S15P3 – Brotherly love: accepting as Christ accepts

Romans 15: 7-12
Therefore, [continue to] accept and welcome one another, just as Christ has accepted and welcomed us to the glory of [our great] God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant and a minister to the circumcision (Jews) on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm and verify the promises made to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy [to them, since God had no covenant with them]. As it is written and forever remains written,
“Therefore I praise You among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.”
Again it says,“Rejoice and celebrate, O Gentiles, along with His people.”
And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise Him!”
Again Isaiah says, “There shall be a root of Jesse, he who arises to rule [as King] over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope.”

God’s glory is a sight we cannot envision beholding with our mortal eyes. Imagine how much greater it is to actually share in that glory [1 Thes. 2:14]. We are not even worthy to behold God’s glory, yet He welcomes us to partake in it. This is an acceptance that can come only through the mercy of God. He places us in a position to experience that which we cannot merit, that which rightly belongs only to him, and He does so willingly and lovingly. Not only to his chosen people Israel, but He extends this invitation also to the Gentiles to whom He had given no promise to redeem.

That God extends to all people the invitation to share in his glory provides the prime example of how sweeping our acceptance of each other must be. Man can be so fickle with man, critical in all respects, self-elevating and proud, seeking to create distinctions and classes instead of seeking to create unity. Ironically, God is the one who rightfully can hold himself above us, perfect and holy, omniscient and omnipotent, yet He desires to share his gory with us. He does not desire to cast aside those He created but desires to welcome them into his glory. If God is not too high to fellowship with those who have accepted Jesus Christ and seek to follow him, how can I be?

If we desire to treat our brothers and sisters as our savior did, we should desire to draw them to us, to welcome them with love and mercy. Our differences are inconsequential when we have Jesus Christ in common. After all, the world is to know that we are disciples of Christ by our love for one another [John 13:35]. That begins with accepting one another as we are, where we are, just as Jesus has done. Father, keep us united in the purpose of loving each other unconditionally, accepting one another despite our faults and differences, so that the world will see and experience your glory through us.