1 Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. 2 Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me. 4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. 5 Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, 6 so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice. 7 Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God. — Romans 15:1-7
Live And Love So That You May Glorify God
by Tommy Sanders
Live and love so that you may glorify God. Jesus gave us a summary of how to live from the Law and the Prophets. Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. He further expanded it for His disciples to loving one another as He loved us. Could it be that God will be glorified if we live a life of this kind of love?
Today our reading is in response to discord in the church over what foods were permissible to eat and what day should be observed as a Sabbath to the Lord. For some believers these practices were tied to their faith and were matters of strong conviction. Others saw no directive to be followed but only freedom to choose. So those who chose not to eat meat criticized those who did. Those who ate meat looked down on those who abstained.
Does this sound like the law of love in action? Was God being glorified in their actions?
Sadly, we have our practices today that have some criticizing others, and others looking down on them. It sometimes goes beyond practices to personal preferences like color choices, furnishings, use of the church building, etc. We take sides and criticize or look down on others who may not have the insight we have. People are shunned and local churches split, all while those outside are watching. What is at stake here? Is God glorified?
So what is the answer to this discord?
If we truly want to live and love in such a way that God is glorified, it will require a different approach to life. I can no longer make choices based on whether they are pleasing, convenient or satisfying for me. I must consider how my actions will impact others for their good, encouraging and building them up in faith. The “law” of love requires me to live with a different paradigm. Jesus is our example. He did not act to please Himself, but came as a servant, giving Himself for our benefit to save us.
So if you really want to live and love to glorify God, love God with all your heart, mind, and soul—all you are and have. Then because of His acceptance of you as a dearly loved child, accept one another. Be one in spirit and purpose with your brothers and sisters in Christ, considering how you can build them up and spur them on to love and good deeds. Live and love so God is glorified!
- How do the Old Testament scriptures help us bear with the weakness of others (verse 4)?
- Take an inventory of your relationships. Is there anyone whom you are critical of or look down on because of their actions or convictions? Take this message to heart, repent, and seek their good.
- Read John 17:20-23. Hear Jesus’ heart’s desire for us who have believed in Him through the disciples’ message. Relationships are important to God!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.