Love Must Be Sincere

About 15 years ago, I was asked it I would take up a chaplain position for our local boy scout troop.  I wasn’t expecting the offer, but after thinking just a few minutes about it, and with my son being newly involved in the troop, I happily agreed.  What an opportunity to pour prayer, scripture, and a little bit of the hope of Christ into what has become a basically secular organization.  Things went pretty well, too!

After a few years, I was asked to begin teaching some “religious” programs to help the Junior High and, separately, Senior High boys grapple with some real issues that they were going to be facing in life, in just a few years.  During one of these special merit badges called “God and Church” I was encouraged to teach them our church’s creed.  I thought about this for some time.  I had personally studied the Nicene creed (think Catholic or Episcopal churches) and the Apostles’ creed (United Methodist Church), but we’re Baptists…we don’t really have a “creed.”

A creedal statement is meant to summarize what we believe…a system of beliefs that we are typified by.  As I though about it, it seems like God’s Word was the best place to draw from, and I finally settled on Romans 12:9-13.  If “the greatest of these is love,” then “Love in Action” should be what defines us.  It says:  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

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