ESOCS Devotional 13 December 2022
TEXT: ROMANS 15:5-14
MEMORY VERSE: “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7
0 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted lace ”
We are counseled to be like Christ our Lord who has open heart toward all mankind. He does not discriminate. He sees everyone as one. He receives people to Himself no matter what they have done; even those that still spite Him despite all that He did for them on the cross. He is doing what He knows best to do; that is, He does “what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 15:19). The scripture says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). Our Lord saw the Father doing this work and keyed into it. He accepts everyone and does not hold anything against us. We should do likewise. He does not count our sins against us, just like the Father (Ps. 32:1). We should receive people the way they are and like our Lord, work to reconcile them to God.
Such attitude would make us different from the people of the world. Of course, being like Christ is what makes the difference. He did not slight us. When came to Him He did not shun us. We should have kind affection towards people. Just as Christ has received us into a sweet communion with Himself and has taken us graciously into the Father’s glory, and for the Father’s glory too, even so we should readily receive people to ourselves, not counting their faults but presenting them to Christ for cleansing and the ultimate glory of the Father. This would enable us create brotherly love and harmony among the brethren, and in the world also.
In the church of God, we are encouraged to receive others as Christians and treat them as such. The church is one family of God. There should not be divisiveness in it. It is one happy family in which the brethren should have a harmonious relationship with one another. Christ received us as His friends and followers (John 15:15). Like Christ, if we freely receive others to ourselves with love, we would do so to the honour of God and “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved [that is, in Jesus Christ our Lord]” (Eph. 1:6).
We all come from various backgrounds and have different characters and attitudes. Let us learn to accept people freely the way they are and make excuses for their faults rather than accuse or blame them. Our Lord Christ received us to Himself to make us one unified whole to the Father’s glory and to accomplish His purpose. The purpose of God for His church should be uppermost in our hearts and minds in our relationship with others. We have different opinions on a number of issues; we should still love one another and avoid quarrel and all forms of segregation. We should follow the example of Christ. We should bear one another’s weaknesses. Despite all His glory, He loved us poor sinners and turned us into saints of God. Our relationship with others should impact positively on them. Let us do everything to the glory of the Father, “that [we] may be sons [and daughters] of [our] Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). Let us do likewise as we imitate Christ, and the Father.
- In what ways do you imitate our Lord Jesus?
PRAYERS: Pray God to give you a loving heart that cares for others.
Read Yesterday’s ESOCS Devotional here
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ESOCS Devotional 13 December 2022
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