holding on white-knuckled to the truths we find in God’s Word? Some days, I’ll admit, my grip isn’t as tight as it should be.

Love one another with brotherly affection

Think of your closest friends and family members, those you would do anything for. That’s the kind of love we are to have for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Is it easy? No. Does it require personal sacrifice? Sometimes. But it is God’s command and He will strengthen us as we seek to obey Him.

Outdo one another in showing honour

god's commandmentsI love this. Just think of how things would look in our homes, churches, workplaces, and communities if we put this directive into practice. We can’t wait until others are on board. It must start with each of us.

Do not be slothful in zeal

Don’t you love this picture? Have you ever watched a sloth move? If not, be prepared for a very long wait. Our zeal, our enthusiasm for God and His Word, should resemble a cheetah pursuing its prey rather than a sloth inching along—if it’s moving at all.

Be fervent in spirit

According to Google, fervency is “passionate intensity.” Do you feel that way about the things of the Lord? I have to admit that I used to, but recently, I’ve allowed myself to become so busy and preoccupied with other things that I rarely take the time to nurture fervency of spirit. That must change.

Serve the Lord

Are we doing what we do to honour Him and bless others? Let’s honestly look at our schedule and see not merely what we should add to our To Do list but also what we should set aside in order to serve Him more faithfully.

Rejoice in hope

All of these commands may seem overwhelming, but one of the wonderful things about God’s Word is that it overflows with promises. If you’re finding it difficult to rejoice in hope, spend some time reviewing even a handful of the promises in the Scriptures, knowing the Lord will fulfill each and every one of them.

Be patient in tribulation

god's commandmentsIf we believe His promises and hold fast to them, it will be easier to face the trials and tribulations that come our way. Although the best time to prepare is before we’re in the midst of an intense struggle, He will give us all we need to be patient in tribulation even if we haven’t called out to Him until we’re in the midst of what seem to be insurmountable challenges.

Be constant in prayer

I am best able to focus when I am either writing my prayers in a journal or praying aloud with one or more other believers. I also find I am able to rein in my wandering thoughts if I pray aloud when I’m traveling alone in the car. Prayer may look different for you than it does for me, but God’s command to be constant in prayer is for all of us.

Contribute to the needs of the saints

We are to contribute financially to our fellow believers’ needs, but that is not the only way to obey this directive. We are often called to give of our time, attention, and energy as well. For many of us that is more of a sacrifice than merely writing a cheque. And our brother or sister in Christ may need a listening ear far more than our money.

Seek to show hospitality

This is something I used to do regularly, but I have gotten out of the habit of opening my home. Again, it’s because I’ve allowed too many other things to fill my schedule.

May we focus in on one or two of these commands this day and seek to live them out.

For further study, I encourage you to review Romans 12:9-13 often. And to find out what genuine love looks like, I encourage you to study 1 Corinthians 13.

Steph Nickel

Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.

Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.

Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.

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