Intro: When we invite Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, we are declaring our trust in the authority of God’s Word and choosing to reveal Christ’s attitude in how we love and live. That means, as believers, we genuinely love and accept one another. We know eternal life has taken ahold of us because we love one another and are willing to do the hard work it takes to maintain a spirit of unity among us (1 John 3:14). There is no room for petty offense, accusations, unforgiveness, or unkind spoken words or actions between believers. This is how the world behaves not the Church. Should we slip into sin by doing such things, we are to quickly repent, ask for forgiveness, and reestablish honor between us because in this way we preserve the peace of God dwelling with us. In Christ, we are able to speak the Truth in love.
In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul exhorts the Jewish believers to welcome and love the gentiles—anyone not Jewish—into their spiritual family. He wants them to learn from one another; to know the heart of God for the unity of his family and the hope of growing into oneness despite how very different they are culturally. It can be very difficult to love the way Christ wants to love through us, but if you only love those who always agree with you what have you really accomplished? (Luke 6:32). The love Christ requires involves patience, kindness, and self-control empowered by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Remember, you can always love the people just like you without Christ, because your flesh feels comfy.
Romans 15:7-13 (GNT) The Gospel to the Gentiles
7 Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you. 8 For I tell you that Christ’s life of service was on behalf of the Jews, to show that God is faithful, to make his promises to their ancestors come true, 9 and to enable even the Gentiles to praise God for his mercy. As the scripture says,
“And so I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing praises to you.”
Again it says,
“Rejoice, Gentiles, with God’s people!”
“Praise the Lord, all Gentiles;
praise him, all peoples!”
And again, Isaiah says,
“A descendant of Jesse will appear;
he will come to rule the Gentiles,
and they will put their hope in him.”
13 May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for helping us grow in your love as we speak the Truth. This is how the world should be able to identify those who serve the King. In Jesus’ name. Amen.