Day 5: In Jesus I am Received
Read: Romans 15:7–9
SOAP: Romans 15:7
“Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory.” Romans 15:7
As much as we all crave connection, a big part of our hearts also crave acceptance. An open door is nice, but a personal invitation and a seat saved for us at the table is better. When we feel accepted, we can come as we are, without the masks and without faking “fine.”
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he encouraged the believers to receive—or accept—one another, the way they had been accepted by Jesus. Jesus receives us into His family already knowing the worst things we’ve ever done, said, or thought. He knows our past, present, and future, and He still makes a place for us with Him in eternity.
The early Roman Christians were struggling to accept other believers who did things a little differently, like the food they ate or the special days they observed. It was in these gray areas that some believers were starting to consider themselves better than others, judging their choices and practices. Paul was very clear in his letter that the only thing that would come out of this type of behavior was division.
In Jesus, we are received fully and completely into the family of God. Our differences make up a beautiful tapestry that brings life to the gospel. We are uniquely created in the image and likeness of God to use our gifts and talents to bring glory to God and grow His kingdom. If we are accepted with open arms by God, who are we to pass judgement on one another?
We need one another, and our witness to the gospel is hindered when we compete with and judge other believers. In Jesus we are not only received, but called to receive, accept, and support one another with open hearts.
Heavenly Father, even though I am a sinner who does not deserve Your love, You have chosen me and accepted me into Your family. Give me eyes to see those around me who do not know this acceptance so I can introduce them to You. Give me a heart to extend Your love without judgement. Amen.