Text: Romans 15:1-6
Theme: Complete harmony with fellow believers should be our goal.
Key verses: “We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ did not please himself” (v. 1-3a). “And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. 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. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 4b-6).
What God said to me: Don’t sit there so smugly. You know what you did. I have set your sins in the light of my presence. I know your thoughts, your goings in and goings out. I have searched your thoughts. Nothing is hidden from me. Pure religion and undefiled is what we’re going for here–not an outward show but an inward glow of my presence and peace. You must surrender to me today, right now. You must confess and forsake your sin. You must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me in this moment and from this moment on. The “complete harmony” you should seek with other believers must first start with complete surrender of your own will and preferences. Christ didn’t live to please himself. Everything he did was for my glory and your good. You can settle for nothing less. Harmony is a beautiful and lofty goal. It sounds so wonderful and noble; yet, attaining such unity is nothing short of miraculous. You cannot pull it off apart from me. Notice Paul said, “May God…help you live in complete harmony.” Paul knew what you must see as well. You can do nothing without me. All of you can indeed join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to me. But it must start with you bowing your own heart and life before me–right now, from this very moment on.
What I said to God: I praise You, Jehovah-Tsidkenu. You are my righteousness. I thank You, Jehovah-Nissi, for being my banner of victory and belonging. I bow to You, Elohim, for You are the one, true God, the most high Lord. I am sorry when I ignore Your presence and forget Your awful sacrifice on the cross. Jesus truly paid it all, and truly all to Him/You I owe. I surrender all in this moment going forward. Please help me not live to please myself. Help consider others as higher than myself. Help me see people as You see them–sheep needing a Shepherd, souls who will live forever either in heaven or in hell.