“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
— Romans 15:7 ESV

Unity and love among believers is really important. Here the church is urged to take up the example of Christ and welcome people like Christ does. That doesn't sound too daunting of a task until you look at all the ways Jesus welcomed people. He welcomed people to walk with him through life, inviting them into his situations to learn and grow together. He welcomed the rejected to his table to have a place and be known. He welcomed people to come into relationship even with all of their mess. His welcoming went so far that he defeated every obstacle that could come in between his ask and our yes. When you start to think of all the ways Jesus welcomed people in, "welcome" doesn't sound so easy anymore.

it's better when we're for each other

I think part of the reason that Paul tells us to welcome one another right after he talks about endurance and hope is because he knows that an attitude of "welcome" provides rest for the weary soul. He knew that if we were united in love, and following the example of Christ our first move would be to welcome people in. He knew it would help us to be better when we are together and "for" each other. When we follow Christ's example and go out of our way to welcome people into our life, build each other up and drink up the goodness of God, we then are refreshed and better at living. 

This challenges us to look at the way we are "welcoming" people. Do we go out of our way to bridge the gap between us and people who are hurting? Do we serve our friends putting their needs before our own? Is my approach to others one of "welcome in, what do you need?" or one of "hey, what can i get from you?" When we follow Christ's example of love people should not leave us drained and discouraged, but rather refreshed and full of hope.

pray

"Father, thank you for welcoming me into your family when I did not deserve it. Thank you for fighting for me when I hadn't even asked you to yet. I ask that you would renew my mind and teach me how to look at the people around me through the lens of building other up. Please come and reveal to me all the ways you have welcomed me into your kingdom. Thank you for your reckless love towards me. You know exactly what I need. Please help me to see the needs of others and partner with you in their healing. I love you God, come and encounter me today. Amen"

- Merrick