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Loving the Brotherhood (48 of 49)
Series: Romans - God's Glorious Gospel
• One day, as a minister sat in the office of his church to meet anyone who might have spiritual difficulties, only one person came. "What is your difficulty?" asked the minister. The man answered, "My difficulty is the ninth chapter of Romans, where it says, 'Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.'" "Yes," said the minister, "there is great difficulty in that verse; but which part of the verse is difficult for you?" "The latter part, of course," said the man. "I cannot understand why God should hate Esau." The minister replied, "The verse has often been difficult, but my difficulty has always been with the first part of the verse. I never could understand how God could love that wily, deceitful, supplanting scoundrel Jacob."
• What is more amazing to you, that God would hate Esau or could love a Jacob? When I think of Esau I think of one who is driven by his basic natural instincts and/or desires. When I think of Jacob I think of the one who always is working an angle, always has an agenda, and always is looking out for number one. Yet, in God's love and grace to Jacob we find the foundation for the love Jesus demonstrated and challenged us to give. He said, "Love one another as I have loved you. And oh by the way, this is the way people will know that you are mine, if you have love for one another." Jesus called us to be a loving people and nothing breaks His heart more than to hear a group of people who profess to be His bride (the Church) is anything less than loving.
• As Paul begins to close this letter, in his final words he demonstrates what it means to really love people. Loving people doesn't mean superficial, insincere, and artificial affection which we so often confuse with love. Rather, it means a deep connection and appreciation at the level of the soul. It doesn't mean unanimity or uniformity, but rather harmony. The beaut ...
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