Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.
I have been around the church my entire life. There has only been one period in my life where I was not as dedicated as I should have been, and that was missing a Sunday night or Wednesday night here or there. With that background being shared, there has been a church situation that has bothered me for years. If you have been around for a while you have heard the things that cause churches problems … “Choosing the color of the carpets,” “choosing the style of the worship,” “the clicks that form in a church,” and the list could go on and on. These things are not important, and are things that should be considered disputable (Check out yesterday’s post to see my thoughts on that).
So how should we interact as the church? Today’s reading (Romans 15) really demonstrates that for us. I want to focus on the following verses in today’s reading …
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Did the message of those verses wring out to you? We who are strong should bear, have patience, have endurance, and have encouragement for those who are weak. We are there to build them up. We should not be doing things to please ourselves; that is where the fights over carpet color and style of worship come into place. When we focus on the weaker brother, or even the person far from God, we are not thinking of ourselves, we are thinking of them, so that they may be built up. How do you do at that? Is your focus on yourself or on the ones further from God?
You see we have been given a spirit of unity from the one who provides the strength and encouragement so that we can bring him praise as one united front. We are called to accept one another, so that we can bring praise to God. What is the highest form of praise? Bringing people further from God through a maturation process to where they are close to God walking with him day after day.