Lord, You are the Everlasting God. May the light of Your eternal love fall on me today and every day.
Read Romans 15:7-13
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.
We accept one another in Christ because Christ has accepted us. We must never forget that.
Many people separate the life of the local congregation from the task of world mission. They make the assumption that you are either responding to the local needs of the church or you are concerned about the gospel reaching distant places. But Paul ties together how members of a congregation relate to each other and the task of world mission. A congregation that is open to fellowship with those who are different from themselves will find it easier to capture a vision for the whole world. To experience the grace of God in fellowship with someone of a different culture is a foretaste of the new heaven and new earth.
Paul shows that the ministry to the Gentiles in which he is engaged is not some afterthought of God or a compensation for the rejection of the Gospel by the Jewish leaders. It is, rather, the fulfillment of God’s revealed plan in Scripture, and was part of the purpose of the ministry of Jesus himself. His ministry confirmed the promises that God had made to the Patriarchs. Paul proves this with verses from the Psalms, Deuteronomy and Isaiah.
The purpose of all mission is that God should be glorified. As the unity of the local congregation enables them to glorify God together, so they look forward and work towards all nations, joining in that worship of the one God in Jesus Christ. Paul is not looking at separate Jewish and Gentile churches, or Christians divided by ethnic or other inherited divisions. Rather, he sees that the Gentiles worship together with the Jewish believers as they all accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Paul sees the hope of this as the inspiration of the life of the congregation in Rome so that they might all have joy and peace in Christ.
Is a failure of ethnic and racial unity in your local congregation impeding your involvement in world mission? If so, what can be done?
Lord God, I acknowledge I feel more at ease with those who are just like me. May I catch a vision of Your intention for Your church.
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