“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!” (John Newton, 1725–1807). I praise You, God, for Your amazing grace.
Read Romans 15:7–13
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name.”
10 Again, it says,
“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again, Isaiah says,
“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
one who will arise to rule over the nations;
in him the Gentiles will hope.”
13 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of someone who is very different from you. How do you feel about that person?
When Paul was writing this letter, it was still a highly amazing fact that God’s kingdom was now open to non-Jews. We Gentiles now take it for granted that Christ’s sacrifice was for us as well as for the Jewish nation, but passages like this should help us pause and remember the incredible gift the Father has given us. And if you are Jewish you’re not excluded from this gift; you too were chosen from before the creation of the world for redemption by the blood of Christ.
The disputes that Paul was addressing in chapter 14, from which all of this follows, were about the transition between Jewish law and new covenant freedom, but Paul is clear that neither trumps the other in God’s eyes—we each have to be accepted by God because of his grace and mercy, not by our merit or obedience to his law. Therefore, we must each accept one another as equals.
Our culture today tends to be suspicious and fearful of “the other.” How can you show God’s love to those who are different?
Reflect on the fact that you were once an outsider and were welcomed in with love and open arms. Thank God for his acceptance.
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