DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-04-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 15:5-7
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
OBSERVATION: I believe that Paul could very easily preach this same sermon to each of us in our respective churches the next time we meet. Think about it as you meditate with me today. I’ve seen churches refuse to participate in a community evangelism event because a certain church was also participating and they believe so differently. I’ve seen a preacher stopped in his tracks while preaching, for saying something slightly different to what a certain church practiced. In our Scripture today, we are reminded that Jesus accepted us, just as we were. If Christians (little Christs) were to accept other believers just the way they are, vs 6 tells us that then perhaps we will be able to praise and glorify God.
APPLICATION: I won’t dare point a figure at you dear Brother or Sister, because I’ll have 3 or 4 pointing right back at myself. So let’s look at the only thing that we have control over – our own hearts, as we study this passage today. I remember while studying ‘Experiencing God’ in a group of about 10 people, that we were given certain scriptures to study and listen to the voice of God on. Weekly we would come together and discuss how God spoke to us. I was always amazed by the various ways that God spoke to us individually, but in such varied ways. It helped me to realize that our God does not support us or love us in a rule-based and defined fashion, but rather from a very personal standpoint. He cares for us individually, and therefore ministers to us personally. But this creates a lot of challenges for the church as a whole, for they are therefore challenged to establish bylaws and rules for the entire community to follow. Friends, our God created us individually, and He cares for us individually. It is obvious from vs 6 that with Him as our central theme, that our corporate worship should be centered around Him and not on our differences. I found vs 7 to be a mind blowing challenge, for it reminds me that I was far from perfect; far from holy; far from righteous; and far from obeying the commands of God that are detailed in His Word, yet He was willing to bring His Son into this wicked world, and die a cruel death on a cross, to save me – a nobody in the kingdom of God; a sinner that could only be saved by God’s wondrous grace. And if God could do that for me, and since I am striving to be just like Him, who am I to not like what that Brother said from the church down the street, or to cause division over which way that church in the country decides to baptize? Friends, we are reminded in verse 5 that we are to be ‘fitting to be called children of God’, and to ’live in harmony as HIS children’. In verse 6, we are promised that if we fulfill the previous verse, we will stand in awe of our King and sing praises and glory to OUR God, with ONE voice – period! Vs 7 reminds us that Christ accepted us just as we were, and so should we do the same for others who are also called by the same name. Notice that nothing was said about us believing some of the practices brought in by ‘religion’ or ‘denominationalism’. Instead, if they know Jesus, and we know the same Jesus, then we are family and we could easily join hearts and hands with each other and lift up our praises to OUR Jesus. Hum that chorus ‘He is Lord’ for just a moment while you meditate on these words. Be reminded that every knee shall bow to the one Jesus, for He alone is Lord!
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the assurance of salvation in Jesus Christ! Oh the grace of our Heavenly Father, to send His Son so that those who believe on Him shall not perish, but instead have everlasting life! (John 3:16). Loving Father, I believe You would have done this if I was the only sinner who needed Your grace. However, there are millions who have accepted that call to salvation. Yet the world probably looks on at the separation created by churches and want no part of it, or the God who they claim to serve. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that Your children must be able to get along, so that they could join hearts and hands together in worship and praise to the one and only Jesus – their Lord. Please Lord, awaken Your church even today. I pray that You would begin with me, and I also pray that as You remind us of whose we are, that we will learn to worship You in one voice and in one spirit. Oh Lord, may Your will be done, and may Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!