Lord, shine Your light into my life as I read today (Psa. 119:105). Let Your Word build up my faith.
Read Romans 15:1-6
 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them 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 the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.  May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhere do you see acceptance and unity spoken of here?
Paul obviously needed to get out more or follow celebrity news because this stuff just isn’t timely. What’s he talking about, telling us to “please [our] neighbors” (2) and not to “please ourselves” (1)? Such first-century sensibilities are totally outdated for our complex internet age, right? No, God’s inspired, revealed truth is just as applicable to you and me now in this moment as it was when Paul wrote it. Why? Because our eternal God’s eternal truth stands eternally. Jesus is our example: if anyone had earned the right to please himself after humbling himself and taking on human form, it was Jesus. Yet, as the messianic Psalm 69 shows (Psa. 69:9), Jesus did his Father’s will on Earth, not his own, in order to redeem people for God and save lost and broken individuals (3). What’s the answer when I simply don’t feel like putting others first (which can be most of the time)? I look to Jesus (3,5). As I follow Jesus, meditate on him and worship him, the Holy Spirit not only encourages and gives me endurance (5), but he also changes me to be more like Jesus (see 8:29).
In what way do you struggle most to put others first? Think of a passage from a Gospel that shows Jesus acting differently.
Lord Jesus, use me in my role as a witness for You.
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