Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring 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.
This is an interesting passage. In each of these verses there are nine words that are set in the dative case in Greek. Each one of them comes first in its clause. This is the emphatic position in the sentence or the clause. The dative case is translated with the prepositions “in” or “to” or “by” or “with”. It has a number of grammatical uses. In this case it is most likely “in regards to . . .” or “in considering . . .” or “with respect to . . .”. Each contains a practical command for us to obey or to heed.
1. With regard to brotherly love: be devoted
2. With regard to honour: prefer one another
3. With regard to zeal: do not be lacking [do what you should do with passion]
4. With regard to your spirit: be fervent [be on the boil]
5. With regard to the Lord: serve Him [don’t be hearers only; be doers]
6. With regard to hope: be joyful
7. With regard to affliction: be patient [the judgement is His]
8. With regard to prayer: continuing in praying [don’t give up prayer – many give up praying just they need to be praying the most]
9. With regard to the needy: share and be hospitable [ don’t just give money; invite them over – identify with them]
There are nine practical things that you can take on board and action in your life. These are all related to the outworking of the love expressed in verse 9. Here are 9 practical steps to outworking “agape love” in your life and in your relationships. Start today. Put it to the test this week.
None of us pray as much as we should but all of us pray more than we think we do. Stanley Shipp
Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man given. Be grateful. Conceit is self given. Be careful. John Wooden