I do not necessarily have a set style of writing when it comes to devotionals… so (un)lucky for you, you get to listen to my general thoughts on the chapters this week! I will list a few of my thoughts that are a little less common or obvious on each chapter and pose some reflection questions that will hopefully get you thinking deeper about what we’ve read this week. My goal is that something I think of, you hadn’t thought about and you’re willing to dig deeper into the idea. So, let’s look at Romans 15 according to Sarah’s brain, shall we??
Thought #1 – Vs. 1 – 12: There are some great verses in that small chunk that carry big meanings and can be so relevant to our lives! Focusing on verse 7 specifically, I think it can be very easily manipulated to satisfy an individual’s personal agenda. “Accept each other… ” that means you can’t tell me what I’m doing is wrong. Because maybe it’s wrong for you, but it’s right for me. How many times have you heard that or said that yourself? I’ve definitely used that excuse! And while that statement may not always be abused, or even inaccurate, we need to use discernment when bringing that idea up. When we finish out that sentence, “Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you, SO THAT God will be given glory” we see more clearly into the message Paul was trying to get across. If we are accepting others as Christ accepts them, we are not letting them do whatever they want. We are loving them enough to correct them when necessary, pick them up when they need, and not leaving them even when they mess up. Let’s be honest, interacting with people can be difficult. Accepting people who are difficult, is difficult! But yet we are called to do so. And why are we doing this? SO THAT God will be given glory. We don’t have to try to accept people when it’s hard for any other reason other than to bring God glory. When you interact with difficult people in a positive way, what is your thought process behind it? Are you doing it with a self-righteous attitude or genuinely trying to bring God glory?
Thought #2 – Obviously we know that prayer is important, but seeing yet another example of how Paul truly and genuinely believes in the power of prayer is very motivating to my own prayer life. Not only does Paul live out a strong prayer life, he encourages others to join him and asks that they pray for him. He clearly truly believes and trusts in the power of prayer. Are you fully utilizing the power of a praying body of Christ?
Thought 3# – Vs. 30: Final thought for today… Sometimes you need to be refreshed by the presence of like-minded believers! FUEL, Family Camp, ReFUEL, Refuge, Christian Worker’s Seminar…. These are all great places to be uplifted, encouraged, and refreshed. But, just as Paul writes, I think it makes a difference in the attitude you come with. If you are not looking forward to meeting with like-minded believers with joy and anticipation, are you being held back from refreshing company?
I hope some of these ideas were able to make you think a little deeper about our text today!
“May the God of peace be with you all.” Romans 15:33