READ: Romans 15:1-7
Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. —Romans 14:19
Each year young people in our community participate in a “Be Nice” campaign spearheaded by a mental health organization. In one of the events in 2012, 6,000 students spelled out the words BE NICE with their bodies on their schools’ sports fields. One principal said, “We want students to come to school and learn without the distraction of fear or sadness or uneasiness around their peers. We are working hard to make sure students are lifting each other up, rather than tearing each other down.”
Paul desired that the people in the church at Rome would have an even higher standard of love. Both the strong and weak in the faith were judging and showing contempt for each other (Rom. 14:1-12). They despised one another as they argued about what foods were permissible to eat (vv.2-3) and what holidays they should observe (vv.5-6). Paul challenged them: “Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (v.19). He reminded them that their hearts should be concerned with pleasing others, not pleasing themselves. He said, “Even Christ did not please Himself” (15:3); He served.
Join the campaign that loves others despite our differences—you’ll bring praise to God (v.7). —Anne Cetas
Dear Lord, I want to be a person who is
Kindness is simply love flowing out in little gentlenesses.
Bible in a year: Isaiah 65-66; 1 Timothy 2
We have here a personal claim, and one that needs proof. The apostle knew that his claim was indisputable, but there are many persons who have no right to the title who yet claim to belong to the Israel of God. If we are with confidence declaring, "So am I also an Israelite," let us only say it after having searched our heart as in the presence of God. But if we can give proof that we are following Jesus, if we can from the heart say, "I trust him wholly, trust him only, trust him simply, trust him now, and trust him ever," then the position which the saints of God hold belongs to us - all their enjoyments are our possessions; we may be the very least in Israel, "less than the least of all saints," yet since the mercies of God belong to the saints as saints, and not as advanced saints, or well-taught saints, we may put in our plea, and say, "Are they Israelites? so am I; therefore the promises are mine, grace is mine, glory will be mine." The claim, rightfully made, is one which will yield untold comfort. When God's people are rejoicing that they are his, what a happiness if they can say, "So am I !" When they speak of being pardoned, and justified, and accepted in the Beloved, how joyful to respond, "Through the grace of God, so am I." But this claim not only has its enjoyments and privileges, but also its conditions and duties. We must share with God's people in cloud as well as in sunshine. When we hear them spoken of with contempt and ridicule for being Christians, we must come boldly forward and say, "So am I." When we see them working for Christ, giving their time, their talent, their whole heart to Jesus, we must be able to say, "So do I." O let us prove our gratitude by our devotion, and live as those who, having claimed a privilege, are willing to take the responsibility connected with it.