One Heart and Mouth
Thank God that he unconditionally accepts and loves you and that his mercy is fresh for you today.
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 would you say is the theme of this passage?
In today’s reading, Paul is clear that there’s no place for a critical spirit in the church community. Obviously we shouldn’t be judgmental of people who are not Christians, but how much more should we be united as God’s people! Paul makes the point (6) that as Christians we all worship the same God and it should be in unity, with “the same heart and mouth.” He is not saying that we all have to agree on everything, but that our inner thoughts and attitudes, as well as our outward actions and worship, should honor God by honoring each other.
Jesus accepted us not because of our charm or intelligence, but by grace—in spite of our failings. So we should accept one another in exactly the same way (7). Indeed, Jesus said that having this sort of love for each other would be the way the rest of the world recognizes us as his disciples (John 13:35).
Paul teaches here that unity is built as we genuinely serve each other, lovingly have patience with each other, bless each other and speak well of each other. Doesn’t that sound like a community you’d want to be part of?
Have you been critical or judgmental recently? Are there attitudes you need to repent of or apologies you need to make?
Lord, I do want to promote the unity among believers that pleases and honors You. Help me to do that.
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