Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:7 (NIV)
Time and again, we see some very important and life-giving instruction from the Bible captured in just a couple words. Perhaps the most noteworthy is “Follow me.” Those two words from Jesus are not only life-changing, they are world-changing.
Our key verse for this week – Romans 15:7 – gives us two more critical words: “just as”. It brings back to mind the John 17 prayer of Jesus that we would become one “just as” the Father and He are one.
It’s very easy in our self-centered day to limit or downsize what the Bible calls us to. Then, we go away disappointed because we never fully embraced the kingdom. When Paul says “just as”, he means “just as”. In this passage, He is calling us to accept one another “just as” Jesus accepted us. Think about that for a minute. How far did Jesus have to go to accept you? If you are like me, it must have taken a lot of mercy, forbearance, and love on the part of Jesus to accept me. Now I am being called to accept you and others “just as” Jesus accepted me.
Wow! If you and I could accept each other the way Jesus accepted us, just think how quickly unity would germinate. No doubt, we could become one “just as” the Father and He are one. We could answer Jesus’ prayer for unity! So, let’s put a lot more effort and energy into accepting one another rather than separating ourselves over petty differences.
Lord, let this reader and I be “All for One”, and of those unity seeds we need to plant to answer Your prayer, may we remember to accept one another “just as” You accepted us.
This is the first in the “Accept One Another” series of blog posts.