Gracious God, speak to me clearly from Your holy Word today and please help me to obey what I hear.
Read ROMANS 15:1-13
 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.  For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  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.  Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs  so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.”  Again, it says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”  And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples.”  And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is Paul's major concern for this church here (5,6)?
You might think Paul was a musician from this passage. He uses metaphors of music, “harmony,” “accord” (5) and “with one voice” (6, NLT), before quoting from the Hebrew songbook of the Psalms.
Whatever music you prefer, you’ll know there’s nothing like hearing musicians singing or playing together, whether that’s a symphony orchestra or a rock band. Musicians quickly learn that if they’re to play well together, they need a different approach from when they perform alone. Solo musicians can do whatever they like with the piece; alter the tempo, the feel, improvise; it’s their show, their interpretation. But musicians or singers in an ensemble must come under the leadership of the conductor; they also submit to one another. They let their ears guide them: listening as much as playing, taking a back seat to give others a turn in the spotlight.
Real unity comes from submission to one another. Jesus is teaching us how to sing together with lives that are united in our love for him, but also in our love for one another.
Meditate on Psalm 133 (ESV): “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity ….”
Lord, make me an instrument of Your unity. Give me a heart to submit in love to You and to others.
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