Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Clingin' to What's Good

So, this next part of Romans 12:9 is packed full with meaning and application that there is no way I'm gonna try to dig into all of it.  The part of 12:9 I'm pondering today is:  "Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." Another translation (the old New International Version....not the new one that has just been published, of which I am NOT a fan) puts it this way:  "...hate what is evil; cling to what is good."

I am not going to talk about the first part of this statement tonight.  I'm going to let that "hate what is evil" part marinate in us for a few more days.  Tonight I just want to put out my thoughts about "cling to what is good".

Cling is one of those words that paints a picture for me.  When I think of someone clinging to someone or something, I think of these ideas:
 1. clinging is usually used in a moment of desperation.  It's not a casual action....not passive.
2. clinging is something that makes muscles start to cramp and knuckles to turn white because letting go is not an option if one desires to survive the situation in which one finds him or herself.
3. clinging is a choice to hold to something that is going to keep them living, instead of dying.

Both versions of translation for this verse that I have read tonight state "hold fast to" or "cling".  I don't think either of those statements work in our lives as a passive action or one that just naturally occurs in the heart of a person.  Those phrases are intense, urgent, without any other option unless we are to choose defeat.

WOW!  So, this is huge to me!  Cling to what is good.  Obviously to do such a thing, the Apostle Paul thought that is not an easy task.  The Apostle Paul thought we are to have the mentality of hanging on to what is good with all our might.  Apparently he found it very difficult to keep good in his life by just living daily in the knowledge of Christ and His sacrifice.  Apparently, even the Apostle Paul had to consciously seek to hold fast to what was good in his daily life. 

THUS, the whole idea behind abhoring what is evil or hating what is evil becomes very necessary when pursuing a lifestyle of clinging to what is good. 

Ugh, this is so deep, but so very eye opening and honest. 
I am challenged to look into God's Word these next few days and look into my life and see what God is meaning by the phrase "hate what is evil".  I want to get the right idea about what God is saying through the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 12.

If you are following my blog and are interested in this topic as well. I encourage you dig into God's Word.  Ask God to show you His heart for what He is saying to us in Romans 12:9.  As a tool, I have used Biblegateway.com to help me with the questions I have.  It is a great resource.  You should check it out.

Here's an old hymn that has inspiring words to me. It may not necessarily relate to today's topic, but it's still a neat song: Be encouraged!

Love Lifted Me
written by:James Rowe, 1865-1933
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me! (repeat this line)

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I'll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing;
Love so mighty and so true merits my soul's best songs;
Faithful loving service, too, to Him belongs.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me! (repeat this line)

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves;
He will lift you by His love out of the angry waves;
He's the Master of the sea, billows His will obey;
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE LIFTED ME!