Building Up Community
“We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord” (v. 1-2). This is the heart of this passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans. He encourages and challenges them to be men and woman who choose to build up others instead of looking to please themselves. Among Christians in their culture, there were many different ideas of what food is acceptable and whether certain days were holy or not. These differences in thought had the potential to create discord and division between believers in Rome. Paul urges the believers to not dishonor each other’s convictions about these things. For as long as the food is eaten and the days celebrated for God it does not matter whether they agree upon the details.
We're All in This Together
What are your motivations throughout each day? Is your heart seeking to build up others or only seeking to please yourself? Paul reveals the necessity and power of accepting “each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory". Your brothers and sisters in Christ are deeply cared for by God. Just as God longs to be with you, He longs to be with those around you.
Surrender in Order to Live
The only way for you to walk in this is complete surrender of self to Jesus. Only through His grace, can you find the ability to lay yourself down. Take time today and ask God for the grace to truly lose yourself in Jesus, that you would find His life. Ask for a love for Jesus that naturally produces a love for your “neighbors”.
Father, let my heart be like yours. Teach me to lose myself in you so I may love others as you do. Give me grace to walk in a selfless love that seeks to build up those around me over living to please my self. Thank you for providing me the grace to walk into these things and that I do not have to muster it up on my own. So I invite you Holy Spirit to do this in me and I declare that it is you and you alone that an do it.
- John Meyne