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Thursday, July 30, 2020

pearls[1]Romans 12:9-18

Recipe

Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.  Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.  Bless those who persecute [you], bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.  If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.

If we are ever in question about where happiness lies, we have our answer here.  Paul gives us a simple recipe for how to turn harm to goodness.

God says: My faithful servant Paul has written out a clear recipe for your happiness.  It is like a string of beautiful pearls; look at each one and examine it.  Spend time today with each of these ideas.  If you are quite occupied, choose a few that puzzle or trouble you and turn them over in your mind and heart.  This recipe for contentment will serve you well.  Return to this circle of gems as often as needed.  Carry them with you wherever you go.  Touch them. Ponder them. They are a gift to you this day and all days.  You may hold them close or pass them along to another.  In either case, they remain forever yours.

Pieter Brueghel de Jonge: Pearls Before Swine

We often look for quick fixes and sure solutions.  Once we surrender our will to God, this kind of struggling ceases to nag at us.  Once we begin to live by the recipe Paul records for us The Way becomes a bit more smooth.  Once we take these words into our hearts, we find that peace settles into us like a welcome guest whom we urge to stay the night.


We might want to spend time with Matthew 7:6 in which Jesus reminds us that we do not want to cast our pearls before swine . . . we want to remember that our recipe for loving as Jesus loves includes the holding of our relationship with Christ as holy. 

Images from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_7:6 and https://www.karipearls.com/pearls-before-swine.html

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