Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WFW - Devotion and Honor

Do you find it easy to be devoted to everyone in your life? What about honoring one another above yourself?

In all honesty, it's a high calling, and something I have found hard to do in the past. Simply put, there are people I'd just soon not be around. I'm just keeping it real. But this is not the way that I should be. If I am going to truly extend Christ's love, I must be devoted to others and put them and their needs above my own.

Devotion to Others

The Greek word for devoted is philostorgos. It means:

1) the mutual love of parents and children and wives and husbands
2) loving affection, prone to love, loving tenderly
a) chiefly of the reciprocal tenderness of parents and children

This speaks to our families; however, let's take a look at the root word. Philos means:

1) friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well
a) a friend
b) an associate
c) he who associates familiarly with one, a companion
d) one of the bridegroom's friends who on his behalf asked the hand of the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials

Thus it extends outward to those who are in our lives. A little farther out than immediate family - friends and associates, etc.

It's a little easier to be devoted to them, isn't it? We are to be devoted to them in brotherly love.

The Greek word for in is eis. This preposition means:

1) into, unto, to, towards, for, among

It's not from a distance, my friend. It's unto, among....I'm getting a message here! (I love how I learn things when I write my posts!) Note: there are some people who will not let you love them up close. This is one of those things where we have to pray for them and love for them or perhaps towards them. God knows our heart, even if the other person doesn't. In my case, it's an older sister who has broken all ties with the family for no apparent reason. I still love her but obviously, since I'm not close to her, it as to be for her and not among or unto, so to speak. There is no way for me to express love to her except to pray for her.

The Greek word for brotherly love is philadelphia. It means:

1) love of brothers or sisters, brotherly love
2) in the NT the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren

I have seen so much of this in the bloggy world. Everyone is so kind to express their sisterly love to others and it makes my heart sing to know that it's there. To truly love someone, you have to know them and like them and they grow in your heart to love. (I'm not saying there is no such thing as love at first sight, this is not about that.) The love expressed through kind comments and the words "I love you" matters to our Christian sisters. It matters to me.

The root word for brotherly love, or philadelphia, is philadelphos, which means:

1) loving brother or sister
2) in a broader sense, loving one like a brother, loving one's fellow countrymen
a) of an Israelite
b) of a Christian loving Christians

And the root word of that is adelphos, which means:

1) a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
2) having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
3) any fellow or man
4) a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
5) an associate in employment or office
6) brethren in Christ
a) his brothers by blood
b) all men
c) apostles
d) Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place

Simply put, we have alot of people to love, and God has increased the capacity of our hearts to do that. I'm finding it less hard when I delve into these meanings and see what God is calling me to do. "Love them, Laurie Ann. Show them Me." He wants us to love them so we can turn them to Christ with our devotion and honor.

Honoring Others Above Ourselves

I just love the Greek word for honor. It's timē. This noun means:

1) a valuing by which the price is fixed
a) of the price itself
b) of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold
2) honour which belongs or is shown to one
a) of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds
b) deference, reverence

When we defer to others (as long as it's just not unreasonable), we make strides in showing Christ's love. Although He did die for the unreasonable. It's basically honor. Honoring others above our own desires.

The Greek word for above is proēgeomai. This verb means:

1) to go before and show the way, to go before and lead, to go before as a leader

This is what we should be doing to those in our lives. We need to lead them to the Cross. Help them grow spiritually and mature in their faith. We need to take the time to mentor young women and be mentored by older women. And it's all about dying to ourselves and our desires. Truly, when the phone rings and it's your sister whom you know will talk an hour and you are about to walk out the door for a pedicure, how many of us roll our eyes and think, "Not now!" I learned something about my sister recently that made me realize I would cancel a pedicure in favor of lunch or talking for an hour on the phone, even if it was going to be another week before I could get to it. God is growing me in this area.

Wrapping it Up

My heart has been moving since I heard Brandon Heath's Give Me Your Eyes one day. I think the Holy Spirit has been moving me to see the needs that are out there and follow this verse's wisdom.

Questions for Reflection: Do you find it hard or easy to be devoted to others and to honor othem above yourself consistently? What can you do to increase your love for others? What do devotion and honor look like to an outsider looking in?

Verse of the Day: "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:10 (NIV)

Prayer: Father, help us to be truly devoted to one another in love and to honor others above ourselves. Soften our hearts, Lord, and open our eyes to see even more of the need that we may already see. Help us get out among those who need to shown to them and help us reverence others above our own needs. In Jesus' Name I pray, amen.

D - Determine to show devotion and love to others, even those who are hard to love. - "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." ~ Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

E - Encourage others with your love and devotion. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." ~ Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

V - Verify that your devotion and love are works of God and not just outward appearances. ~ "But the LORD said to Samuel,...The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." ~ 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

O - Obey the law of Christ in love and devotion. "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." ~ Romans 13:8

T - Take time to do random acts of kindness to express devotion and love. "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:10 (NIV)

E - Earnestly read God's Word to learn more about love and devotion. "Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:9 (NIV)

D - Devote time in prayer for those you are devoted to and love. "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the Word of God through photo's and Scripture. Lori, over at All You Have to Give, is our hostess today. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.



Jennifer said...

This bloggy sister sure loves you and wishes we could get together again soon.

I've missed you!


Denise said...

Wonderful WFW, love you.

lori said...

There will always be people who are challenging to be "devoted" to....that's why we have to continually go to the source of devotion. What a fantastic reminder Laurie Ann!

Happy WFW!


ozjane said...

Good graphic and well researched as always.

Susan said...

Hey Laurie Ann,

Oh, it's sooooooooooooo good to be back to your awesome blog!

I've missed you♥

This is just incredible and on the very same subject my verse is on, in fact I almost choose this verse today.

LOVED the graphic too!

You are so talented my friend.

I may use your acrostic if you don't mind. (I'll write you first!)

Have a blessed WFW~

Cathy said...

Thank you for all your research, dear sister. Love you ~

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...how beautiful your LOVE & photo with this great verse, now if all we DO honor one another above "self" in brotherly/ sisterly love...devoted to everyone?
Wonderfully done & sending love your way and praying you are better & back in the swing of things! Miss ya'...
as always though an excellent acrostic & teaching!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Oh...I LOVE your photo and the passage of scripture you shared...great job my friend.

Blessings to you today.

Joyfull said...

We've missed you! Love this beauitful reminder for today to honor and be devoted. An area which never tires of encouragement! Happy WFW!

LauraLee Shaw said...

FABULOUS picture & Truth-filled teaching, Laurie Ann. Wow, has He gifted you in this area. This is a hard balance to find for me, but this is encouraging. Thank YOU!